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Peter MacKay responds to my 5-month old email about Afghanistan

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tuvor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 04:31 PM
Original message
Peter MacKay responds to my 5-month old email about Afghanistan
That strikes me as odd, to say the least.

I forgot that I sent anything, and I didn't keep any record of my message. I have to return to work, and I'll look more closely at it later. In the meantime, I thought I'd share.

A02931-2006 In reply to your email of March 7, 2006

Dear Mr. tuvor:

Thank you for your email of March 7, 2006, concerning the nature of Canada's engagement in Afghanistan. I regret the lengthy delay in replying to you.

It is in Canada's national interest that Afghanistan become a secure and self-sufficient democratic state that never again serves as a terrorist haven. The Government of Canada is taking an integrated approach that is focussed on helping the Afghan people bring stability to their country, strengthen governance and reduce poverty. Canada is in Afghanistan at the request of the Afghan government and under United Nations authorization.

During his visit to Afghanistan in March 2006, Prime Minister Harper spoke to Canadians serving in Afghanistan, expressing pride in the work they are doing, and recognizing that they are putting themselves on the line to defend our national interests, to ensure Canadian leadership in world affairs, and to help Afghanistan. On May 9 and 10, 2006, I also visited Afghanistan where I saw first-hand Canada's civilian and military contribution to the international efforts to rebuild Afghanistan. My discussions with our partners there, the Afghans, the United Nations and international representatives, underlined for me the important role that Canada plays in this multi-national endeavour.

Canada has an integrated approach. Security and development are there to support the diplomatic and political process launched in Bonn, in 2001, followed now by the Afghanistan Compact launched in London, in 2006. These documents set out the key benchmarks on which the international community and Afghanistan have agreed. This reflects Canada's engagement in Afghanistan, which focuses on three critical areas: stability, governance and poverty reduction.

Canada has made a clear commitment to stabilizing Afghanistan and contributing to the creation of a more secure environment within which the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the country can take place. On May 17, 2006, the Canadian Parliament voted in favour of extending and expanding our leadership role in Afghanistan. This includes the establishment of a permanent Embassy, the extension of current Canadian Forces and Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) deployments to Kandahar for an additional two years, and an increase in development assistance to $310 million from 2007 to 2011. Canada's multi-faceted contribution now consists of close to $1 billion in development assistance (2001 to 2011), a near doubling of our Embassy personnel in Kabul, command of a PRT in Kandahar, the deployment of 2300 Canadian Forces in support of operations in southern Afghanistan, and command of the multinational brigade headquarters in Kandahar. The Canadian government also has a good track record of disbursing our pledges and promoting the development of Afghan capacity through the support for Afghan government programs and institutions.
Canada's contributions have helped Afghanistan achieve measurable success. Among the country's remarkable strides are the adoption of a new constitution that enshrines protections for human rights, such as gender equality. As well, Afghanistan has had successful presidential and legislative elections. Reforms in the areas of defence, justice and finance have begun. Millions of refugees are being reintegrated. Heavy weapons that were used to destroy much of the country have been cantoned. Thousands of women, once relegated to the margins of society, are now able to access credit and finance in order to pursue livelihoods. Significant progress has been made in demining. Overall, Afghanistan is moving forward with the help of the international community, including Canada.

The Canadian government has made progress, but as attacks in Afghanistan have continued, challenges do remain. Transition takes time. Capacity cannot be meaningfully developed in a few short years. This is an important reason for Canada to remain engaged, a point I emphasized in the Take Note debate in April 2006.

To learn more regarding Canada's engagement in Afghanistan, I invite you to visit the following website of the Government of Canada at www.canada-afghanistan.gc.ca .

Thank you again for taking the time to write and share your views.

Sincerely,

Peter G. MacKay
Minister of Foreign Affairs
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. heh, more than I got from Tony Clement:

Thank you for your correspondence in which you express your support for the Vancouver Supervised Injection Site.

Please be assured that your views are being considered as part of Health Canada's assessment of this facility.

Thank you for taking the time to write on this important issue.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Clement


At least you have a hint that MacKay has a clue. ;)

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tuvor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I think the comparative lengths of our letters
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 07:04 PM by tuvor
indicate the level of government's priority for each.

(They aren't going to lose an election because they didn't take the time to craft a proper reply for constituents sending messages of support for safe injection sites.)
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