Whenever someone slams the CBC for being left leaning, the comeback always seems to be that the CTV is the exact opposite and a strong supporter of the Conservative Party. I am quickly seeing that this is also a complete load of hogwash.
My personal friend “Dudley Dooright” pointed this information out to me and I thought it was important enough for me to share with my readers.
This is to bring to your attention an urgent matter concerning the Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Gordon O’Connor.
There have been recent reports that Minister O’Connor will be removed from his current post of Minister of National Defence during the week of August 13. What follows are some details regarding the background, and how you could express your support for Minister O’Connor if you choose to do so.
Please note that since the cabinet shuffle might take place as early as Monday August 13, it is important to voice your support before 5 PM on Friday August 10 when Prime Minister Harper’s office closes for the weekend.
On Saturday August 4, 2007 CTV news reported:
“Prime Minister Stephen Harper will demote embattled Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor in a cabinet shuffle expected in the week of August 13, senior government insiders told CTV News.”
Link To August 4th CTV news story
The same news report also stated:
“Sources say the Prime Minister decided he had to shift O’Connor out of Defence after he gave an interview on CTV’s Question Period two weeks ago, in which he suggested Quebec’s famed Van Doos would spend their six-month mission in Afghanistan training Afghan army troops rather than fighting the Taliban.
Families who lost loved ones in Afghanistan were deeply upset at O’Connor as were members of the Van Doos, government officials told CTV.”
The first sentence refers to another CTV report published Sun. Jul. 22 2007, but the assertion that Minister O’Connor suggested that the Van Doos would be engaged in “training Afghan army troops rather than fighting the Taliban” is incorrect. The linked video clip posted on the CTV website, records what Mr. O’Connor actually said: http://tinyurl.com/29og5e
CTV’s Graham Richardson: “Will the mission change or be tweaked in any way? Will there be fewer patrols given what Canadian forces are facing in the south?”
Minister O’Connor: “It was part of our plan to go through essentially a three stage transition. When we arrived in the south, because of the situation with the Taliban, and the situation with the Afghan army, there was very few of them, we had to take on the bulk of the fighting.
And in the last few months we took over sponsorship of one of the infantry battalions of the Afghan army. We’ve trained it to a very high level and it’s out there now conducting operations.
Over the next four or five months we’re going to be picking up four or five additional Afghan battalions to train and mentor and get them out into the field.
And were hoping that by the end of this rotation that’s going in now, the so-called Van Doos rotation, we’ll have about 3000 Afghan army operating within the Kandahar province.
As we train more and more of the Afghan army to carry out their own operations, we will continue to withdraw, train them, put more emphasis on training, and at some stage, basically be in reserve.
CTV’s Graham Richardson: “If all goes according to plan, Canadians will be doing less of a combat role in the south, correct?”
Minister O’Connor: “That’s correct.”
Link to July 22nd CTV news story
Mr. O’Connor was describing a transition plan that was already in progress before the Van Doos arrived, and he did not suggest that the Van Doos would be engaged exclusively in training of the Afghan army in Kandahar.
Yet, CTV reports anonymous “senior government insiders” stating that Mr. O’Connor will be shuffled out of his Minister of National Defence position for a suggestion he never made in that news report.
On Jul 12, 2007, General Rick Hillier seemed to agree with Minister O’Connor regarding the recent successes training the Afghan army battalion, and with the plan going forward.
“This battalion has actually come an incredible long ways. Our soldiers were telling me it’s like looking in a mirror and seeing their own tactics and drills and skills being implemented by these guys,”
“They’re very professional. … They’ve actually been very successful in most operations against the Taliban,”
“I believe that by spring … this organization will be very capable. It won’t be perfect. It won’t be stand-alone. But it will be ready to help play a huge role that essentially has not been played at all until now by themselves,” he said.
Link to July 12th, 2007 Toronto Star news story
During his tenure of some 18 months as Minister of National Defence, Gordon O’Connor has secured the reinvestment in Canadian Armed Forces’ equipment which was depleted by years of neglect by previous governments. Examples of orders secured include heavy lift aircraft, transport helicopters, tanks, and arctic patrol ships. The Canadian Forces are making a significant contribution to the security of Afghanistan, and their morale is reported to be high.
If you believe that Gordon O’Connor is doing a good job as Minister of National Defence and would like to show your support for him, below are a few ways to do so:
1. Phone the Prime Minister’s Office at 613-941-6888 to speak to an assistant to express your support for Minister O’Connor in his role as Minister of National Defence. Business hours for the Prime Minister’s office are 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. If you phone after 5 PM, you will be transferred to a voice-mailbox in the Prime Minister’s office, where you could also leave a message.
2. Email The Right Hon. Stephen J. Harper, P.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Canada at firstname.lastname@example.org expressing your support for Minister O’Connor in his role as Minister of National Defence. You might also consider copying Minister O’Connor’s parliamentary office at email@example.com .
3. Fax The Right Hon. J. Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Canada at 613-941-6900 expressing your support for Minister O’Connor in his role as Minister of National Defence.
Cabinet Ministers have been ordered to be available to meet with the Prime Minister as of Monday August 13, 2007 so there is very little time to get messages of support for The Hon. Gordon O’Connor to the Prime Minister. If you decide to voice your support for Minister O’Connor, please do so before 5 PM on Friday August 10.
It seems the only thing Minister O’Connor is guilty of is letting the press play tricks with his words. If you feel like me and know that Minister O’Connor is doing a fine job, then I urge you to let the PMO know with one of the methods pointed out above.
I would like to add that under Prime Minister Harper and Minister O’Connor, I have regained a faith that Canada is once again becoming the True North, STRONG and free.