After ten long years of combat, Canadian troops are finally coming home from Afghanistan. Our troops have made huge sacrifices by touring Afghanistan’s most dangerous province, Kandahar, in order to bring freedom and democracy to the people of Afghanistan.
Ottawa - Jul. 19, 2011 - After ten long years of combat, Canadian troops are finally coming home from Afghanistan. Our troops have made huge sacrifices by touring Afghanistan’s most dangerous province, Kandahar, in order to bring freedom and democracy to the people of Afghanistan.
I am pleased to see that these personal sacrifices have made a difference in the lives of the Afghanistan people. When Canadian troops were sent to Afghanistan most Afghanistan children did not attend school. Girls were not allowed to attend school at all or even be seen in public. Women were forbidden to leave their homes unless accompanied by a male relative. Females were virtually prisoners in their own homes. Bribery, corruption, intimidation and lawlessness were rampant. Drug lords and tribal chiefs controlled the nation’s economy. Such was life in Afghanistan 10 years ago.
Today things still aren't perfect but they sure have changed, especially in Kandahar province where our brave Canadian troops did most of their service. Schools have been built resulting in over 6 million young girls attending class regularly. Two democratic elections have been held in which women have been elected as Members of Parliament. A functioning Afghanistan army and police force has also been established.
Much of this progress is a direct result of the heroic performance of our Canadian troops. And the Afghanistan people are truly grateful. A few years ago I had the distinct pleasure of being present when President Karzai addressed our Canadian Parliament, and, with tears in his eyes, emotionally thanked the Canadian troops on behalf of all citizens of Afghanistan for their heroic efforts.
Not only have our troops made sacrifices, so have their families and friends. I met a young soldier who was attending the Cornwall Home and Trade Show with his wife and three young children. He told me he had volunteered for his third tour and was shipping out in five days. I asked his wife how she felt about her husband volunteering to return to Afghanistan for a third time, leaving her with three small children. She said she was worried and afraid but, after hearing firsthand how much he and his fellow soldiers were doing to improve the lives of the Afghanistan people, she was willing to put her concerns aside. This is the kind of commitment our forces' personnel and their families make to our country.
Welcome home heroes! Job well done!
Member of Parliament Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry
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