National Defence—Cost of OperationsPublished on 31 October 2013 Hansard and Statements by Senator Roméo Dallaire (retired)
Hon. Roméo Antonius Dallaire:
Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Would it be possible to obtain an estimate of the cost of overseas operations incurred by the Armed Forces between 1991, the time of the first Gulf War, and 2011, when the Afghanistan operations ended? I would like to know the approximate total cost including salaries, equipment needs and ammunition to the Canadian government for these operations.
We know, without a doubt, that the total will be in the tens of billions of dollars, and I am not even talking about the 168 soldiers who lost their lives during these operations, which represents an incalculable loss. I am talking about the monetary cost.
The reason I ask is that it took a massive investment to prepare these soldiers, sailors and airmen, deploy them and bring them back to Canada. However, the government does not seem as willing to invest in those who survived, in other words our veterans. We have seen figures: $5 billion over 20 years. Can the government provide figures that reflect how much it has invested so far to take care of the injured? Did the government do a cost projection for this aspect of the issue?