Fly the flag high

Peace, order, and good government are the premise upon which Confederation took place in Canada.
This Sunday will mark the 140th anniversary of the Confederation Act of 1867. And for those 140 years, governments of Canada have used those words as a basis in which to govern.
Often, as various factions of Canada felt slighted, the question of peace, order, and good government seem to have fallen aside. Yet we continue to use those words to explain our understanding of how our country works.
On Sunday, we should take time to think about what that bold Maple Leaf on the Canadian flag is saying in Afghanistan. Our soldiers, who often have to fight to provide security for the people of Afghanistan, are projecting Canada’s philosophy of fairness to the people of Afghanistan.
One only has to ask the question “When in the last century has Afghanistan had peace, order, or good government?”
The principles of peace, order, and good government that we espouse as Canadians are just as important to the people of Afghanistan. Unfortunately, centuries of tribal government and outdated beliefs make change a difficult process there.
Securing a lasting peace is the first step in helping Afghanistan. Without that peace, the building of schools, the opening of medical clinics, the construction of roads and railways, and building an honest government cannot take place.
Our soldiers seem to attract more attention from the media when they are in battle, rather than when they are building infrastructure. Yet it will be the infrastructure of new classrooms, clean potable water, medical clinics, a non-corrupt police force and government that will modernize Afghanistan.
Unfortunately, creating that peace often forces our troops to battle insurgents who would choose to deny their own citizens basic rights.
The construction of schools will educate all children whether male or female. The opening and operating of medical clinics now staffed by Canadian Forces men and women eventually will be turned over to Afghanis and other international non-governmental organizations.
Our advisors to the Afghanistan government are helping that new government grow to meet the needs of its population. All of these steps will take years.
Our troops in Afghanistan are helping to build a path to the future for that country. When we look at the Maple Leaf that flies proudly above our buildings, we have to remember that we have men and women who are taking an active role in trying to bring similar values to a country far away and who are wanting a better life.
Our flag says a lot. On Canada Day, let’s fly our flags higher than ever and show our troops in Afghanistan that we are behind them.

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