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March 15, 2009

Tories boost military spending in Alberta

CANADA - The Conservative government will spend about $41 million at three military bases in Alberta to prepare the Canadian Forces for future missions and create civilian jobs.

"We're not just investing for the purposes of Afghanistan. This is an overall effort to rebuild and refurbish the Canadian Forces, not just for this mission but for the next and the ones to follow," says Defence Minister Peter MacKay.

The biggest project will be building new training quarters built at the Edmonton Garrison. Soldiers often travel to Edmonton for specific training courses and now often have to be quartered at hotels in the city, says base commander Lt.-Col. Gary Blenkinsop.

The new quarters will house 97 additional soldiers.

While it does make sense that soldiers should be house on base, $41 million seems like a rather steep price just for sleeping quarters for 97 soldiers. Where is the rest of the money going?

They're also going to upgrade water treatment facilities for Canadian Forces Base Wainwright and buy a new refueling system at 4 Wing in Cold Lake, the busiest fighter base in Canada. The three projects together will create 220 jobs over the next two years, says Peter MacKay.

Thats it. $41 million just for that. What are they paying per hour, $30 or $40?

$41 million divided by 220 people, that is $186,363.63 per person. Minus the costs of materials (???), that seems like awfully expensive wages for 2 years worth of work.

Chalk that one up to Conservative government wastefulness.

And why Alberta? Its the Conservative Party's stronghold, where they get most of their donations from.

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