Security is worth the cost

As the world de-stabilizes, Canadians must invest more in our own security. We need more diplomats working with our global allies. We can’t expect to have a say in what our allies do if we lack relationships with the people making those decisions. We must make sure that Canadians are in on a decision that might, for instance, trigger a world war.

We also need more security at home: a lot more. Terrorist incidents are on the rise everywhere, and the only way to stop terrorists is to increase the resources we need — computer surveillance programs and spies — to catch them before they do something. Identifying terrorists is not difficult: most of them are radicalized online. But we need the resources and the manpower to keep track of the suspects.

Canada must also pull our weight in military actions. When we send our soldiers overseas to fight alongside our allies — which we must do if we want a seat at the table — they should have all the training, equipment and supplies they need.

Diplomacy, intelligence services and military capacity all cost money. To me, investing in these cornerstones of security is just common sense. So it really gets up my nose when politicians focus so obsessively on keeping taxes low. In comparison with other countries, Canadians enjoy a top-of-the-pack quality of life while paying a middle-of-the-pack tax rate. So I don’t know why we howl like we’ve been shot every time a politician talks about raising taxes, even for a good reason.

We are so obsessed about keeping taxes low that the Conservatives refused to spend the budget allocated for military equipment, even when it was allocated by parliament. According to Power & Politics’ analysis of the Public Accounts, between 2006 and 2015, National Defence left $9.6 billion unspent. The Liberals are not better: in this year’s budget, government is stripping $8.4 billion out of the equipment budget at National Defence.

Folks, politicians do what we tell them. So it’s up to us to grow up and get real: It is not possible to increase security without increasing the budget for security. Nobody likes paying taxes, but it’s about time we stop insisting on a bargain-basement government, stop believing that we can get something without paying for it, and get real about electing a government that will invest in keeping us safe.

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