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Shared in accordance with the "fair dealing" provisions, Section 29, of the Copyright Act.


Military blows Afghan budget

Costs for the mission soar $500M to $2.5B

Canadian Press, via Toronto Sun, 19 Nov 06

Article Link


OTTAWA -- Canada's military presence in Afghanistan is costing taxpayers close to $500 million more than original defence department estimates, La Presse reported yesterday.


According to documents obtained by the Montreal newspaper under Access to Information laws, "additional costs" for the Afghan mission were initially pegged at $1.714 billion last March for the period from 2001-2002 to the 2005-2006 fiscal year.


But a new defence estimate dated Oct. 1, 2006, which factors in spending predictions for the 2006-2007 fiscal year, says additional costs for the mission have already reached $2.5 billion, La Presse reported.


The French-language newspaper noted the spending estimate doesn't factor in such things as civilian salaries, depreciation or maintenance costs.


Earlier this month, Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor told the Commons that additional costs for the mission had reached $2.1 billion. He projected additional costs would total $3.9 billion by February 2009, when the current mission is set to expire.


The overall cost for Canada's presence in Afghanistan is slated to reach almost $10 billion by 2009, La Presse said.


The government has already spent $2.3 billion for the mission between September 2001 and May 2006. A total of $466 million of that amount was used for development aid, the rest for military activities.



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