Saying no to war isn’t that easy. When you’ve got a pile of debt from your student
loans, or you’re working a minimum wage job, or you havean unreliable health plan,
it’s hard to refuse when military recruiters dangle a “solution” to your problems.
Let’s face it; higher education is expensive, making university campuses hot
spots for military recruiters to enlist. Many Canadian universities are
affiliated with the Canadian Forces, providing them with booths at career fairs
and space to sprinkle their advertisements around campus.
Recruitment is a big part of the Harper’s Canada First Defence Strategy, and
one of their major approaches to dealing with shortages in the armed forces is
to establish solid relationships with educational institutions wherein lies the
young and the vulnerable.
With incentives like tuition subsidies and messages like “you, too, can be a
hero,” the bait is almost too enticing.
But, there’s a lot these military recruiters don’t tell you on the spot. While
they don’t hesitate to emphasize the benefits of working with Canadian Forces,
they pause when it comes to the ramifications of enlisting, Canada’s foreign
policy and especially when it comes to why we’re in Afghanistan and Haiti.
Details aside, it makes for a pretty glamorous career.
Under the Conservative government, the Department of National Defence spent
over $17 million on advertisements alone, the most out of any government
agency. With that money, Canadian Forces recruited more people than they
Harper promised to pull out troops in Afghanistan by 2011. In the meantime, how
many more young Canadians will be killed?
Following the words of War Free Schools: “Students shouldn’t have to die or kill to
afford to go to school.”
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