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What is Our Great Country Coming To?

March 27, 2010

I cannot even comment on this. Yes I can! Where can I contribute and can we get Sean Hannity to do a Freedom Concert up here to support this program

Battle over soldiers' scholarship
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Mackenzie Boyes, daughter of deceased soldier Sgt. Jason James Boyes, is held by her mom Alison Thursday during an awards ceremony at the Edmonton Garrison. Sgt. Boyes was honoured with a posthumous award for outstanding courage and professionalism in Afghanistan where he was killed in 2008. (Jason Franson, QMI Agency)

CALGARY – Free university tuition for dependents of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan is coming under fire from professors who say the practice glorifies militarism.

But the academics have been counterattacked by backers of the military, like Royal Canadian Legion former national president Bob Gray, who said soldiers' families should be considered apart from political policy.

"The soldiers don't have a choice in the matter … you've got to separate the conflict from the humanitarian side of it," said Gray, a Calgarian.

Project Hero — adopted last year by the University of Calgary and set to be enacted by the University of Regina this fall — provides scholarships to children of soldiers killed in action.

Sixteen U of R professors have signed a letter denouncing the program as "a glorification of Canadian imperialism in Afghanistan and elsewhere. We do not want our university associated with the political impulse to unquestioning glorification of military action."

It states the U of R should not be "connected to the increasing militarization of Canadian society and politics."

Signatory Dr. Joyce Green said designating the fallen soldiers as heroes insulates their military deployment from debate.

"That is a personal tragedy and loss of life but it is not heroism," said Green, a political scientist. "It's taking something that should be discussed among Canadian citizens out of the realm of debate."

That stifling of debate goes against the mandate of universities, adding all qualified students should be eligible for scholarships, she said.

U of C spokesman Grady Semmens said he knows of no public or faculty complaints here about the program.

Gray wonders if the 16 academics would also question the heroism of Second World War vets.

"They have the freedom to say what they want, but it's gained at the expense of others who served," he said.

Project Hero also provides $1,000 cash for qualified university applicants from those military families.





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