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Canada's top soldier apologizes for repatriation delay

The Globe and Mail

Apology comes after military decided that plane carrying body of latest slain soldier would stop in Ottawa first ...Read the full article

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  1. Peter Kells from Bytown, Canada writes: This is silly. There is a war going on. In earlier wars, soldiers were buried in the land where they fought. This is quite a new thing where bodies are brought back to Canada. To get all excited about the fact that Trenton was not the first stop in Canada is petty.

    The particular flight in question also stopped in Bonn, Germany for a couple of hours as well - should that also require an apology? Maybe the aircraft should never have stopped in Cyprus to pick up the returning soldiers and the big Airbus should have flown empty but for the remains of this single soldier? They could then have sent the Airbus back to Cyprus to pick up the returning contingent.
  2. Earl Street from Petawawa, Canada writes: The flight carried troops that in the majority came from Petawawa. From Ottawa its an 1 1/2 hour bus ride, vs. 3 hours from Trenton. Logistically it makes good sense to do that. Unfortunately someone failed to correct the flight plan, and/or the busing arrangements. Undoubtably, an oversight in by someone in a very busy transport cell.

    It was the troops themselves who complained about this.

    The CDS correctly apologized for the error.
  3. blackcloud 2 from ontario, Canada writes: General Walt: Bad choice, dumb decision. Dead the rest of her life, against a 2 or 3 hour bus or train ride. Bad Choice.
  4. Mr Ottawa from Canada writes: Why is this front page news?

    The military decided to drop off the returning soldiers closer to their homes so they could see their families sooner before dropping off the casket in Trenton, I don't see a huge issue here.
  5. George BrownIII from Christmas Island writes: Peter kells you just showed an absolute lack of class.
  6. John Galt, a la Wonderland from Canada writes:
    dead
    is
    dead
  7. Just the Facts, Jack from Canada writes: This is about Respect. Respect for the fallen. Respect for the family. Respect for the Uniform and Respect for the Flag. This is not about logistics. This should never have happened.

    Their Name Liveth For Evermore.
  8. Enlightened Citizen of Togo from toronto, Togo writes: Political correctness is so sad. Why ask for comments it you don't wan' t them. Thats why printed news sources are going the way of the dinosaur. Enjoy your jobs while you stil have them. Maybe the Chicago Sun Times is hiring
  9. Earl Street from Petawawa, Canada writes: Mr Ottawa from Canada writes:

    I don't see a huge issue here.
    -----------------------------------------
    The issue is that the soldiers on the plane felt it was disrespectful for them to be home before the body of their fellow soldier was safely back onto our soil.

    By proxy, the whole flight became her escort, and no one wanted to deplane before her.
  10. Greg Stevens from Canada writes: Get over it!

    As a former member of the Canadian military I can't believe this is even a matter of discussion let alone reporting.

    This is a war, not peacekeeping. This is a country which should be iron curtained and left to fend for itself.

    There will be more casualties, dead and injured. Bring them all home now.
  11. charlie brown from Canada writes: George Brown III (gad! what a pompous, lack of class, name). Peter Kells is absolutely right.
  12. jaxy john from Canada writes: Peter Keels, John Galt , you folks have anyone serving in army or in war? A little respect goes far ways!

    anyways--

    1) Why the hell we are there anyways. We have been stupid to be dragged into this mess.

    2) We need to stop following other guys, we need to We need to take our own initiative for our better. We need to get out of there ASAP. We are just being used badly. Wake up, have some balls Canada for sake..
  13. Tor Hill Sask. from Canada writes: I would let the comments of returning soldiers themselves represent best the reaction to this situation.
  14. Commander Groovechild from Canada writes: Unless necessary for refueling, it was poor judgement to land the plane in Ottawa first. It makes the fallen soldier seem like a secondary consideration. The mistake should not be repeated in the future. What a beautiful young lady to die so young without even the dignity of armed combat in the service of her country. I share the pain of her family. Young people often make decisions that they question later in life. It saddens me that this soldier will never be given the opportunity. I take her commitment and bravery at face value and applaud the support of her loving family. But yes the commanding officer made a slip in judgement by not returning the soldier first. Don't do that anymore.
  15. Exer cist from Canada writes: We forget that the mortal remains of our dead, while important, are in no hurry. Her soul is already departed and at peace. It was chivalrous of the returning soldiers to offer 'first stop' to Tpr Blais, but they also deserved a speedy repatriation.

    I suppose that because of the standing commercial DND mortuary arrangements, unloading the dead must be done at Trenton, even if the final destination is in Quebec, which is closer to Ottawa?

    All in all, a tempest in a teacup, on so many levels.
  16. Malone Sumself from Canada writes: All due respect but sounds like blowing a big deal out of someones personal opinion. It may be some peoples opinions that this was crass - others, myself included, see no disrespect of any kind. I doubt that in the grand scheme of things, the fallen would have minded.
  17. O Canada from Canada writes: 'I want to offer my sincerest apologies to anyone who may have been offended by the decision to return troops to Ottawa prior to the final repatriation of our fallen comrade Trooper Karine Blais,' General Walt Natynczyk -- YUCK - I'm more offended by this sappy 'apology'. If he truely was sorry, then he should have just said. I apologize - it was dumb - something like this. But to say '...who may have been offended...' Please! Worst 'apology' out there folks and it should be outlawed!!!!!!!!!!!



    I don't have an opinion on this - I'll go along with the soldiers. They should know what's appropriate and they didn't think this was. Full stop.
  18. charlie brown from Canada writes: Tor Hill. Good comment, as opposed to Saxy John's undetailed and badly spelled rant.
  19. con hack loser PM is bad for Canada from Canada writes:
    Kind of a brain cramp on the CF's part.

    Mistakes happen.
  20. Mary Ellen from Canada writes: I am sorry for the soldier and her family.
    Quote: 'Trooper Blais's uncle, Mario Blais, was unfazed by the stop, describing it as a mistake by the military. 'They're not too sharp,' he said.'
    I would add that our present government is alltogether 'not too sharp', for still trying to mercilessly recruit Canadian youth to fulfill useless and dangerous activities in a country that needs a different kind of support from us: not a military occupation by Western forces.
    Instead, Canada has to start voting wisely on international forums, regarding foreign policy issues, such as the rights of the Palestinians who need to be defended. Canada has to stop being more right-wing than what the newly elected US government appears to be.
  21. Matthew Parsons from Canada writes: Mountain out of a molehill. Media looking for a chance to blast the military, thats it, thats all.
  22. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    con hack loser PM is bad for Canada wrote:
    Kind of a brain cramp on the CF's part.

    con hack,
    The whole mission turned into a brain fart way back when our #1 ally started bombing Afghan weddings.
    Now the Afghan conservatives are celibrating that they can rape again.

    Why weren't Canadian troops shooting the conservatives that are stoning women who are protesting rape ?
  23. A. Be from Switzerland writes: If our military didn't put logistics over ceremony first there would be quite a few more dead people. Like others have stated, for those who are spiritual her soul has gone elseware, and her body certainly isn't in much of a rush to get anywhere. I'm glad that our military doesn't do a funeral march to get the fallen out in the sake of ceremony.

    How about some of those who think this was the 'wrong decision' pay for a plane specifically for returning soliders? I'm sure the ministry of defense would be grateful of the donated resources.
  24. Puk Natcha from Canada writes: Do people make these decisions in a vacuum?
    25 seconds of thought should have been enough to know how this would look. When the chief of staff has to apologize you know some corporal will have his balls busted.
  25. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes: A. Be from Switzerland wrote:
    If our military didn't put logistics over ceremony first there would be quite a few more dead people.

    No A.Be,
    Treton airport is safer than Ottawa airport.
  26. deman76 sunshine from darkside of the moon, Canada writes: Beautiful woman gone because of this stupid war.. Get out of there, 2000 solidier running around in a desert aint gonna do anything but disturb the sand and leave footprints. Why bother staying there any longer. If the Taliban have a base of operation in Pakistan, what difference if they have another base of operation in aftganastan. We are here they are there. Alquieda was not Taliban, they only allowed alquieda to operate in their region. If they can take a plane from Pakistan to go to the west then surely it does not matter where they are. The people have not stood up in sufficient numbers to fight the Taliban so why should Canada stay there to sacrifice our beautiful people. Seems to me some big corporation wants to tame the indians so that they can plunder the land. We dont care, we have enough land iand energy resources in Canada to build rich future. Flags not lowered, its should be lowererd automatically whenever there is a plane in transit. The lack of respect only tells you not to trust any of the government policies...they are wasting lives. We should send a few MPs on patrol on the same road i think that would be a good experience for this wacko politicians ...starting with the Conservatives that put our soldiers in the most dangerous area.
  27. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Puk Natcha from Canada wrote:
    'Do people make these decisions in a vacuum?'

    Natcha,
    The answer is 'yes'.

    Stephane Harper wanted to invade Iraq too
  28. Earl Street from Petawawa, Canada writes: Ironic thing about this; in the CF a decision such as this plane routing is referred to by soldiers as 'failing the Globe and Mail test'.
  29. paulo the seer from waterloo, Canada writes: It might have been more respectful if she hadnt been sent on a pointless mission.

    But hey.
    Lets lay on the pomp and circumstance.
  30. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    deman76 sunshine wrote:
    We should send a few MPs on patrol on the same road i think that would be a good experience for this wacko politicians .....

    deman,
    look what happened to Max Cleveland, Tammy Duckswirth and John Kerry down in the USA.

    The wacko conservatives still own and run the media .......
    ............. even in Canada
  31. adrienne j from Canada writes: I can't say whether the military should have stopped in Trenton first, but I take issue with Retired Major-General Lewis MacKenzie who said ' 'I personally think the trooper would have been the first to agree and say: 'Yeah, let's let these guys and gals off.' '

    Does he know her personally? Can he really speak for her? It's easy to say that when no one can refute him. I don't think any of us should try to justify or explain something by speaking for someone who can no longer speak for themselves because they have died fighting for our country.
  32. Paul Sheridan from Hawkestone, ON, Canada writes: A young soldier lost her life. Show some respect. Those lucky enough to return home safely could have attended the ceremony in Trenton and just as easily gotten back on the Polaris (Airbus) for a quick flight to Ottawa after. Either way, they're lucky to be back home. The CAF should surely show more respect for a soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice.
  33. COUNT IGGYTOSIS OF IFFYLAND from Dildo NFLD, Canada writes: The article is more disrespectful than the flight. Making an issue where none exists.
  34. DAVID DIVER from Comox, Canada writes: I can't really comment on this whether it was a tactical error or crass stupidity. What I would like to know is what would have happened if a general had been in the casket -bet you no such 'mistake ' would have been made.

    And if it's a question of convenience or saving money perhaps we should not be at war because wars are not convenient (except to unscrupulous politicians and ambitious military leaders ) nor do they come cheaply either in lives lost or to the Treasury.
  35. robert harris from Canada writes: What comes first; Celebrating a homecoming or honoring your dead who made the ultimate sacrifice for us all. The issue is why the brass confused their own comfort against what is right. That plane should have landed in the Gaspe first.
  36. Mike McFae from Canada writes: The only mistake here is that the flag wasn't at half mast at the first ( practical ) Canadian stop . It was a mistake.

    I think this young soldier/lady would forgive ...can't we ??

  37. Merely an Observer from Canada writes: The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    'Stephane Harper wanted to invade Iraq too'.
    ...and Chretien's government was preparing a battle group for Iraq as well.
  38. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Mike McFae from Canada wrote:
    I think this young soldier/lady would forgive ...can't we ??

    Should her comrades shut up ?

    and forgive ?
  39. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Merely an Observer from Canada wrote:
    ...and Chretien's government was preparing a battle group for Iraq as well.

    Observer,
    That was before the IAEC and HansBlick said there were no WMDs.
    And before Italy said Bush's 'Niger uranium' letter was a forgery.

    Chretien is still brighter than you and Harper combined ...............
    ............. most to the world is
  40. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    ..... And before Blair's 'Downing Street memo' said Bush and Cheney were 'fixing intelligence'
  41. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:

    Goods News ................... Stephane Harper trails Jack Layton.

    Bad news ....................... Only in Quebec.
  42. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    The Liberals are leading in 9 provinces ................
  43. Life is Funny but i do Love it from Toronto, Canada writes: If it was my body returning home, I would not minded if they stopped on the way to let people go home first.. They have families too! Its not like my life was in danger and by me being 2 hours or so late was going to make a life or death difference-- I am already dead! And i consider myself pretty selfish-- She was a soldier-- i want to believe she was selfless and caring and would not have minded!
  44. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Life is Funny,
    Sounds like you never had anyone killed in war.

    Did you vote for Harper ?
  45. Mike McFae from Canada writes: Last Honest Conservative, sorry didn't see your litany of juvenile insulting responses.... you're any annoying areshole.
  46. R. M. from Regina, Canada writes: I am ashamed to be a Canadian when I see the political partisanship evident in this forum which really should be closed for comments. The Globe and Mail isn't capable of managing these forums. Time for them to go.
  47. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Mike McFae from Canada wrote:
    I think this young soldier/lady would forgive ...can't we ??

    Mike,
    Please don't be insulted.
    just answer the questions:
    Should her comrades shut up ?
    and forgive ?
  48. J F from Canada writes: The simple fact is her comrades in arms judged it a breach in etiquette and protocol. Who better to judge,eh?
  49. M Ireland from Canada writes: The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Mike McFae from Canada wrote:
    I think this young soldier/lady would forgive ...can't we ??

    Should her comrades shut up ?

    and forgive ?

    EXCELLENT, we have a mind reader on the forum. I don't think anyone can put words into this individuals mouth.
  50. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    R. M. from Regina wrote:
    I am ashamed to be a Canadian when I see the political partisanship evident in this forum.

    RM,
    I hope you are complaining about Mike McFae and his partisanship and lack of facts
  51. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Thanks Ireland ................
  52. Richo Richardson from Canada writes: I cannot believe the heartless and ignorant comments of so-called Canadian citizens tonight. A young Canadian soldier is DEAD!. I am an immigrant, have been fortunate enought to be in Canada since 1981, and I believe I have more CANADIAN in me than some of you!!
  53. Jimmy K from Toronto, Canada writes: I don't want to incite the mob here, so I'll be brief.

    We are at war. We were told to expect casualties. Here they are.
    She had already passed away, and I don't see how ruining logistics just to get her to a ceremony a couple hours early makes any sense at all.

    I think the anger here isn't so much directed at how the casualty was handled, but the fact that a 21 year old lost their life in war we are unsure of.
  54. Merely an Observer from Canada writes: The Last Honest Conservative; hmmmm, based on your usual diatribes, such a brilliant* response as 'Chretien is still brighter than you and Harper combined ...............
    ............. most *to
    the world is'
    certainly speaks volumns about your own 'luminous' intellect. lol
    Good luck with that.
  55. J Birch from Hamilton, Canada writes:

    There should be a rule that no war be allowed to last longer than WWII.

    We have better use for our troops and their valuable lives than supporting a country that allows rape as Govt policy.

    Emigrate the thinking Afghans to the West and leave the country to the 9th Century they so wish to belong to.

    .
  56. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Jimmy K from Toronto wrote:
    I think the anger here isn't so much directed at how the casualty was handled, but the fact that a 21 year old lost their life in war we are unsure of.

    Jimmy,
    I lost 2 grandfathers in 1914 and one in 1939.
    All wars are 'unsure'

    It took the USA 2 years to decide which side to join WW2..........
    ............... Hilter's army finally froze to death in Russia in 1942.
  57. rufus giroux from Canada writes: I can understand the viewpoint of the other soldiers on the flight. In their boots I'd feel much the same, I'm sure. Reality is that they were not the honour guard for her, and they have to let the 'system' take care of her and get her home, which it did.
    Those who think that things could have been done differently don't have much experience with DND movements. It would have been easier and probably weeks faster to charter another plane for her alone than rearrange the rotation transport scheduling. On the taxpayer's dime, of course.
  58. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Observer,
    That was before the IAEC and HansBlick said there were no WMDs.
    And before Italy said Bush's 'Niger uranium' letter was a forgery.

    Chretien is still brighter than you and Harper combined ...............
    ............. most to the world is
  59. M Ireland from Canada writes: I think the best thing for everyone to acknowledge is that opinion (although valuable) is entirely irrelevant in this circumstance. The fact is we have had one of our own who has passed away in an environment that not all may agree with. NONETHELESS, there was a sacrifice made and I am very proud (and very sorry) that it had to be one of our own.
  60. Brian Pelican from Denver, United States writes: Richo Richardson from Canada writes: I cannot believe the heartless and ignorant comments of so-called Canadian citizens tonight. A young Canadian soldier is DEAD!. I am an immigrant, have been fortunate enought to be in Canada since 1981, and I believe I have more CANADIAN in me than some of you!! \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Richo, seems you haven't really learned all there is to being a Canadian. Never have I witnessed Americans from one state trashing those in another state like Canadians do between provinces. The only time they stick up for other Canadians is when it is a choice between another Canadian or an American. A sad reflection on the Canadian psche.
  61. Merely an Observer from Canada writes: ...and 'most to the world is' brighter than you too.... lol
    well, you're entertaining if nothing else.
  62. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Birch from Hamilton wrote:
    'Emigrate the thinking Afghans to the West and leave the country to the 9th Century they so wish to belong to.'

    Birch,
    Where should the 4,000,000 Iraqi refugees that Bush and Cheney created go to ?
    Texas ?

    Should Iran and Syria accept any more ?
  63. John Smith from Canada writes: This is all Harpers fault ...

    Extending the mission in 2007 and 2009 ...
  64. J Birch from Hamilton, Canada writes:

    The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Birch from Hamilton wrote:
    'Emigrate the thinking Afghans to the West and leave the country to the 9th Century they so wish to belong to.'

    Birch,
    Where should the 4,000,000 Iraqi refugees that Bush and Cheney created go to ?
    Texas ?

    Should Iran and Syria accept any more ?

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Last I checked we weren't in Iraq

    As for moving them to Texas, novel idea, it might help make it a more progressive state - glad you thought of it

    Hey George, best dust off the fancy eatin' table, company's a comin'

    ; )

    .
  65. Mike McFae from Canada writes: Last Honest Conservative, why do you have to be so obnoxious. Try a Dale Carnegie course. Also , can someone translates M. Ireland`s comments...they are nonsensical.
  66. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes: JBirch from Hamilton wrote:
    'As for moving 4,000,000 Iraqi refugees to Texas, novel idea, it might help make it a more progressive state - glad you thought of it
    Hey George, best dust off the fancy eatin' table, company's a comin'
    ; )'

    Birch,
    Sorry but Bush family always lives in a 'compound'.
    Its a family tradition since the Hilter days.

    He may do a GOP photo-op with an Iraqi servant cleaning up his fancy eating table.
  67. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Mike McFae from Canada wrote:
    I think this young soldier/lady would forgive ...can't we ??

    No Mike, don't be abnoxious, Please don't be insulted.
    Just answer the questions:
    Should her comrades shut up ?
    and forgive ?
  68. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Mike,
    Harper is already trailing the Liberals because of the likes of you.
    Please don't give the Liberals a 14% lead ......
  69. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Hell,
    That Igfnguy is leading Harper in the #1 province.

    Even Jack Llayton is leading Harper in the #2 province.

    The only province that Harper has a lead is where they can't count past 2 .................... ;)
  70. Art Luscombe from Canada writes: Uncle Mario's untoward comments are forgivable. He is obviously ignorant of things Military, logistical or logical.
  71. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    The best news is that Saskatchewan can now count past 2 again ...
  72. Mike McFae from Canada writes: Last Honest Conservative, firstly there is no such word as abnoxious. Secondly , why are you so angry . JMJ , you've got an audience of 3 ...be nice .

    xo
    Mike
  73. The Last Honest Conservative from Western, Canada writes:
    Mike,
    Maybe there is no such word as 'obnoxious'
    ............. scroll back to your 1:38 post and stop whining

    You remind me of Bush, Cheney, etc
  74. Mike McFae from Canada writes: Last Honest Whatever, ....Bush Cheney ???....what's that got to do with anything ...too much drama weirdo ???
  75. Let me tell You How It Is from United States writes: JOSH WINGROVE writes from The Globe and Mail offices in TO: ' military plane carrying the remains of Trooper Karine Blais dropped off troops in Ottawa — where flags weren't lowered'.
    What a condescending Canadian Hypocrit. I'm sure the flag outside the G&M offices was at full staff and not lowered either. More likely G&M offices don't even have a Canadian flag as they are so dithering and not wanting to offend anyone in Canada.
  76. DAVID DIVER from Comox, Canada writes: Brian Pelican from Denver, United States writes: Richo, seems you haven't really learned all there is to being a Canadian. Never have I witnessed Americans from one state trashing those in another state like Canadians do between provinces. The only time they stick up for other Canadians is when it is a choice between another Canadian or an American. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Oh you make America sound like a heavenly country where there is much hugging and love shared by all. Never read American political blogs? Never read the bile against each other (eg. Democrat v.Republican )- regardless of State? You don't believe there are many of you still fighting the civil war? Black versus White prejudices? Non-existent? Tell us another... Can't quarrel with you about Canadians versus Americans and if the truth be known you collectively don't think much of us either -which is fine by me. You guys have caused too much trouble with your high falutin opinion of yourselves and your love of weapon technology, massive military might that's obscene by all standards,etc. You don't think that there are millions who look upon your internal troubles with some satisfaction because of the way you have behaved to smaller, comparatively defenceless nations, the way you have exploited poorer countries with untapped resources, and your double standards in foreign affairs? So keep your nose out of our cotton-pickin business - we don't invade your blog sites so don't invade ours...
  77. Walt A from Windsor Ontario, Canada writes: First all due respect is given to family of this lady who sacrificed her life in performing her job for this great country. As a retired soldier who flew to Europe many times, we have to understand that the plane is home based in Trenton. It only makes sense to stop in Ottawa first as all overseas passenger flights do. From there is a 25 minute flight to Trenton where Trooper Blais was given the full respect she properly deserves. To fly to Trenton then back to Ottawa or busing a greater distance to those returning after serving our country would have been an injustice to those coming home to see their loved ones after time away. I know I was always anxious to return. Everyone in the military has a great respect for their fellow soldiers and we frankly are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Rest in Peace Trooper.. Bravo Zulu...

    W.Argent, CD.
  78. Proud Canadian from Canada writes: Two bit government in Canada, the PM isnt worth a dime. Sooner we get these bafoons out of office the best for all. The only respect they have are for Kory Teneke and that Giorno clown in the PMO. Thats what runs this country, a banana republic dictatorship. Led by big Steve, fat Steve, big fat dumb Steve.
  79. Fed Up from Halifax, Canada writes: Seriously, what is the big deal about this? Was Trooper Blais' family left standing on the tarmac for hours while the plane was in Ottawa? It's not like they did a milk run right across the country.
    I know her family is grieving, and the whole country feels this loss, but i don't see the disrespect here, and heading straight for Trenton isn't going to bring her back.
  80. David Bakody from Dartmouth, Canada writes: Peter Kells from Bytown, Canada writes:

    Wake up trapper! There is no war going on ... 'NO DECLARATTION OF WAR' has been issued ..... this is a politically inspired conflict where our brave soldiers have been tasked to police a country deeply involved in the world distribution of drugs ..... prior to NATO drug production in Afghanistan was estimated at 1200/T/yr now it is over 10,000! And in case you may have forgotten Canada is paying the wages of 5,000 Afghan police officers!
  81. Ground Working from Canada writes: This is stupid, I agree.
  82. Squish_a_p From BC from Canada writes: OMG, have we become a nation of weak kneed, whining nitwits! This is a non issue. While I feel bad for the family of our latest casualty, she chose the military for a career..........back off. Why is it we expect an apology from everyone for everything? It's getting to the point that everyone has to second guess themselves before they go to the washroom. NON ISSUE. The young trooper wouldn't have cared who got dropped off first.
  83. Burgermeister Meisterberger from Canada writes: I don't understand why everyone is so somber and upset about missing the repatriation. Between now and 2011, there will be many more opportunities to attend this type of ceremony.
  84. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    God bless the fallen young lady. When I looked at the picture, I said, dear God....SO YOUNG.!!!!!!!!
    .
  85. G Montcler from Canada writes: Cant' the G&M find better commentators than the two has-beens (Drapeau and McKenzie?
    A tempest in a teapot.
  86. Gerry Pankhurst from Westport Ontario, Canada writes: The media are not content just to display their obsession with grief by long broadcasts and accounts of the repatriation ceremonies that invade the privacy of the mourning at highly emotional times. They have now injected themselves into directing military flight logistics. The heroic soldier was no less dead as the result of the chosen route home and the living heroes got to their home base at the earliest possibly moment. Where is the harm and why is this a story at all?
  87. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: I personally think the trooper would have been the first to agree and say: 'Yeah, let's let these guys and gals off.' ' Lewis MacKenzie

    Perhaps the fallen soldiers might, or might not, have said that.

    But, Lewis MacKenzie is not correct in speaking for them.

    Creepy comment.
  88. Zack Fair from Canada writes: It really only is a matter of opinion. I don't think it is right or wrong either way and it really depends on how you look at the situation. The CDS' response was adequate. Ottawa airport made a boo-boo though. The flag should have been lowered. Most probably a lack of communication.
  89. sev man from Canada writes: To the families involved my thoughts go out to them all. On the issue at hand I think the soldiers themselves are questioning the mission; and this is on of the only ways in which they can express themselves. No doubt this is something that occurs in all theaters of war. What this appears to be is the soldiers (or perhaps the one who sent the email) attempting to get a message across to the Canadian public- Respect them, respect their lives and don't send them into harms way on a fools mission.
  90. Kim Huynh from Montreal, Canada writes: Maybe this was the last mile she had to go before she slept. And that is part of a soldier's life. The protocols and the ceremonies are designed for the living, the dead just don't care. For all the fuss, we should look at it with a good insight: She was treated as equal as any other comrade-in-arms. She shared with them whatever it is even in her death. May she be at peace no matter what we are chatting about here.
  91. Tim McDermott from Rawdon NS, Canada writes: Catherine Wilkie,
    Lewis MacKenzie understands the psyche of a soldier better than you or most other commentators ever could. He knows what motivates them, what draws them together, and what annoys them.
    Soldiers put the needs of their brother and sister soldiers ahead of their own. They will willingly lay down their life to save one of their own, and they will make untold sacrifices without complaint, or remorse. I am as sure as Lew MacKenzie that Trooper Blais would have wanted her fellow soldiers to return their families as quickly as possible. I am equally sure, that those same soldiers wanted to stay and see their fallen comrade off first.
  92. Commander Groovechild from Canada writes: There are some strong conflicting viewpoints on the handling of this fallen soldier. In the promotional commercials, the Canadian Armed Forces left out the part about being handled like baggage if you die in battle. I choose to let the death of this young lady be the one that changes my opinion on the war. I am not putting everything on the shoulders of the commanding officer. To me he just made a slip up. The general point is why this young lady had to die at all. The taliban has the home field advantage as we would if anybody tried to invade us. The Afghans cannot expect an external army to protect them for decades. Their freedom must be paid by their own. I just don't believe it was necessary for this young lady to give up her life so the Afghans can have decades of subsidized military intervention. I understand that she wanted to have children and a career. Now so many soldiers have died it seems normal to stop off somewhere before returning the body. This is not what I had in mind when government increased its military budget. The budget is the budget. Governments come and go. This young soldier goes beyond the budget and policy positions. It is like somebody asking me to give up the life of my kid nephew maybe so a foreign nation can have fresh water supplies. No, sorry. This mission should be terminated.
  93. Frank Sinatra from GUELPH, Canada writes: I hope some one from brass level at DND would be reading these comments:

    How come a soldier was allowed to involved the media in the first place?

    Was he allow to do so according to the service agreement or laws?

    I totally believe that it was an internal affair and should not be publicized any operational or logistical movement.

    Imagine what else could be shared later on.

    Please take a pro-active action to stop getting to the media next time.

    Thank you.

    Sincere Citizen...
  94. Catherine Wilkie from Canada writes: Tim McDermott: Lewis MacKenzie should stick to his own thoughts and resist the impulse to speak for others.
  95. 514 boy from Sudbury, Canada writes: The routing of this plane is a non-issue. Until the 1970s, Canadian soldiers who died overseas were buried overseas in Commonwealth War Graves. Perhaps the debate on the legitimacy of the landing in Ottawa was created by the CF elite as a way of distracting Canadians from the higher question of whether Canada should be in Afghanistan at all. It might work for a day or so.

    Let's review that facts. Canada went into Afghanistan to please the US, not to help Afghan women. To suggest otherwise is to display tremendous naivete about how nation-states operate. As then Defence Minister John McCallum said, we are in Afghanistan because we want to be in Iraq even less. The Afghan mission has been extended despite the objections of the vast majority of Canadians. Public opinions from 2006 to the present have consistently shown that a majority of Canadians oppose our participation in this US-led war. A majority of Canadians dislike Harper's decision to prolong this mission past 2009. It is not even clear that our Afghan mission will succeed in getting the US to honour the terms of NAFTA.

    Canadians support the troops and do so by demanding their immediate return to Canada. Like a majority of Canadians, I think that Canada should get out now rather than in 2011.
  96. Kathy H from Canada writes: The rela apology should be for not bringing all of the troops home. Alive.
  97. Aaron Peter from Ottawa, Canada writes: Mario Blais is embarrassing his niece and her family. Trooper Blais died doing a job she believed in; she died serving others. Does this make Mr. Blais' niece 'not too sharp?'

    I am sorry for Mr. Blais' loss, but the fact that he is a relative does not lend credibility to his ignorance - and I wish Canadian media would stop quoting him as if it does!

    I have lost three friends in Afghanistan, yet I am not calling for an immediate withdrawal. Why is this? Am I brainwashed? Or could it be that most of the ignorant jackasses who chime in on this forum don't understand the issue? EVERY TIME you unthinkingly repeat your 'support the troops by pulling them out, let Canadians look Canada first, we've always been peacekeepers' garbage you SPIT on the memory of my friends, you SPIT on the memory of all Canadians who have ever fallen in battle or died in the service of others, and you SPIT on soldiers like me.

    That's okay. I serve so you have the right to be as spoiled and ignorant as you want to be.
  98. J M from Canada writes: and no one mentions that idiotic soldier who, rather than use the chain of command to fix an error, he decides to call the press. If he had done his job, this might have been fixed. He should be charged, and if discovered he will be. Our military defends democracy, not practises it
  99. Zack Fair from Canada writes: Tim McDermott ref your reply to Catherine. I totally agree.
  100. Joe Citizen from EVERYTOWN, Canada writes: WAS THE STOP NECESSARY TO FACILATE SOME SICK SIDE OF HARPER'S HIDDEN AGENDA ?
  101. John Doucette from Canada writes: I was wondering what that large military jet landing at Ottawa airport yesterday AM was, now I know. But why an escort of 2 CF18's was necessary I am not sure? Anyone?
  102. D Mac from Canada writes: I don't see it as a big deal but then again I'm not a soldier- I don't put my life on the line- It would have been a small gesture to overshoot Ottawa and return.

    The bigger question should be do our commanders on the ground and at HQ know what they are doing on the ground in Afganistan? We assume they do but there is very little coverage-

    More coverage of the war and less on the cermony would honour these soldiers in a more respective way.
  103. Vincent Clement from Windsor, ON, Canada writes: Must be a slow news day. The only problem I see, is that flags were not lowered. Beyond that, not much to report here.
  104. G Montcler from Canada writes: Tim McDermott from Rawdon NS, Canada writes: Catherine Wilkie,
    Lewis MacKenzie understands the psyche of a soldier better than you or most other commentators ever could'
    With all due respect, the world has changed since MacKenzie retired .
  105. Toronto Rocks from Terrana, Canada writes: YOu know what? All you armchair hawks and military strategists about what is right and wrong and this being a 'war' are idiots.

    This girl and all the others that have died or been injured have been in vain and an utter waste of life, possibility and dreams.

    I wish that you all experience that kind of loss THEN come in here and claim to be all military historians about valour and honor and all that other good stuff about war. And its not a war. Its a joke. Bring them home. Or send Harper's and Martin's entire male relatives over 18 there to fight for Canada.
  106. Lyn Alg from Canada writes: Why is everyone so shocked at how one of Canada's heroes has been treated by the military? After all, this is 'lack of respect' of fallen Canadian soldiers by their own leadership has been the hallmark of the Harper government. Remember when Harper gave a personal directive that the returning coffins of fallen soldiers who had died in defense of Canada could not be shown in the media nor could photographs be taken and shown to Canadians. And this is our Prime Minister Clueless.
    Is it any wonder that the polls that came out yesterday show clueless Harper 10 points behind Iggy. In fact, in Quebec, Clueless is a distant third behind Jack Layton. If there were to be an election today, the Liberals would once again receive a majority government mandate. So long Harpinski. The end is high !!
  107. Lyn Alg from Canada writes: Re Peter Kells from Hogtown: The major point of disrespect in this utterly,shameful, matter was the fact that flags were not flying at half-mast while the plane touched down. It's explicitly obvious that you have never had the guts nor the courage to fight and risk your life for Canada. You are one pitiful Canadian. Hang your head, little Petie. Join Harper's exclusive club.
  108. roy stephenson from Waterloo, Canada writes: It says something when a government thinks nothing of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on 1st class airfare so it's MPs can go on questionable junkets, but they say they couldn't afford to let this brave woman's platoon mates go to Trenton with her.
    After all, all she did was die for her country, despite her reservations about Afdrugistan.
    If Lewis MacKenzie thinks had been elected, he'd be flying 1st class right now with all the others. I have no respect for him.
  109. A Johnson from Canada writes: The fallen are flown to CFB Trenton as it is the closest military air base to Toronto. The protocol is that there has to be an autopsy performed on the body, and at the forensic centre in Toronto as there is not a forensic centre in Ottawa, before it can be laid to rest. This procedure was explained at the beginning of the war, when the first were returned; it was in the news media, print, internet and TV.
    I do think that the flag at the Ottawa base should have been lowered: there had to be a pre-submitted flight plan and so the base would have known who was on that aircraft (this is only a personal opinion, and I'm not in the military though the daughter of a man who was in the RCAF for 25 years).
  110. Steve French from Windsor, Ont, Canada writes: I feel offended that ALL our soldiers were not returned home from this stupid fiasco.
  111. B . from Canada writes: My condolences to her friends and family, it is a sad tragedy.

    As far as transport is concerned, I don't see what the issue is. Her remains were treated with respect. What is the point of worrying about where the plane stopped on the way. It is not an issue. It is practical. Being practical is not a sign of disrespect. Stopping the plane in Trenton first would not bring her back.

    I am deeply saddened by all of our soldiers' deaths and I have mixed feelings about whether we should even have people over there. However, let's keep this in perspective. Complaining about where a plane stopped is a non issue in my mind. We can and should show respect for our fallen soldiers, but this is something that I think should be of no concern. The plane was probably destined for Trenton, so what would it do, fly to Trenton, drop her off, fly to Ottawa, then fly back to Trenton? Or make over 100 soldiers spend an extra hour and a half on the bus? Doesn't make sense., Again, my deepest condolences to the family and friends.
  112. Freddie Fender from Canada writes: It is an obscenity that most of these so-called 'commentators' on this thread have chosen to make this a political statement with their usual anti-CF and anti-Harper tirades. This was simply an administrative mixup that should not have happened, but it did. General Natynczyk has stated that this will be corrected and not happen again.

    Tpr Blais, RIP.
  113. Frank Madigan from Capreol, Canada writes: Lets bring things into perspective here. Repatriation ceremonies as such are a thing of the Jean Chretien style era. It was down when it was thought there would be only one soldier killed every five years. It is not only not etched in stone as Lewis Mackenzie said it is not even etched in soap. It is not a tradition. I point out the fields of honour in Flanders, Japan, Korea where soldiers of Canada lay with their comrades where they fell in Commonwealth war cemeteries. I would think they would like that. It would seem to me the family of the last fallen would have been better served in the aircraft had landed in Quebec city. Trenton works with Ontario people and St. John would work for those from the Maritimes. We started something and it has grown and it should be a lesson to us. Think with one's brain and not with one's heart. Jean Chretien often thought with his heart. Not a bad trait but sometimes it doesn't work. We will have to stop this 'tradition' before we need a ceremonial Minister to spend his time at Trenton while the real Minister does his work in Ottawa. A letter from the GG thanking the families for their sacrifice would be the way I would see it go.
  114. garlick toast from Canada writes: They don't lower the flag in Ottawa when one of our soldiers dies. The troops don't have IED-proof vehicles to ride around in. Who's running this undeclared war, Inspector Clouseau?
  115. Li Chi Ho from Saskatoon, Canada writes: Please stay on topic -- talk about disrespectful!

    A Canadian soldier gave her life in the performance of her duty. There can be no higher honour than that.

    The flight was diverted -- oops -- people make mistakes. Read the article instead of getting all huffy and puffy about what is really a tempest in a teapot. The article quotes, 'Trooper Blais's uncle, Mario Blais, was unfazed by the stop, describing it as a mistake by the military. 'They're not too sharp,' he said.' That should put an end to it. I also served in the military many years ago. M. Blais makes a correct observation - they're not too sharp. Move on.
  116. Toronto Rocks from Toronto, Canada writes: A letter from our separatist leaning GG on behalf of Canada and who else?

    Please.
  117. Pierre Brassard from Inthesticks - Quebec, Canada writes: As this is within a war effort, the only criterion regarding the routing of flights has to be the efficiency of the war effort. As the flight has to end in Trenton where the airplanes are based and serviced, it is only efficient to make this the last stop, deceased soldier on board or not. To show the absurdity of any other option: if it was a matter of making the deceased soldier's flight the most direct, then the Airbus would leave theater and fly direct to Toronto to disembark the remain for autopsy, then revert to operational flying, in this case go back to Cyprus, Bonn and land the troops in Ottawa. The horrendous cost of this flight plan would then have been picked up by Sheila Fraser on her next jaunt into DND, and apologies would have been unwarranted, but the military would not have leg to stand on in asking for more funds for the war effort, having shown how inefficient they could be. It is not a matter of respect for the deceased: there is a war on, whether we agree with it or not, and every effort must be put to using our resources as efficiently as possible.
  118. Michael Popowich from victoria, Canada writes: Once again the present leadership of our military and former leadership of our canadian military are out of step with we the people. As a former soldier I am not surprised, since the american military had the same problem in vietnam. But we as canadiens have the ability to do things better..
  119. Syed Mohammad Husain from Toronto, Canada writes: The lowering of the flag is more important than another added stop which could have been necessitated by technical reasons such as fuel replenishment etc., depending upon the equipment flown.
    It is I hope only a blunder--not honoring a fallen comrade who gave her life for nothing I would say.
  120. Vote for your country from Canada writes: R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    God bless the fallen young lady. When I looked at the picture, I said, dear God....SO YOUNG.!!!!!!!!

    You're right Mr. Carriere, so young indeed. Sometimes I think that more people should take a stroll past Stadacona at 8AM as everyone there, regardless of what they are doing, stops for the anthem. It's a humbling moment. And then they can look at the faces of those young men and women and pause to think about what the world would be without them in it and how those so young could be so aware of what is being asked of them. Humbling. Which I guess in the end is why we all search our souls for meaning andm any of us are so fundamentally conflicted on so many levels if it means their loss.

    So very young indeed.
  121. bruno barsuazie from Bloomfield, Canada writes: Sad as it is to lose another member of Canada's proud military forces in a battle theatre the important thing is that her remains were received at CFB Trenton regardless of the route. I think it is another example of too much information spread to the masses so that those who are against our efforts might rant and rave. My condolences to the grieving family.
  122. A Voice From Halifax from Canada writes: The Military is full of tradition, and I can assure you that it directly affects many of their decisions. Because of this, when tradition is not used, it feels strange and presents questions from those who work and live within the military environment. I think this is why those returning military members were insulted that 'one of their own' was treated with a lack of dignity, compared to what is considered normal tradition. Also, how sad for those returning military personnel, who just spent 6 months risking their lives and taking lives, to self witness how little their military institution really cares about them. Quite a slap in the face I would think. Finally, for the apology, it seems the military officers are trained on how to offer an apology without ever accepting responsibility. So why bother apologizing unless it is only for optics. I think the real apology is owed to all military personnel, more so than to the public and even the fallen soldier's famil, because we don't understand all that traditional stuff, but I assure you that every military person certainly does. I have heard many active military members refer to the Canadian Forces as the Mob, I fully understand why. It seems that the soldiers have so little say in what happens to them, their families and their lives for 20 years. Ottawa and its Brass need to worry about their personnle more and their own careers less! An angry citizen
  123. Toronto S from Canada writes: There were several who came back home in that flight .One after completing her last turn of duty duty for her country, and the others after completing a tour of duty required from them alive. The one who made the ultimate sacrifice should have been dropped off first . After all Trenton is not too far from Ottawa for a plane if someone gave it some thought . We have had an appology from the chief of staff that should be enough. This is a far cry from the earlier days when the Haper Government was bringing them back under secrecy.
  124. Nick B. from Canada writes: I can't believe some people: 'Lyn Alg from Canada writes: Why is everyone so shocked at how one of Canada's heroes has been treated by the military? After all, this is 'lack of respect' of fallen Canadian soldiers by their own leadership has been the hallmark of the Harper government. Remember when Harper gave a personal directive that the returning coffins of fallen soldiers who had died in defense of Canada could not be shown in the media nor could photographs be taken and shown to Canadians.' Actually, I don't, but like most people who've actually worn a uniform, it doesn't bug me that someone decided they didn't want repats to be media circuses. I would want my NOK and family to decide that. If it were me, or any of the my friends I discussed it with, all the better to get the other people on the plane back to their families rather than delaying them in Trenton. These were people who have been over there for six months, getting them home to their families matters. garlick toast - similarly, if you were to talk to CF members they would either be completely indifferent about the Peace Tower flag - and those who actually know the tradition or understand it would be aghast at the idea of lowering. It was never once lowered during WW2. It flies at full stave save for Nov 11 as I recall, when all fallen are commemmorated. I think that's the right way to do it and that's the way it's always been until the Liberals changed it. I really am getting fed up of 'Uncle Mario', though, what an embarrassment she would surely be to Tpr Blais. He's entitled to think what he wants, but by stating his opinions in the manner he does he is essentially making a mockery of everything her niece stood for. As I'm possibly being deployed next year I've laid out a lot of instructions for my folks about what happens if the worst happens, and my biggest is fear is some sort of smearing like this.
  125. Winston Churchill from London, Canada writes: Pierre Brasard and Nick B. are right, of course. This is just silly. Lots of experts, freely expressive of outrage, who don't know a schmick about logistics, air transport, Canadian tradition, soldiers generally or what else needed doing. One question: what time was the family told the body would be returning? What time were the families in Petawawa advised that their loved ones would be back? Wouldn't it be rather ridiculous for the coffin to be sitting on the tarmac awaiting the family, with, meanwhile, lots of wives and kids sitting about in Petawawa? Only if the Blais family was kept waiting would this even be an issue. Q: why does the press, incidentally, keep taking as 'family spokesman' that member of the family most disposed to grandstand -- and not only in this case? The Mother and Father of the fallen in this case haven't said much, but what they have said indictes that they are far less critical, and disposed to sound off that the Uncle. Puts me in mind of the ridiculous case, last year, of a girl friend's father very disposed to speak for the deceased. In that particularly unlovely case, it wasn't until the fool's comments became so outrageous that the grieving parents (who would have presumed to maintain decorous silence) were smoked out for purposes of indicating that he had the thing utterly, horribly wrong. Is that what the G&M wants to see here? Did it apologise that time? This is just to say that the G&M, like most posters here, don't really give a r*ts*ss about Trooper Blais, other than to use her as weapon against the Government and the leadership of the CF.
  126. Neo Cynic from Nassau, Bahamas writes:

    Ole Walt 'insignificant notch' Natynczyk apologizes for failing to drop off in a timely manner yet another 'notch'.
  127. Nick B. from Canada writes: Winston Churchill, no one got kept waiting. The plane followed its scheduled flight plan and arrived in Trenton when it was supposed to as far as I can tell. In fact, things went pretty smoothly I think - I would have been out on one of the Highway of Heroes bridges if I didn't have somewhere I had to be, so I was driving along the 401 East when it passed and it was actually earlier than I would have expected given the normal timelines for deplaning and the ramp ceremony at Trenton. And you're right, this does sound a lot like the story of Cpl Boneca (the soldier who you are alluding to - one loudmouth who has his own opinions making altogether too much noise.
  128. Steve French from Windsor, Ont, Canada writes: This young girl died for 'political' knob polishing. Nothing more.
    I am sorry to the family that this insane war is being conducted in my name, and all Canadians.
    Warpigs hold sway over Canada, there is nothing I can do about it.
  129. Winston Churchill from London, Canada writes: Thanks for that Nick. So, to sum up, 'nobody was kept waiting'.
  130. bob jones from Vancouver, Canada writes: Editor, Please close this forum. Some odf the comments a very insulting.
  131. J Birch from Hamilton, Canada writes:

    bob jones from Vancouver, Canada writes: Editor, Please close this forum. Some odf the comments a very insulting.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EDITOR, please DO NOT close this form.

    People have a right to express their views. A right that this young soldier died trying to give to Afghans - the right to speak and think freely


    Bob, if you don't like the comments, suggest you stop reading - nobody is forcing you

    .
  132. gilles monenemie from Montreal, Canada writes: Folks we should be spending our energy on preventing further deaths. Harper has given up on this war, a war he once fought for canada to continue. Why has harper given up on this war? My feeling is its money it costs, not that he really is concerned with soldiers not coming back alive.

    How many canadians would we have coming back in body bags if Harper had been PM during the time of the IRAQ war decision. Harper in many ways has a primary reponsibility for this quebec soldiers death. He must be held accountable for extending Canada's participation in this war and the death of each new soldier that dies in afghanistan in the coming months.
  133. Neal McC from Canada writes: It is sad to see how many of these comments attempt to devalue the cause of the afghan people and by proxy the ideals that this young women died to save. we are in Afghanistan because the earlier actions of western nations are at least partially responsible for their current situation. (try Charlie Wilson's War for a good synopsis) The people of Afghanistan do not deserve to be controlled by the small bunch of ignorant bullies who operate the Taliban. The women of the country deserve education and liberty, such as they had under Mohammed Daoud Khan's 1978 democratic republican government before American and Soviet intervention lead to the near complete break down of law in the late 1980s. This mission is one about ensuring the freedoms we ourselves have for those who equally deserve the chance at a better life. Karine Blais and others who have sacrificed themselves for this cause did so not out of political 'knob-polishing,' as others have suggested, but to give these ultimate gifts to the people of Afghanistan. This is a worthy a cause as any and I thank them for it.
  134. Tim McDermott from Rawdon Ns, Canada writes: G Montcler,
    You're right, the world has changed since BGen Lewis MacKenzie retired. However, the profession of soldiering has not. The soldiers of Afghanistan are motivated by the same things that motivated their predecessors. They risk their lives, and endure hardships, not for Queen, nor country, nor political objectives, they do it for each other. Professional soldiers, like Lewis MacKenze recognize that. Outside commentators who don't wear, or have worn a uniform have a much harder time grasping that fact.
  135. donald patterson from lalaland, Canada writes: Whomever made this despicable decision should be removed immediately from any command and shown the door,this is an inexcusable error in judgment and shows disrespect for the young lady who gave up the rest of her life,so that these command minions could look good come promotion time.It is time that the minister of defense showed the country that he is more than words,when the commends these soldiers for their sacrifices. So far no staff officers have died in Afghanistan ,probably because they are far removed from danger,pity.
  136. Commander Groovechild from Canada writes: Apparently some posters feel that the military is controlled by logistics officers. Members of the military follow orders. We have a responsibility to ensure that military protocols and missions conform to the needs and expectations of the public. I have worked as a civilian with members of the military. I think they are outstanding individuals. I think Bush was proven to be a halfwit and the worse president in the history of the United States. This death marks a point in time when perhaps we should rethink our involvement. The Afghans should consider sacrificing their own children before we sacrifice ours. Their dependency on foreign forces is itself a hurdle that we have to overcome. In the history of this country our commanders used to send soldiers to certain death. That is not acceptable anymore.
  137. Carol-Ann Blackburn from Kitchener, Canada writes: Whether we approve of our being in Afghanistan or not, we are there! Our troops return, either alive, dead or injured and their return home should be respected, in any condition.

    The returning soldiers felt that they were the 'Honour Guard' for Trooper Blaise and that she should have been dropped off first. The military personnel who were responsible for the scheduling of the plane felt that the living soldiers had priority to the dead. Both positions have merit. Since it was the soldiers themselves who took exception to disemarking first, they should have been consulted. Either way, they all returned, and that is really all that matters.

    The apology that was given really was a non-apology, since he didn't offer an apology for his actions but apologized if you were offended. He should not have bothered!
  138. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14, 2008 AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country And On Top Of That I Think Harper Has To Go (And I Don't Mean To The Loo), Canada writes: Proud Canadian from Canada writes:

    Two bit government in Canada, the PM isnt worth a dime. Sooner we get these bafoons out of office the best for all. The only respect they have are for Kory Teneke and that Giorno clown in the PMO. Thats what runs this country, a banana republic dictatorship. Led by big Steve, fat Steve, big fat dumb Steve.

    ----------------------------

    Lyn Alg from Canada writes: Why is everyone so shocked at how one of Canada's heroes has been treated by the military? After all, this is 'lack of respect' of fallen Canadian soldiers by their own leadership has been the hallmark of the Harper government. Remember when Harper gave a personal directive that the returning coffins of fallen soldiers who had died in defense of Canada could not be shown in the media nor could photographs be taken and shown to Canadians. And this is our Prime Minister Clueless.
    Is it any wonder that the polls that came out yesterday show clueless Harper 10 points behind Iggy. In fact, in Quebec, Clueless is a distant third behind Jack Layton. If there were to be an election today, the Liberals would once again receive a majority government mandate. So long Harpinski. The end is high !!

    --------------------------------------

    Did you two and any other partisan goofs - Liberal or otherwise - even read the article?

    "Canada's top soldier issued an apology late Thursday after it was revealed the military plane carrying the remains of Trooper Karine Blais dropped off troops in Ottawa — where flags weren't lowered — before heading to Trenton for her official repatriation.

    While the Canadian Forces refused to say if the practice of making pit stops with a soldier's casket on board was common, some military observers said it is."

    This has nothing to do with Harper.
  139. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14, 2008 AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country And On Top Of That I Think Harper Has To Go (And I Don't Mean To The Loo), Canada writes: J Birch from Hamilton, Canada writes:

    bob jones from Vancouver, Canada writes: Editor, Please close this forum. Some odf the comments a very insulting.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EDITOR, please DO NOT close this form.

    People have a right to express their views. A right that this young soldier died trying to give to Afghans - the right to speak and think freely

    Bob, if you don't like the comments, suggest you stop reading - nobody is forcing you

    -------------------------------------------

    Well said J.
  140. Carol-Ann Blackburn from Kitchener, Canada writes: Neal McC from Canada writes: It is sad to see how many of these comments attempt to devalue the cause of the afghan people and by proxy the ideals that this young women died to save. we are in Afghanistan because the earlier actions of western nations are at least partially responsible for their current situation.
    -----------------------------------------

    We are not in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people, but to rout out the terrorists who were responsible for 9/11. The Taliban. What the other issues with the Afghani people are none of our business. The fact that they rape and devalue their women is not our problem but a human rights issue. Our soldiers are NOT their to stop that. That will stop eventually, with time, when the Afghan women chose. We are there because Al Quaeda attacked the US and we followed into Afghanistan in support of an unappreciative neighbour.

    Do not confuse one reason with another. Why we are in Afghanistan really is beside the point. The point of this entire situation is the treatment of a dead returning soldier and the living soldiers returning objected.
  141. Satellite Steve from St Agatha, Canada writes: Ironic how a bozo of a merc, with no respect for the the living whose rights he is being paid a huge bonus to subvert, is suddenly a crybaby over those of someone to whom it makes no difference. What next? Perhaps mink lined body bags in a private jet.
  142. Nick B. from Canada writes: Carol-Ann Blackburn makes some pretty ridiculous comments here: "The returning soldiers felt that they were the 'Honour Guard' for Trooper Blaise [sic] and that she should have been dropped off first. " Really? Did you talk to them, because I didn't see that comment anywhere. Tpr Blais' Honour Guard and Bearer Party were not on the plane. They were waiting for her in Trenton for the flight's scheduled arrival at 2pm. Given that I saw the motorcade on the 401 in Ajax at about 4pm, and the deplaned/ramp ceremony takes around an hour (I know, I've been to one), it seems that things ran mostly on schedule there. The flight plan for this aircraft existed already. The plane would have stopped in Cyprus to pick up the 117 troops, anyhow, so the "stops" issue is a non-issue. Carol-Ann later posted saying, "We are not in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people, but to rout out the terrorists who were responsible for 9/11. The Taliban. What the other issues with the Afghani people are none of our business. The fact that they rape and devalue their women is not our problem but a human rights issue. Our soldiers are NOT their to stop that. That will stop eventually, with time, when the Afghan women chose. We are there because Al Quaeda attacked the US and we followed into Afghanistan in support of an unappreciative neighbour. " Actually, I'd suggest, Ms Blackburn, that neither the point you are trying to counter nor the point you are trying to make are correct. Go to www.afghanistan.gc.ca and see what the official Canadian mission is. It's supporting the legitimate elected Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, securing it against the Taliban insurgency, creating its own security capability, and developing the country.
  143. Andrea Dufferin from Canada writes: Here's an idea. Why don't we just get out of Afghanistan altogether, so
    we don't have to worry if proper pomp and protocol is being observed? People can't see the forest for the trees... it is time to GET OUT of this artificial war dreamt up by our neighbours.
  144. J Birch from Hamilton, Canada writes:

    Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14, 2008 AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country And On Top Of That I Think Harper Has To Go (And I Don't Mean To The Loo), Canada writes: J Birch from Hamilton, Canada writes:

    bob jones from Vancouver, Canada writes: Editor, Please close this forum. Some odf the comments a very insulting.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EDITOR, please DO NOT close this form.

    People have a right to express their views. A right that this young soldier died trying to give to Afghans - the right to speak and think freely

    Bob, if you don't like the comments, suggest you stop reading - nobody is forcing you

    -------------------------------------------

    Well said J.

    -------------------------------------------

    Thanks Jason, appreciated. The best epitaph we can give this young trooper is to heighten, not stiffel, open discussion.

    Those who make shameful comments, well, the shame rests on them, not the process

    Hope all is well out east with you. Spring is here, and new beginnings

    ATB

    .
  145. Tor Hill Sask. from Canada writes: I'm pretty much almost crying after reading the respectful posts. One poster above said he was against the war but couldn't do anything about it. I have to say I feel the same way. The only way to stop the war would be if every citizen rallied against it or if the war could somehow become a ballot box question. Our governments are very adept at keeping the decision-making about war well out of the reach of citizens.
  146. B Ken from Ktown, Canada writes: I agree with D Mac's 8:20 post. More coverage of what's happening in Afganistan and less of this type of reporting would be welcome. Most people have no clue if there are results or progress being made on this mission that has seen so many fallen soldiers. If we knew that there is progress, and what that entails, perhaps more Canadians could offer their support to the troops and their mission.

    My sympathies to the Blais family.
  147. Roger Egert from somewhere, Canada writes: Mike McFae from Canada writes: The only mistake here is that the flag wasn't at half mast at the first ( practical ) Canadian stop . It was a mistake.

    -------------------------------

    Yes, it certainly was a mistake (or oversight).

    Extremely disrespectful too.
  148. Peter Kuehn from KELOWNA, Canada writes: As sad as the death of all decent beings is, enlisting to be a Soldier has the inherent risk of going to War and getting killed. Personally I think that too much is made of this. The same People who complain about this 'happening', complain bitterly that our Governments spend too much money.
    This Soldier died, it matters little to her if she was an hour longer on the plane or not. The reaction by her fellow Soldiers is understandable, for the rest, why don't you get exited about something concerning the living ?

    My Heart goes out to all relatives of all fallen Soldiers anywhere. Death is however closely associated with this job, and that will never change.

    Lets not forget, Soldiering is a voluntary form of work, for which they get paid. It is a job they choose to do, with the potential consequences well known up front.

    Perhaps we should not be fighting Wars, other then to defend our own Country, but that is why we have elected Governments, to make those decisions for us.

    Dying is just that, dying. The fact that it is a Soldier, does in itself, not make it heroic, just sad. I am always gratified to see and hear the immediate relatives of a fallen Soldier, show more dignity then most of the individuals indulging in useless accusations, but are on the personal level unaffected. Those do not add honor to the death of any Soldier, but just the opposite.

    Attacking our Politicians, and calling them names, only shows up those who do it, as largely uninformed and would be better off to keep their thoughts for themselves.
  149. Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14, 2008 AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country And On Top Of That I Think Harper Has To Go (And I Don't Mean To The Loo), Canada writes: J Birch from Hamilton, Canada writes:

    Jason Roy from Central Nova - After October 14, 2008 AKA STILL Peter MacKay Country And On Top Of That I Think Harper Has To Go (And I Don't Mean To The Loo), Canada writes: J Birch from Hamilton, Canada writes:

    bob jones from Vancouver, Canada writes: Editor, Please close this forum. Some odf the comments a very insulting.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EDITOR, please DO NOT close this form.

    People have a right to express their views. A right that this young soldier died trying to give to Afghans - the right to speak and think freely

    Bob, if you don't like the comments, suggest you stop reading - nobody is forcing you

    -------------------------------------------

    Well said J.

    -------------------------------------------

    Thanks Jason, appreciated. The best epitaph we can give this young trooper is to heighten, not stiffel, open discussion.

    Those who make shameful comments, well, the shame rests on them, not the process

    Hope all is well out east with you. Spring is here, and new beginnings

    -----------------------------------

    Not a problem J....as I said beofre I have no problem recognising quality regardless of one's politics....

    ....however - as noted before, politics doesn't apply in this case.

    As for spring - it is a new season as you say...however in my neck of the woods we seem to have gone from last winter to this winter.
  150. Carol-Ann Blackburn from Kitchener, Canada writes: Nick B. from Canada writes a lot about nothing. Canadian soldiers are in Afghanistan as a supporter of the US declaration of 'War on Terror.' That, and that alone put us there. There may have been other issues come into play since the original Declaration of War, but let there be no mistake, we are there because of the War on Terror. The human rights issues may be in existence now and may be a factor of our continued stay, but they are not the original reason for our being in Afghanistan. If it were simply the human rights issues, we would be all over the world. Heck, for that matter, perhaps we should have all our troops right here at home enforcing Human Rights with our native population!

    As per the article itself:
    "An anonymous Canadian soldier e-mailed CTV before the scheduled stop, complaining of the "shoddy treatment of a fallen Canadian soldier." When the network arrived at the Ottawa airport, the comments were echoed by some disembarking soldiers."
    It was not me that said that they felt they were the 'Honour Guard' for Trooper Blaise, it was them.

    My original comment was simply that, in this situation, there were two differing stands. The military decided that the living soldiers had priority to return to their homes before a lost soldier, and that is what happened. End stop. With that, I am torn, but in reality, I have no doubt that the waiting families in Pet are just as glad that they were returned home first.

    On a side note here, it really does make me proud of being a Canadian, and very very glad that there are Canadians such as yourself able and willing to stand on guard to honour our returning dead. The Highway of Heroes is truly special to Canadians as a whole and to the world as a shining example of what should be done. For that, I thank you for being there, since I cannot.
  151. Stubborn Ox from Calgary, Canada writes: Peter Kells

    It's nice to see there are still a few people left in this country with the ability to think and reason independant of what the media and/or Harper tells them.
  152. Nick B. from Canada writes: Carol-Ann - nowhere did I see that they mentioned being an Honour Guard, since those come from the Rear Parties of the Battle Groups. I don't know who was involved, whether it was Dragoons from Petawawa or if they brought troops down from Valcartier from another Vandoo Battalion. Some troops felt slighted, perhaps, but many probably didn't. There's quite a discussion about it happening on a military board I frequent. You are right that the original deployment of Canadian soldiers to Afghanistan was part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the US War of Terror. That was the Third Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group. Many people forget that they were sent to Kandahar in 2002 for an explicitly combat role. That particular role was just the first deployment, we have a lot of other roles which is why I suggested perusing the link I posted - or even the ISAF homepage which I think is isaf.nato.int. Since that time, however, the mission has now evolved considerably. We no longer are part of OEF, but the International Stabilization Assistance Force, a NATO operation which is built around providing security necessary for reconstruction and development in Afghanistan. That involves training military and police, some infrastructure development assistance, and battling insurgents from time to time. It's a long way from purely War on Terror stuff. I've been very proud to see the Highway of Heroes emerge - it's a neat thing because it just came out of nothing and I find it amazing. I've been in a motorcade which got a similar response (taking a fallen soldier from his funeral to the National Military Cemetery in Ottawa), and it is an incredible thing to see.
  153. R B from Kingston, Ireland writes: Sometimes it seems when military matters come up on here there are two sets of posters. The military types. practical, realistic and informed but perhaps not too open to seeing another side and civilians like myself. My father was a colonel though and I know that, if we were still with us he would have felt as I do about this matter. It is not grandstanding on the part of the Globe and Mail to bring this story to the attention of the public and I think it was gutsy of the individual who broke the story to have done so. I can see the issue of Ms Blais's death occurring during a rotation as being an issue. I can also understand the need of the returning soldiers of wanting to be home. However, the article cites that some of these people felt a need to be with Ms Blais at the repatriation in Trenton. It is the respectful and proper thing. I have made the trip to Trenton as often as I could to be at the fence for the repatriation. The format stays the same. Rotatation soldiers are in evidence at the repatriation. I guess it is over and done now and no doubt there will not be a repeat of this. It has been mentioned that the protocal is not 'chipped in stone' so will this practice remain the same. The protocal was consistant for all other repatriations and then changed on this one. It does not sit with me. I am also not comfortable with the comments, paticularly from senior brass about this being what Ms Blais would have wanted. No doubt these comments were well intentioned but like this whole thing....handled badly and this was an insensitive act really. Again, I know this is a matter of opinion and that the majority of posters think there is nothing amiss here. I think this young lady was short changed, not intentionally, but short changed all the same.
  154. B, Ont. Canada from Canada writes: At one time the fallen were buried in the countries they fell in. This is a fairly new event of bringing them home, and I don’t think it is written in stone that the flights are not to make stops. Now maybe some one should have made sure at the least the flag was at half mast, but this equipment is also use in the operation of war, transporting our troop’s home is also a vital part of that operation. I see no need to make this an issue, and our Chief of staff and McKay have said this will not happen again.

    She is home almost, let her rest in peace.
  155. Steve French from Windsor, Ont, Canada writes: So, it doesn't bother any of you nitwits that a young girl died for nothing, you are offended by the lack of protocol?
    Big deal.
  156. B, Ont. Canada from Canada writes: What protocol, where and who says the plane can not land, and no she did not die for nothing.
  157. M Ireland from writes: Mike McFae from Canada writes: Also , can someone translates M. Ireland`s comments...they are nonsensical.
    ---
    Apologies for assuming that anyone could understand that a) no one can put words into this soldiers mouth, and that b) opinion about what she may have thought or said is pretty useless after the fact and that we can be both proud and sorry at the same time.

    Perhaps if there was a forum for speaking louder and slower we could further explore.
  158. R B from Kingston, Jamaica writes: Mike Mcfee
    Thank you Mike for your succinct and well intentioned criticism of my post. You, of course would be the benchmark to which we all aspire.

    Janet
  159. Nick B. from Peterborough, Ontario, Canada writes: R B I didn't see any comments from senior brass presuming to know what Tpr Blais might have wanted. The only such comment came from Lew MacKenzie, who was stating his opinion. He is a private citizen now that he's retired, and doesn't speak for anyone but himself.
  160. EX Forces Ampuroid from Canada writes: Steve does it bother you as a Canadian citizen who can vote that you had four opportunities to gain support for your own view and get that girl out of there and you failed to do so now you are responsible?

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