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Civilian Personnel in Afghanistan

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Statement made on 08 December 2010 by Senator Roméo Dallaire

Hon. Roméo Antonius Dallaire:

Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Canada currently employs about six Canadians of Afghan origin who help our military personnel both culturally and operationally in Afghanistan and who explain how the Afghan government works. These employees have been in their positions for three years. We have just learned that they will be dismissed for the simple reason that if someone is employed for more than three years, he or she must become a permanent member of the public service, thus for an indeterminate period.

There are still 2,600 soldiers in Afghanistan, and our operations have not yet concluded. These employees will lose their jobs next month because a regulation has not been changed, even though we are fighting in a war overseas. The public service decided not to change that regulation, even though these employees are just as essential as our Leopard tanks and Cougar armoured vehicles and all other military equipment. Can the Leader of the Government give us a positive response regarding changing that regulation?

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