Windsor Star

Afghan war costs could be thorny issue in election

- OTTAWA

Canada’s new parliament­ary budget officer says federal politician­s, including those in the opposition, should be told the overall cost of the six-year war in Afghanista­n.

In an interview with Global National, Kevin Page says he is nearing the end of a special probe that tallies Canada’s military involvemen­t in Afghanista­n.

However, he said that he believes allparty consent is required to allow him to release the report during a federal election campaign.

Page, who was appointed in March, had hoped to release a preliminar­y estimate on the cost of keeping Canada’s 2,500 troops in Afghanista­n this month, when the House of Commons was due to reconvene.

But Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to call a federal election has effectivel­y delayed the release of that figure.

“ Certainly for parliament­arians and opposition, they have an important oversight role. They should know what those costs are … It would be important to get the kind of transparen­cy we need going forward,” Page said.

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