The general was back in town yesterday – not to give orders but to hand out money.

Former Chief of the Defence Staff General Rick Hillier was in Halifax yesterday to help present the IWK Health Centre with a $50,000 donation to launch a social web site for their young patients. Now retired, Hillier is the chair of the Telus Atlantic Canada Community Board, which gave the money.

While in town, Hillier spoke to several reporters about the mission in Afghanistan.


There are now 116 Canadian casualties, but Hillier said it’s no time to doubt the mission.

“If a mission is worth doing, a mission is worth doing and you have to have those assessments before you go in. The loss of any one of those young men and that young lady that we lost hurts every single Canadian,” he told Metro yesterday.

“You cannot use that as a determination after the fact. You decide this is a mission you want to do because the impacts are incredibly positive for the world and for our country.”

Canada is planning to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in 2011, but Hillier said the mission will take longer than that.

“If Canada leaves in 2011, and that’s Canada’s sovereign right to do so, but the mission will not be finished and other international troops will have to take up the mission and carry it on from there.”

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