MacKay focuses on humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan



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Five-year-old Max Gosselin of Calgary and Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay team up to fix a Children’s Museum pin to the child’s shirt yesterday on Stampede Grounds.


Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said it’s important for Canadians to get a glimpse of the international humanitarian work being done in countries like Afghanistan, instead of just looking at the combat role Canada plays.

That was the focus of the Canada Pavilion at the Roundup Centre on Stampede Grounds, where nearly a dozen different Government of Canada departments were represented with the theme geared toward “Public Safety — Get Prepared.”

MacKay toured the Pavilion yesterday, greeting and speaking with members of various agencies that are doing work at home and abroad. The minister got comfy in the driver’s seat of an RCMP cruiser, helped make a presentation on a security preparedness kit and met with members of the public during his hour-long visit.

Mackay praised the efforts of organizations doing work that is largely overlooked. He said the government wants Canadians to be more informed about the type of work that is being done in countries like Afghanistan — and the pavilion at the Stampede is one way to get the message out.

“I think it’s important Canadians are getting some factual background in context, clearly with Afghanistan itself — it’s a very complex mission that has many facets,” he said.

“I think it’s also a responsibility on the part of the government to show the type of work that’s being done, to lend credence to the mission itself and to continue to keep Canadians informed about the sacrifices that have been made by Canadians throughout this mission.”

The Canada Pavilion will make stops at 10 Canadian cities this year as it makes a coast to coast tour across the country.