(Global National) OTTAWA -- In late June 2006, a pair of Soviet-era Illyushin-76 transport planes left Canada, carrying inside their cargo bellies tonnes of precisely chilled ingredients for making doughnuts and bagels.
Along with the precious cargo, six Canadian experts made the 10,000-kilometre journey over the North Pole to a region of the world from which Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs advises its citizens to stay away.
That place was Kandahar, Afghanistan, home to roughly 2,300 Canadian soldiers who are there to fight terrorism and rebuild the nation. Their mission was simple: to set up and train a team of Canadians to open the first Tim Hortons franchise outside of North America, at a place where Canadians feel furthest away from home.
Although while the Oakville, Ont.-based company initially balked at opening a franchise nine time zones from their main market (Canada and the U.S.), negotiations between Tim Hortons and the Department of National Defence eventually led to what was initially thought to be a private franchise operation on the Kandahar airfield -- the site of Canada's main base of operations in the region.
However, through Access to Information requests, Global National has learned that it took a lot more than thirsty soldiers longing for a "double-double" morale boost to open the Afghan coffee shop -- to the tune of nearly $4 million in Canadian taxpayers' dollars.
So. Apparently the huge sum of money that was being taken off of my pitiful checks when I worked for EA was actually going to Tim Hortons. To the troops. Whom we must support...with double doubles and walnut crunch donuts.
Is it just me, or isn't the $4 M better spent on, say, I dont know...bullets and medical supplies and such?
Or is throwing hot coffee in the face of the Taliban more effective? I know the sugar in one of those English Toffee Cappucinos could seriously burn someone's eyes out.