01 June 2010

AJP in the Media: Protesting Project Hero

by Cameron Fenton
May 31, 2010

Project Hero’s tag-line is “Gifting education to the children of our fallen soldiers,” but critics see the program as a tool to drum up support for military presence in Canadian universities, politics and culture.
Photo: Caitlin Crawshaw

Montreal—Project Hero, a military-supported, private sector scholarship program with the mission to “provide undergraduate scholarships to children of fallen soldiers,” has become the target of growing criticism across Canadian campuses. Since professors at the University of Regina spoke out against the program in March, 661 people have signed a growing petition which calls on people to “stand against Project Hero.”

Over the past year, former Canadian Forces chief of staff, Retired General Rick Hillier, and Kevin Reed, the head of the Grey Horse Corporation, have spread Project Hero to 26 campuses across Canada. The program’s tag-line is “Gifting education to the children of our fallen soldiers,” but many critics see the program as both a dangerous encroachment of the military into universities and a tool to drum up support for an increasing military presence in Canadian politics and culture.

“So let's be clear about this: Project Hero is not about these children's education,” explained Martin Hebert, associate professor in the department of anthropology at the Universite Laval and member of Anthropologists for Justice and Peace (AJP), who have been active in opposing Project Hero. “The real beneficiary of all the hype that this project has created for itself are the Canadian Forces, not the soldiers' families.”
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