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Canada’s Afghan mission tribute not finalized

A ground crew member directs a Canadian C17 Globemaster as it arrives carrying the last troops returning from Afghanistan, Tuesday, March 18, 2014 in Ottawa. Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – The Harper government is negotiating with an outside fundraising organization to cover the costs to bring the families of Canada’s Afghan war dead to Ottawa for a national commemoration.

The True Patriot Love Foundation says the government reached out more than two weeks ago to discuss how the group could help.

The foundation, first established in 2009, has a core mandate to step in where government can’t fund programs that support the well being of members of the military.

READ MORE: Ottawa has no special obligation to soldiers, say federal lawyers

Managing director Bronwen Evans says talks are ongoing.

The idea of honouring those who fought during the Afghan war was highlighted in the Conservative throne speech last fall.

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On Wednesday, CTV News obtained letters that went out recently to relatives of the 158 soldiers who died during the mission.

READ MORE: Families of fallen Canadians in Afghanistan reflect on loss

The notes encouraged them to attend but said it would have to be on their own dime.

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson has said the letters were a mistake and the intention was simply to make sure relatives set aside the date.