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Estimated cost of Iraqi mission to be unveiled before the end of the month: Kenney

WATCH ABOVE: Defence minister Jason Kenney says his department will soon reveal at least partial costs associated with the Canadian Fores mission in Iraq.

Canadians will soon have a better idea of the cost of the Iraq mission, according to Canada’s newly minted Defence Minister Jason Kenney — and it could be high.

“Obviously it’s going to be a significant cost and we’ll be tabling supplementary estimates in the House of Commons in a couple of weeks that detail costs incurred to date,” he told Tom Clark in an interview for The West Block.

Supplementary estimates are tabled in the Parliament up to three times per year and provide information on additional spending requirements not covered in the main estimates.

Kenney said the final price tag won’t be known until the mission is over, however the department has a general sense of the cost to date. In order to spend the money, National Defence will have to get permission from Parliament to spend the money. The first step of that process is presenting the figures in the supplementary estimates.

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The public and most of Parliament are in the dark on the costs of this ongoing mission, but some officials are in the know.

The military provided the government estimated costs of the mission months ago but the government has continually refused to make those numbers public.

In January, Kenney’s predecessor, Rob Nicholson, told Parliament the costs of the mission would be made available through the regular parliamentary process – usually within 90 days of the end of the mission.

At the time, Nicholson said some costs associated with the mission — such as salaries and equipment maintenance — were already allotted for in the federal budget. Any costs incurred beyond those, however, would be tabled in Parliament, he said.

Watch the full interview with Jason Kenney on The West Block this Sunday.

You can watch The West Block with Tom Clark on Global at:

11 a.m. in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan
12 p.m. in the Atlantic provinces
10 a.m. in Alberta and B.C.
The show is repeated 10:30 p.m. in Winnipeg, Regina and Saskatoon, and 11:30 p.m. everywhere else.