Canadian Forces bought 1.5 million condoms for soldiers

Since 2006, the Canadian Forces has purchased about 1.5 million condoms for Canadian soldiers at a cost to taxpayers of $177,868.

According to an article in La Presse, the taxpayer funded initiative has been in place since World War I as a means to combat sexually transmitted diseases within Canadian military ranks.

Despite strict rules against romantic liaisons during military deployments, soldiers can readily acquire condoms on military base clinics and pharmacies.

Ostensibly, the condoms are meant for soldiers going on leave but the reality is another story.

"The rules are clear: no hugging or hand-holding, and certainly no sex between men and women (or same-sex partners, the regulations stipulate.) Even married soldiers serving on the base are not allowed to fraternize, or show public affection," notes Erin Anderssen in a 2010 Globe and Mail article.

"Military officials, to a certain extent, appear to accept that hanky-panky happens. Reporters driving around the base at night with military police have described catching couples, who wrongly thought that darkness was sufficient cover for a passionate interlude."

What else would you expect, Anderssen asks.

"These are young, buff men and women working closely together in life-and-death situations."

At about 12 cents a piece, the condoms are probably a good investment.

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