Monday, October 7, 2013

Why Doesn’t the Harper Party Support Our Veterans?

Dear Stephen:

Like you, I am a proud Canadian and I am proud of the members of our Military.  The jobs these people are called upon to do are head and shoulders beyond anything that I would be able to do, even when I was in my prime.

What we as Canadians ask of these brave people is jaw dropping, imagine being told that on short notice that you are going to be sent somewhere overseas and that your life will be in danger virtually every day that you are gone and that your tour of duty could last 6 months.  This is beyond my ability to comprehend.

Stephen, you’d probably consider me to be a Looney Lefty or something of that sort because I don’t blindly support where our troops are sent just because the government thinks they should be there.  I’m allowed an opinion, our troops fight to give other that same right in places around the world.

I however never cease in my support of the troops.  I may not like where they are sent or why, but they don’t have a choice in the matter.

But unlike you, my support of the troops does not end when the battle is over and they are brought home.  These people see things that most of us back home will never see; they’ve lived things that thank God most of us back here will never have to live.

I find it incredible that you and your government can so easily dismiss these fine people who’ve risked everything because their country asked them to.  Why can you not support our veterans, especially those who came home with physical and emotional injuries because of where we sent them?

Your government decided it would be more cost effective to hand a lump sum payment to these returning troops who’ve suffered their injuries in combat, and when these people asked instead that they receive a pension, your government blew them off.

In this article from Politisite there is a letter from our veterans calling for the removal of the Minister of Veteran Affairs, Julian Fantino.  Not a request that he step down mind you, they want him fired.

When these veterans asked if they could receive a pension rather than a lump sum payment, they were blown off.  They ended up having to go to the courts to be granted the right to sue for pensions for wounded veterans.  In effect, they had to sue the government in order to sue the government.

Your response, and the response of Mr. Fantino was to appeal the ruling of the court that gives the veterans the right to sue.

In his rebuttal, Mr. Fantino claims that his 40 years in policing makes him a “comrade” to these soldiers, that he has been in the trenches…

Yes, Mr. Fantino was indeed a cop for about 22 years.  I’m sure that when he was working that there may indeed have been some dangers, but to claim he was “in the trenches”?  The only trenches in Metro Toronto are where they are repairing sewers and underground cables.  I seriously doubt that when Mr. Fantino was riding around in a Crown Victoria or whatever they drove back in his day, that he was in any danger of being blasted from the street by an IED.

I think Mr. Fantino is disrespecting the members of our armed services.  What do you think Stephen?

The second half of Mr. Fantino’s policing career was as a Chief of Police in a few different Regions where the biggest physical risk was getting a paper cut from a report.  The same risks that he runs today.

How can he compare a job where at the end of a day of policing, you go home and eat with your family with the life of a soldier who gets to go back to the base after their sortie?  I’ll wager that when he was eating at home, Julian didn’t get serenaded by mortar shells and small arms fire.

If Julian Fantino wants to show his support for our troops and especially to our veterans, maybe he should be in your office, or Jim Flaherty’s office explaining why the members of our armed services should receive a pay raise to correspond to the wages of a working cop, or why our veterans shouldn’t be getting a pension more in line with what a uniformed officer receives at the end of his or her service.

Tell me Stephen, what do we do for police officers that are injured in the line of duty?  Do we hand them a cheque with instructions that they make it last because there isn’t any more coming?

When former members of our armed services came to a committee meeting to ask for better treatment for veterans, it was your friend and neighbour Rob Anders who called them “commies”.  Was this just his opinion or is this the opinion of all your caucus?

Stephen, you love to drape the flag over your shoulders and shout out that you support the troops, but from where I sit, it looks like that support stops the moment they stop being a convenient background in another famous Stephen Harper Photo-Op.

“Nuff Said?


No comments:

Post a Comment