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Can You Hear Us Now?!?

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Can You Hear Us Now?!?

Post by Teentitan on Thu 01 Aug 2013, 07:44

Duty to veterans


From Vimy Ridge to Dieppe to Juno Beach to Korea and Afghanistan, Canadian soldiers have made untold sacrifices for their country. Tens of thousands died, and many, many more thousands came home with physical and mental injuries. Canadians have always believed that they have a sacred obligation to care for their heroes, and it is absurd, indeed somewhat insulting, for the Conservative government to claim that the country owes no such obligation to our veterans.

Federal lawyers, fighting a class-action lawsuit filed by injured Afghanistan war veterans in British Columbia, told a judge to dismiss the case because the government owes them nothing more than what it has provided under a controversial new veterans charter. The charter replaces lifetime pensions with workers’ compensation-type lump sum payments that are less than the pensions. Veterans’ organizations are furious at the government, and rightly so.

This is a government that is always trumpeting its support for our troops and veterans. It is a government that goes to great lengths to recognize past military achievement by restoring historic military names and changing insignia. The prime minister and his senior ministers love to visit foreign bases and have their pictures taken with soldiers as a show of support. They love to give speeches and visit the graves of fallen heroes who died abroad, but when it comes to really standing up for soldiers, and putting their hearts where their mouth is, it is another story. Support for soldiers is not about politicians donning military fatigues for photo ops, and it is not about symbolic gestures. Support for soldiers is, and should be, about helping them unconditionally when they are down and need our help. Since the First World War, Canadian governments have recognized their “sacred obligation” to our veterans, and whether it is those who fought in Normandy or Afghanistan, we owe them that obligation. Always.
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