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Invictus Games shame

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Re: Invictus Games shame

Post by Dannypaj on Wed 27 Sep 2017, 15:37

BinRat wrote:I think he needs to change this line... Para 9

"Today’s disabled veterans no longer receive pensions, but a one-time lump sum payment or “award” depending on the severity of their injuries, up to a maximum of about $360,000 a year for those incapable of self-care."

From reading this part you'd get the sense that Veterans will get up to $360K a YEAR. even tho it does say a one-time
lump sum on top line, reading that $360K a year people will forget the one-time lump sum payment part


I posted the error on a Facebook site.

Danny, You are absolutely right. But that is not what is in the article.  I state" to a maximum of about $360,000 for those incapable of self-care. "  I believe that is the only direct reference I make to the max lump sum payments.  Will look at the article again.

It reads differently now and doesn't mislead the Canadian general public.
$360,000 a year, maybe if my first name started with a capitalized O.
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Smol: Invictus athletes, take a knee to protest the government's neglect of veterans

Post by Guest on Wed 27 Sep 2017, 15:16

Smol: Invictus athletes, take a knee to protest the government's neglect of veterans

ROBERT SMOL
September 27, 2017

Without a doubt, Canada’s disabled veteran athletes competing at this year’s Invictus Games in Toronto are worthy of the public’s respect and admiration. Day by day, competition after competition, this special, elite element of our disabled veteran community is living up to the motto of the games:


“I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.”


Finding the will and the strength to compete, and being selected for the Games, will certainly help these individual disabled veterans on their road to personal recovery. But just how much will these gritty athletes promote the cause of the majority of disabled veterans who, because of government cuts, denied services and unkept promises, are now too broken and sick to even consider competing?

Although they likely don’t intend it, Canada’s competitors, in their public display of “power over PTSD” and “determination over disability” are inadvertently validating the recent actions of both Liberal and Conservative governments vis-à-vis disabled veterans.

Our winning veteran contingent must be ready to accept the fact that, every time they make it to the Invictus podium, they stand as the political mascots and ideological handmaidens of our government ­and its approach to veterans.

Maybe those Canadian Invictus athletes who are no longer on active service might want to take a cue from America’s NFL (and athletes in other sports) and “take a knee” on behalf of their fellow disabled veterans the next time O Canada is played the Games. Only then might there be some serious debate and consideration of the issues affecting our demoralized veterans.

Whether our Canadian Invictus athletes like it or not, every achievement on the track, in the pool, or on the sports field is also a “win” for our prime minister, his cabinet (including his Veterans Affairs Minister) and all that they stand for.

A veteran’s disability is typically the result of that person’s service to our government; that is what qualified him or her for this competition in the first place. Assuming that Canada still has a sacred obligation to care for our disabled veterans – something our Liberal government pays lip service to – then what our athletes achieve in the course of these games is a direct celebration of the government’s actions in fulfilling its sacred obligation to veterans.

This might explain Justin Trudeau’s exuberant support for the games. A win for Canada is also a win for those who, for more than a decade, have continued to passively tolerate the regressive policies and broken promises of both Liberal and Conservative governments.

These policies include Stephen Harper’s decision in 2006 to implement the previous Liberal government’s act eliminating disability pensions for wounded service personnel. These promises include Trudeau’s stillborn 2015 election pledge to reinstate those same disability pensions and provide free post-secondary education to all veterans.

Meanwhile, veterans not on the Invictus team continue to commit suicide and suffer family breakdown. They are still denied access to veterans’ hospitals, are refused benefits, and sometimes must panhandle on the streets.

Of course, Canada’s civilian Invictus athletes, no longer subject to military law and discipline, have earned the right to express their admiration or opposition to our political leaders in any law-abiding manner they choose. The Invictus podium, and all it represents, belongs to them!

As does the option of using that “unconquerable” Invictus podium as a world stage for civil disobedience on behalf of their fellow veterans. They could emulate the NFL in “taking a knee” – but here, they would be protesting callous government indifference and neglect.

Go, Canada!

Robert Smol served for more than 20 years in the Canadian Armed Forces. He is currently an educator and writer in Toronto. Twitter: @RobertSmol1

rmsmol@gmail.com


http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/smol-invictus-athletes-take-a-knee-to-protest-the-governments-neglect-of-veterans

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Re: Invictus Games shame

Post by pinger on Tue 26 Sep 2017, 21:17

Well said Binrat. It ain't per year as some Canadians may read. Stupid typo.
Policy documents are much worse though.

Hope all is well...
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Re: Invictus Games shame

Post by BinRat on Tue 26 Sep 2017, 20:02

I think he needs to change this line... Para 9

"Today’s disabled veterans no longer receive pensions, but a one-time lump sum payment or “award” depending on the severity of their injuries, up to a maximum of about $360,000 a year for those incapable of self-care."

From reading this part you'd get the sense that Veterans will get up to $360K a YEAR. even tho it does say a one-time
lump sum on top line, reading that $360K a year people will forget the one-time lump sum payment part

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Invictus Games shame

Post by Guest on Tue 26 Sep 2017, 16:15

Invictus Games shame

The flashy spectacle of individual strength is inspiring, but it’s in a legacy of deliberate political indifference towards disabled veterans that our Canadian Invictus athletes are competing


BY ROBERT SMOL SEPTEMBER 26, 2017


Invictus Games Team Canada co-captains, Simon Mailloux (right) and Natacha Dupuis (left), practice sprints at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence in Victoria, B.C. on April 4, 2017.

This week, disabled military veterans from 17 countries are competing in the 2017 Invictus Games in various prominent venues across the city.

Founded in 2014, the Invictus Games are an adaptive sports competition giving disabled military athletes an opportunity to compete on the world stage and rise above the physical and mental disabilities resulting from their military service.

“Invictus” is Latin for “unconquerable,” and the Games are inspired by the poem of the same name by William Ernest Henley published in 1888. The poem ends with the lines: “I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul.”

A compelling idea, arguably one veterans should be entirely behind, right? The men and women competing will no doubt prove to their countries and the world that they are masters of their fate. Huzzah!

However, there’s also an unintended impression that these Canadian Invictus athletes are likely to leave among politicians and the public: that each and every disabled veteran out there inherently possesses the individual skill and power necessary to rise above their service-related disabilities.

In reality, the emotionally charged examples of “power over PTSD” and “determination over despair” that will be on display in competition this week are the exception in what is a mostly demoralized disabled veteran community in Canada.

Canadian politicians, and the public they represent, adore a stereotypical view of military veterans shrouded in Herculean mystique. We are seen as strong and self-reliant. Physical and mental scars sustained in combat reinforce the “ready, aye, ready” perception of us.

This veteran love-in, though, quickly sours when we recognize that for the last 12 years, successive Conservative and Liberal governments have been trying to divest or delay their legal and financial responsibility to care for today’s disabled veterans – starting as Canada began to scale-up its core combat commitment in Afghanistan in 2005. It was then that Prime Minister Paul Martin’s Liberal government introduced the so-called New Veterans Charter. This act effectively ended a nearly two-century tradition of lifelong disability pensions for disabled service personnel.

Today’s disabled veterans no longer receive pensions, but a one-time lump sum payment or “award” depending on the severity of their injuries, up to a maximum of about $360,000 a year for those incapable of self-care.

The advantage of lump-sum payouts, and no doubt why the feds prefer them, is that they significantly reduce the government’s financial liability. Most vets who apply receive between $40,000 and $60,000. Lump-sum payments also place the onus on injured veterans to cleverly invest. That can be a daunting task for any sick, disabled veteran, let alone a 20-something, high-school-educated former combat soldier with one leg, tinnitus and PTSD.

Despite the bellicose rhetoric in support of all things military, the Conservative government of Stephen Harper not only implemented the legislation eliminating automatic disability pensions but also cut budgets and services to disabled veterans and their families – even as scores of Canadian wounded continued coming home from Afghanistan.

Justin Trudeau announced during the last federal election campaign that he would reinstate disability pensions and take the extra step of guaranteeing up to four years of tuition-free post-secondary education for all veterans. He assured us that “no veteran will be forced to fight their own government for the support and compensation that they have earned.”

Two years into his mandate, not much has changed. And a class-action brought by Afghan veterans in 2012 over disability payments is still being challenged in court by federal government lawyers. Trudeau did re-open previously closed Veterans Affairs offices, providing some opportunity for employment in the community.

But it’s in a legacy of deliberate political indifference that our Canadian Invictus athletes are competing.

The flashy spectacle of individual strength may placate politicians who, although more than willing to thank veterans for their service, are not ready to make the financial sacrifice to ensure they receive the benefits that their World War-era fathers and grandfathers considered their due.

Unless our disabled veteran athletes are ready to take the courageous step of using the celebrity of the Invictus podium to protest against government inaction, our Canadian Invictus athletes stand to be little more than sentimental props.

Robert Smol served in the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 20 years.

news@nowtoronto.com | @nowtoronto

https://nowtoronto.com/news/invictus-games-shame/

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