Open letter to Yukon MP Ryan Leef:
As you may be aware, military veterans who have chosen to make military service a career are being penalized when reaching the age of 65 with a drastic, unjust, detrimental and unfair clawback to the Canadian Forces Pension.
In 2011, MP Peter Stoffer sponsored a bill to stop this unjustified, unfair, unjust and undemocratic clawback action which was passed by the majority of members of Parliament in the House of Commons at the time just for the prime minister of Canada to refuse to forward it to the Governor General of Canada for royal assent.
That bill did not ask for the reimbursement of money already lost by retired CF members, it only sought to stop this treachery towards our military veterans by the government of Canada. Therefore, it did not actually require royal assent, only a majority vote. Yet our PM refused to even acknowledge the wish of the majority of MPs in the House of Commons at the time, and in my opinion, acted exactly in the manner one would think a dictator would act.
As a 30-year veteran of the profession of arms, having proudly served my country on a 24-hour basis whenever and wherever required Ã often at the detriment of my family in Canada Ã in Germany, in England, in Cyprus, in Egypt, in Syria, in Lebanon and in Israel; having put my life on the line on many occasions for what Canadians hold dear and true such as freedom, liberty, justice and democracy, it is disgraceful that after all these years I get rewarded by an unjustified clawback to my CF pension upon reaching the golden years.
Along with many of my fellow comrades in arms, who have made a career in the Canadian military, we have invested the legally required amount of money on a monthly basis to the Canadian Forces Pension Fund since we first joined the Canadian Armed Forces, which was 30 years of pension deductions in my case.
Once again, MP Peter Stoffer will bring a bill to the House seeking to stop this treachery, Bill C-215, for a second hour of reading, which will include a recorded vote, scheduled for the 10th of February.
As a Canadian voter residing in the Yukon, as a military veteran, and since you are my MP, whose pension, by the way, is not clawed back as mine was, I am asking you to vote with your conscience and vote freely in favour of justice for Bill C-215, which seeks only to restore justice, honour, pride and dignity to our pensioned military veterans.
I also challenge our PM to let his Conservative MPs vote freely and in a true democratic way, not a vote directed by party line, as it has been so often and so unjustifiably in the past.
Democracy, freedom, honour, pride, dignity and justice are more than just lip service, Mr. Leef. They are the reasons why we served Canada in a time of war and in time of peace, at the wish of the Canadian government.
Some will argue that public servants do get a clawback, very true indeed, but that clawback was negotiated and agreed on in previous labour negotiations and agreements between their unions and the Treasury Board, on behalf of the government of Canada.
Not the case for us military veterans; such unjustified, unfair, unjust and undemocratic action was simply imposed on us.
Please do what is right, do what is just, do what is honourable by voting in favour of Bill C-215 in order to stop this treachery towards our military veterans.