Because of years of neglect and unreasonable changes to the veterans’ disability pension fund, many people believe the government today is running scared when it comes to veterans’ issues.
But it should be scared.
It is not doing its job properly and hasn’t been for years.
There seems to be a Canadian epidemic when it comes to officials not doing their jobs or duties when it involves Canadian veterans and, although I can understand the frustration of government over the increases in the costs to care for veterans, it is the government itself who sent the military into harm’s way, often with less than the best equipment to protect them.
There is only one rule of thumb here. If you don’t want the increases in veterans’ costs, don’t send them where they can be hurt.
But having said that, there is no excuse for every department in Canada that deals with the military and veterans to shirk responsibilities and its duties.
It is inexcusable for government ministers, bureaucrats, high-ranking military and Veterans Affairs to even seem to be saving money on the backs of our wounded and disabled veterans.
It is far worse that they very apparently are, and have been for some time now.
The lack of trust veterans feel for the institutions, government departments and services provided them is no longer just a rumour and veterans are now actively shouting it from the highest hills all across Canada.
Furthermore, we do not intend to stop shouting it until something is done to properly correct the problem and issues we have.
The time for bandage solutions, as proposed by Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn, though welcome, is long gone.
A (so-called) living charter shouldn’t have needed what amounted to a veterans’ revolt to be changed, but now that it has, only the full, proper and equitable change will be acceptable to us.
No more, “Trust us, we will get it done for you.” No more half-backed quickie solutions to get you through the next election, and no more, “Leave it to the politicians and bureaucrats.”
We veterans will either see it done properly, die trying or become even more radical if we continue to be ignored.
Ottawa, Veterans Affairs and the Royal Canadian Legion Ã the choice is yours.
Your inactions, your total disregard for the welfare of veterans and, in some cases, your total abandonment of veterans and their issues has awakened a Giant, a voting block and your worst nightmare.
Get used to it because, until all veterans issues are solved, we will not sleep.
We will not rest.
Lest we forget.
Kenneth H. Young, CD