Friday, June 14, 2024

Lest We Forget

Letter to the Editor

The Editor,

The time of year is approaching when Canadians will be purchasing their poppies from the Royal Canadian Legion to commemorate the Fallen since the First Great War. The proceeds go to support veterans in need.

On November 11, there will be commemorations Canada-wide to honour our soldiers who did not come back. There will be pomp and circumstance, with our politicians front and centre, laying wreaths at the Memorial sites. LEST WE FORGET.

After these commemorations are over, there will be business as usual.

Ordinary Canadians go back to work.

Lawyers working for the federal government will go back to court and oppose injured and maimed veterans in their class action for life pensions and benefits.

In August 2015, two months before the election, Mr. Trudeau is reported to have promised veterans in a speech at CFB Trenton, to reinstate lifelong pensions for Canada’s injured veterans. He is quoted on CBC News:

For ten years, Stephen Harper has been nickel-and-diming our veterans, lacking the respect and the support that Canadians have earned through service to country and that we have to fix as a priority. This is about doing right by people who have offered everything in service of our country.

Fast forward to June 15, 2016, nine months into a Justin Trudeau Liberal majority government, the CBC reports, quote:

In court documents filed this week, the government’s top class action lawyer, Paul Vickery, said the submissions made by (former Conservative attorney general Rob Nicholson) on hearing of the appeal, as set out in the factum filed by him, accurately reflect the current position of the federal government.

In other words, the present Liberal government, as was the former Conservative government, are refusing to agree with the veterans that a social contract or Duty of Care exists between injured veterans and this country they fought for, OUR CANADA.

This case is still before the Supreme Court of BC, and we will have to await the decision of the Court.

However, the fact that our Canadian soldiers are still going into combat in foreign countries, on orders of the Canadian government, returning broken in body and/or spirit, have then to fight for their benefits in court at home, is disgusting, and a shame that WE, ordinary Canadians bear, by remaining silent in face of this hypocrisy.

The ONLY reason I can fathom for politicians to act in this manner, is to cut costs of conducting wars.

The arms/weapons/ammunition manufacturers that produce and supply the hardware to conduct these wars, are working under contracts with our government that guarantee the inflated cost of production and a guaranteed profit.

Lacking a Social Contract, or a Duty of Care by the Canadian government, OUR veterans should have the same contractual protection as these arms manufacturers.

These contracts should include a legally enforceable clause that diverts an amount double the guaranteed profit for manufacturers into a fund solely to guarantee life pensions and benefits for wounded veterans.

This is the only way I can see to get justice for injured veterans in a capitalistic society where humans are considered of lesser value by our politicians than profits for manufacturers of deadly hardware that has no other use than to kill other human beings.

Just a thought for Remembrance Day, LEST WE FORGET the ones that didn’t return AND the ones returning broken in body and spirit.

With the highest of respect for OUR soldiers.

Karl Braeker, Meaford

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