T-18: Stephen Harper and His Abuse of Military Veterans #elxn42 #canpoli

Harper Mistreats Veterans

One of the things that’s surprised me about the Harper government is how they seem happy to offend and mistreat even the people who make up their core constituents.

As a broad generalization, Conservatives tend to support the military and vice versa.

But what always amazes me is how the Conservatives stop respecting military personnel the moment they become veterans – whether it’s by closing veteran service centres

“It makes no sense to take these services away from men and women who have sacrificed so much for this country,” said Roy Lamore, whose service dates back to the 1940s.  “This isn’t just about old veterans,” he said during an emotional press conference. “This is about young guys too.”

…ignoring the epidemic of PTSD and suicides among military veterans

According to the latest Defence Department stats, 160 military personnel committed suicide between 2004 and March 31, 2014. That compares to the 138 Canadian soldiers killed in combat in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2014.

…or underfunding veteran services by over one *billion* dollars and returning that amount to the Treasury while veterans struggle to get even basic benefits.

Frank Valeriote, the Liberal veterans critic, said ex-soldiers who’ve been denied benefits will look at the unspent funds and feel “hoodwinked, completely abandoned” and wonder why they’ve made sacrifices for their country.  “It is reprehensible and unconscionable what they’re doing so that the government can create an image of fiscal responsibility,” he said.

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