LETTER: Conservatives have shortchanged veterans

Reader Erik Treijs: It looks like the Harper Conservatives care about the photo ops, but not the vets themselves."

It seems to me that many Conservatives are supportive of the military. Not the Harper Conservatives. They have underfunded Veteran Affairs, closed nine offices across the country, eliminated injured veteran pensions, and cut 900 Veteran Affair jobs.

Over an eight-year period, they Scrooged $1.13 billion from vets and returned it to general revenue. Shameful. How bad is it? They spent $750,000 of taxpayer money to battle vets in court and lost with Judge Robert Barnes concluding the clawbacks “create a particularly harsh effect on the most seriously disabled Canadian Forces members … and I reject it universally.” No mincing words there.

Those same clawbacks must be where they found the $28 million to commemorate the War of 1812 bicentennial. They love the pomp and ceremony but not the vets. Funding for the World War I centenary you ask? Simple. They demanded that Heritage Canada, Veteran Affairs and the National Defence Department, all underfunded, pay for the various events and commemorations out of their existing budgets. It looks like the Harper Conservatives care about the photo ops, but not the vets themselves. If you are an actual military supporter, remember that when you’re voting on Oct. 19.

Erik Treijs


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