Our values are skewed in the Kootenays

I would like to comment on MP Alex Atamenenko’s proposed bill to allow individuals to opt out of contributing tax dollars to the military.

I would like to comment on MP Alex Atamenenko’s proposed bill to allow individuals to opt out of contributing tax dollars to the military.

Mr. Atamenenko’s bill would allow individuals, informed or otherwise, to opt out of contributing to the military budget potentially reducing the military’s effectiveness.

Do proponents of this bill understand the logistics and implications of instituting such a bill?

To be fair, the option to delegate where ones’ taxes are spent would have to include all government programs: the arts, First Nations, sports, multiculturalism, health, and education, to name a few.

The cost of administering and allocating each individual Canadian’s tax contribution would be prohibitive.

It seems that MP Atamenenko, and others that believe the military doesn’t need our support and funding have a shortsighted and mistaken vision that only serves to underrate the value of our military’s service.

Having some awareness of Canadian military culture, it’s frustrating to hear comments from people with no exposure to the military, speak as though the only contribution a soldier makes to society is war.

Canada’s military has a long, proud history worldwide. Canada’s contribution to victory in both world wars and the resulting freedom we enjoy today is unquestionable. During the 60’s and 70’s at the peak of the Cold War, Canada had an admirable record of peacekeeping all over the world.

The end of the Cold War and the rise of terrorism changed the threat and the way our military got deployed. For better or worse, Canada has the integrity to support our international partners.

The military’s domestic role is highly underrated.  Every year the Canadian military is dispatched to help control and put out wildfires that threaten life and property. The military sends out search and rescue teams and specialists that save Canadian lives in peril. During floods, the military is dispatched to support Canadian communities and help protect and rebuild infrastructure. When a city gets crippled by a freak snow storm the military is there to help dig it out.

And what about the relief efforts in the world’s disaster zones where our military helps victims of earthquakes, famines and tsunamis.

The military is full of professional and dedicated men and women that safeguard every Canadian citizen. They train endlessly to perform their jobs because mistakes could cost lives. Military occupations are inherently risky, and these professional men and women of Canada’s military put their lives on the line to serve the citizens of Canada.

For this dedication, a military Search and Rescue Technician with a rank of Corporal, is paid just over $50,000/yr. and the hope of a proportionate pension after 25-30 years of service.

By comparison, we compensate MP’s with a salary of over $150,000/yr. to be bureaucrats and argue like children in parliament with the promise of a potential $100,000/yr. pension after only six years of service. To add salt to the wound, for every dollar an MP contributes to his own pension, each Canadian contributes an additional $23.

At what point did our values get so skewed that we actually value an elected bureaucrat more than the men and women who safeguard our lives and lifestyles to the peril of their own lives?

Keith Roenspiess,




Just Posted

Glacier Gymnastics big winner in annual grant funding

Columbia Basin Trust doled out $1.4 million in grants to the regional organizations

Procter working to reopen community bakery

The Procter Community Society is fundraising upwards of $100,000 for the project

Kaslo bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

KAST receives $15,000 for inclusive programs at Nelson Tech Club

‘These programs will be a perfect introduction to using technology’

Nelson to send two musicians to provincial Festival of The Arts

Lucas Alexander and Nico Bucher will compete in Chilliwack later this month

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read