Editor, The News:
Re: Conservatives ‘do honour service of Veterans’ (Letters, Nov. 15).
MP Randy Kamp, it would appear that you are simply towing the party line. Have you actually looked into what the NVC actually accomplishes?
I served proudly with 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry during the Cold War era, under the Liberal’s dark ages. I was injured overseas and subsequently have undergone two separate surgeries to cope with the damage and pain.
For me, over many years I have wore my scars as my ‘battle honours,’ but when the cumulative damage meant losing time from my civilian job, I decided it may be time to request help from Veterans Affairs. I was denied assistance with the reason that, although I was injured overseas, I was not injured as a “direct result” of my duties.
Close friends of mine who continued their service and were called to arms in Afghanistan returned with physical and psychological injuries as a result of their service and they are, quite frankly, being screwed under the New Veterans Charter.
How do you honour service of veterans?
Let me clarify exactly how you and your Conservative government are honouring veterans:
• The NVC’s temporary programs that you so proudly claim are available, can arbitrarily be taken away at anytime that VAC deems they are no longer a necessity. Programs that, according to your own Ombudsman’s 2013 report, reject 53 per cent of the veterans who meet those program’s criteria. Those programs are only for the most seriously disabled, and they end at age 65, compared to the lifelong pension of the Pension Act.
• The max benefit that can be received under the NVC is for 100 per cent disability, which equals $298,587.97 in 2013, as a one time lump sum payment, which is approximately 10 per cent of what an equivalent injury or disability would pay under any other disability pension (WCB).
As well, this one time lump sum takes away the long-term security of a monthly pension as previously guaranteed under the old Pension Act.
• We have had more than 40,000 troops deployed over 12 years in Afghanistan alone, yet the federal government has closed nine district veterans affairs offices and slashed 450 VAC jobs in July, all at a time when our demands on the system are at a high not seen since the Second World War and Korea.
Mr. Kamp, your Conservatives have also filed an appeal in the Equitas Class action suit against the government, stating that they (the government) have no “Sacred Obligation” to care for Veterans who have answered the call and paid the price.
We, as current serving and veterans, stood in the face of oppression and tyranny when called. We vow to do the same now on home soil if need be.
My oath of allegiance upon enrollment has no expiration.