Not to confuse our Rosalind Russell with the famous movie star with the same name, we have another advocate. Below Rosalind explains why Legion Week is so important to our veterans‘ upcoming protest in November. BONNIE
It’s Legion Week this week, but a more important date is coming up this fall. The Canadians Veterans National Day of Protest is set for November 5, 2011.
Veterans and Canadian patriots will be gathering once again at their Member of Parliament‘s offices or making the veterans pilgrimage to Parliament Hill on November 5 to address the consequences the New Veterans Charter on veterans.
Nothing can be more important to veterans at this time than taking steps to halt the Canadian government‘s proposed five to ten percent cuts to Veterans Affairs Canada operating budget. This is an extraordinary amount of funding, a potential annual decrease of over $300-million dollars.
Last spring, the Canadian government acknowledged veterans concerns about inadequate support through the passage of Bill C-55, in essence, the provision of $2-billion dollars of enhancements to address NVC shortfalls.
Bill C-55 was rushed through Parliament and the Senate without time for proper debate and the consequences, as demonstrated by Royal Canadian Legion Dominion President, Patricia Varga’s, extraordinary accusations about discrimination against WW2, Korean and Peacekeeping veterans, are not surprising.
Of the $2- billion, it has been confirmed that $189-million will be committed to veterans over the first five years, equating to $38-million additional funding dollars per year, a rate that will take over 50 years for the $2-billion to be committed.
Sounds good, but wait a minute. Although the award is based on a war-time disability, a majority of the new enhancements are fully taxed and will return hundreds of millions of dollars to the government’s coffers.
Let us also put this in context of the proposed cuts to Veterans Affairs Canada’s budget and while the government claims to be willing to address the profound inadequacies of the New Veterans Charter via Bill C-55, they are concurrently planning on a 5-10 % reduction from the Veterans Affairs Canada budget. Do the math. How does this serve Canada’s warriors? Should not their treatment be considered in the same vein as politicians salaries, exempt from any austerity programs? Is it right for politicians to pay off the national debt on the backs of disabled veterans they sent to war?
The CVA is encouraging veterans, their families and all Canadians to proactively pursue this matter with their elected member of Parliament.
Veterans are also encouraged to contact their MP during this period and encourage him/her to vote for the speedy passage of this bill.
And, thank a veteran this week. It is the least we should do, to acknowledge all disabled veterans and their families and all those who stand on guard for thee.
By Rosalind Russell for CVNDOProtest news