Before Christmas, Murray Scott wrote about a very disturbed veteran who tried to set a couple of VRAB members on fire. It happened in the second week of December 2011 during a VRAB hearing in Edmonton, Alberta. The vet escaped but, soon after, was captured north of Edmonton and hospitalized. Murray feels this may not be an isolated incident and voices his concerns in the following letter to Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent’s Office. BONNIE
In light of the latest attempt to disrupt and harm Veteran Review and Appeal Board (VRAB) employees during a VRAB Hearing at Christmas time in the Edmonton Veteran Affairs Canada (VAC) Office, will you confirm that it is now safe to attend an upcoming hearing on Jan.17th 2012?
Further would you confirm that additional safety procedures have been put into action during VRAB hearings to protect our injured Veterans?
It is very sad that VRAB has built such a terrible reputation for themselves as Mr. Harper’s “Just Say NO” toys.
Shameful does not begin to describe the position that our disabled soldiers find themselves in when the feel that they have no other choice then to take matters into their own hands.
Should you not feel that it is safe to attend these hearings would you kindly issue an advisory to all Veterans and family members attending these hearings? Further, it might be an idea to provide a list of Safety Precautions that we might use when attending the hearings.
After talking with several Veteransn it is the general feelings that VRAB hearings are not safe and that VRAB has brought this upon themselves. VRAB attacks and works very hard to find any reason to turn down a disabled soldier’s request for Justice. Soldiers attending these hearings find themselves in a position of asking for Mercy as the last hope to regain some tiny amount of dignity and respect.
I do not in any way condone these acts of desperation by our Veterans but I certainly understand it.
VRAB needs to keep in mind that we are Soldiers, and if they are not for us, then they are against us.
I’m including a copy of the details of the event in hope that your office can provide us with some form of assurance that our most frail members will be protected from these types of unfortunate events both now and in the future.
Thank you for your help in this matter.