It was nothing less than shocking to find out that $1.13 billion in funding for Veterans Affairs Canada has been allowed to lapse, and was returned to the federal treasury since 2006.
It is further appalling to think that somebody got a really nice bonus for that.
It gives the lie to the funding numbers trumpeted by the Conservative government when they tell us how much money they’ve committed to veterans.
While the budget has been increased since 2006, clearly too much of that money isn’t actually making it into the pockets of he veterans who need it, or into the coffers of the programs supporting them.
While too many veterans have been forced to fight the government for funding to help them if they are physically injured or mentally scarred by their tours of duty, it’s clear now that it’s not because there just weren’t enough funds to go around.
The Conservatives just had different priorities.
Some of these men and women have even seen claims denied.
This is a shameful way to treat the soldiers who have sacrificed for our country.
We shouldn’t leave anybody who is disabled in Canada struggling in poverty, but especially not our veterans.
CBC reported comments made by Liberal House veterans critic Frank Valeriote that the Conservatives spent $4 million last spring on ads to promote what it was doing with veterans.
How about a lot less flash and a lot more substance?
Doing good things should clearly be more important than trying to convince the electorate you’re doing good things.
Communicating what you’re doing is all well and good, but think of how much more they could have had to report if funds weren’t being hoarded.
Paying down the deficit isn’t a bad thing, but do it by hacking your own salary and benefits first, then get rid of the ridiculous tax breaks for people making $150,000 a year.
I guarantee, they don’t need it nearly as much (or at all) as a veteran who’s had an amputation or suffers from PTSD and needs expensive therapy while jobs are hard to come by.
The whole thing is a terrifying demonstration of badly skewed priorities.
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