January 20, 2014. A week ago, Hill Times published an article written by Professor Michel W. Drapeau and Joshua Juneau titled “A National Strategy needed for 700,000 veterans; And, it’s time Canada created a federal veterans commissioner as an Officer of Parliament.” A copy of this article was widely circulated by the Hon. Peter Stoffer, NDP, as well as by the Canadian Veterans Advocacy and the Veterans of Canada organizations. The article was also posted on this site. The authors proposed the establishment of a Veterans Commission which would provide Canada with an ability to examine and develop, in a non-partisan basis, a pro-active, fair and comprehensive national strategy to address and coordinate the nation’s welfare support and obligations towards serving and retired military (and RCMP) personnel as well as examine the budgetary allocations made by Canada for the care and support of its Veterans.
MDLO has received literally hundreds of emails in response to the article. A sample of these comments (edited) appears below:
- I agree with a Veterans Commission. Further, I would suggest that the obligations towards our serving and retired military personnel be handled always with “non-political” ties or interference. Our duty to them for serving goes beyond political ends. Signed: B.B.
- Remarkable insight and outstanding research on behalf of our veterans! Why our veterans and their so called advocates have not shown the same level of tenacity they did when fighting the enemy as they should be showing to bring attention to the recent six deaths. Signed: J.M.
- I fully endorse your opinions and sincerely hope you are successful in helping to wake this government up to assist our needy veterans those of whom we have largely ignored. Signed: A.B.
- Your ideas certainly have merit, and the article reflects your intimate knowledge in the various Veterans areas facing us today. I commend you for your continued advocacy on behalf of all veterans whether they be VAC clients or former CF members . Signed: C.L.N.
- I am in agreement with the premises presented in your article. I am in complete accord with the establishment of a Veterans Commission and would gladly volunteer my services should an opportunity arise to assist. Signed: B.F.
- Congratulations on your excellent article, including recommendations that must be adopted if there is to be reasonable treatment of all veterans in the future. Signed: A.M.
- I am completely in favour of the approach you are suggesting, by establishing a Veteran’s Commission which is accountable to Parliament. Vets certainly deserve better treatment. Not a gold plated thing, but just fairer and better treatment. Signed: J.C.
- I read your article with great interest and agree 100%. I am a retired serviceman, age 80 with 30 years of service. I think a veterans commission would indeed save the Government money and the veterans much frustration. Signed: E.G.E.
- It’s about time that someone took the time to have a serious look at the way that the VAC operates. Signed: N.L.
- I agree with the premise of your article and it’s arguments – the root cause of our failure of veterans is that gaping hole – the crack in the system – that they keep disappearing into. I also agree that there is much money to be saved in uniting. Signed: J.R.M.
- I am not a military vet but an RCMP vet and as you are aware we have many of the same issues. I have served in Haiti in 1995 along side our military. Medical pensions are hard to get in the RCMP and there is also the claw back of the CPP which affects us all in a negative way. Signed: B.C.
- Je crois que l’on se bat contre des moulins à vent. Ça fait des années que l’on se bat pour les droits des vétérans ”at large” et nous n’aboutissons nulle part. Le gouvernement semble bien ancré dans son idée qu’une fois que la mission est terminée, que tout ce qui reste à faire est de dire non à toute demande sensée. Signé: C.D.
- Just finished reading your wonderful article. Under the section of Dennis Manuge, you should have mentioned that there are a few thousand veterans who have really fallen between the cracks in this matter because they clawed back their disability pensions from such programs as the CF Supplemental Benefit, War Veterans Allowance, and the Earnings Loss Benefit. Signed: J.K.G.
- I am not sure if another created position will help. They keep creating these positions but there no coherency between the and no follow-up to see what’s been done. That said, it is the Veterans Affairs that looks after the veterans but they are not doing it. The whole system needs a revamp from the minister’s down. Signed: D.A.
- I applaud your efforts and I support your ideas wholeheartedly. All I can say is good luck trying to change this Government’s mind on how they treat Veterans. It is truly sad how Veterans are treated in this country and this has come to the fore front with the end of the Afghan mission. Signed: J.D.M.