Insulting veterans

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A recent news item showed the very disturbing image of the Veterans Affairs minister in the government of Canada turning his back on a group of people it is his mandate to represent.
How could it be worse? 

These are the men and women who, when asked by their country to risk their lives for the protection of all of us, agreed unconditionally. They are the lucky ones, when you recall how many Canadians and Newfoundlanders gave their lives so that we might live in peace.

In the live news report, their eyes showed the pain, their faces the disbelief and their voices the hurt.

How could they not be devastated, having courageously served their country and reached an age of needing some modest support only to be brushed aside — worse, insulted — by one of those they fought to protect?

It couldn’t have been only the minister who made the decision to eliminate their lines of communication. The majority of cabinet would have had to nod in agreement with the plan, leaving Julian Fantino to put it in place.

There might well be options to the current setup but it should be obvious to anyone that a telephone number for a 90-year-old man or woman to call some faceless, bored and uncaring public servant half a continent away is not comforting — all the more so if that public servant attended the same “How to win friends” course as the minister attended.

Isn’t it ironic that at the same time that our government forks over $55,000 a day for the prime minister’s security detail, it can’t find a few dollars to enhance the lives of those who put their own lives on the line for all of us, including the minister?

Derm Browne

St. John’s

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  • Martin Ellacott
    February 21, 2014 - 23:50

    Love the troop and veterans, but absolutely detest the Government that screws them around.