SOURCE: The Royal Canadian Legion

The Royal Canadian Legion

October 27, 2014 15:00 ET

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: To You From Failing Hands We Throw the Torch

As We Prepare to Remember Our Fallen, and Those Who Serve, Government Again Fails Our Soldiers

OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - October 27, 2014) - With November 11th just around the corner, a great deal of focus will once again come upon the sacrifices of the men and women who gave their lives in the service of Canada. Millions of Canadians will pay their respects to the soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen, along with members of the RCMP, who put their lives on the line to protect us every day. Yet each day that goes by, the Government of Canada is failing to take up the torch and provide the proper care and benefits for our ill and injured Veterans and their families. Almost 40 experts recently gave evidence before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs (ACVA), laying out in precise detail the situation faced by Canada's Veterans. The Committee considered this evidence and drafted a series of 14 recommendations.

The Committee's report, which was unanimously supported by all of its members (who represented all political parties), laid out its recommendations in a straight forward manner that the Government could follow to address ways in which Canada could provide enhanced care for its Veterans. And how did the Government respond? Here is a quote from the response, "…the Government is pleased to indicate that it agrees with the spirit and intent of the vast majority of the Committee's recommendations. Many of these recommendations involve potentially complex changes to some Veteran programming. The implications of any potential changes must, therefore, be carefully assessed." But wait a second, Government just heard from almost 40 experts; it has 14 recommendations that clearly spell out what needs to be done. What more could possibly need to be assessed?

This isn't a new situation. The Government of Canada has been dealing with Veterans since the end of the First World War. Certainly the Government wants us to all remember that 2014 marks the 100th Anniversary of this conflict. But why the Government continues to have almost the same issues in looking after ill and injured service personnel after all these years is astonishing. Studies, committee meetings, expert evidence, and countless reports over the years have all spoken to the fact there are clearly shortcomings in Veterans' care.

What is different now is that the Government has clear directions to address the major issues that will improve the lives of Veterans and their families. Regrettably what is the same is the use of Government-speak such as, "Given the interdepartmental, fiscal and legal implications of this recommendation, further due diligence is required to address this proposal."

The Royal Canadian Legion will not idly stand by. Our call to action has gone out and we launched a national letter writing campaign calling on the Government to take the action needed to implement the recommendations from the ACVA report. We are calling on all Canadians to support this effort and send a letter to their Member of Parliament right from the Legion's website http://www.legion.ca/call-for-action-on-the-new-veterans-charter/

There should be no doubt that the adequate care for our injured Veterans and their families is an urgent issue, particularly as we place more military personnel in harm's way with new military operations Canada is engaging in. The men and women who deal with the shortcomings of the current care and benefits programs offered by the Government suffer every day at great personal and financial expense. Their families suffer right along with them. For those who have done so much for our country, it is the very least we can do to "…take up the torch, be yours to hold it high." We must not break faith with those who die. Send the Legion's letter to your MP today and show you care for all of Canada's ill and injured Veterans.

Thank you, on behalf of the more than 300,000 Royal Canadian Legion members across Canada.

Tom Eagles
Dominion President
The Royal Canadian Legion

Contact Information

  • Contact : 
    Eng: Dominion Command 
    The Royal Canadian Legion 
    (613) 591-3335 
    (613) 591-9335 (FAX) 
    www.legion.ca