Con­ser­va­tives turn their backs on Vet­er­ans

The Compass - - SPORTS -

Vet­er­ans Af­fairs is the last place the Con­ser­va­tive govern­ment should look for fund­ing cuts.

That’s the opin­ion of Ran­domBurin-St. Ge­orge’s MP Judy Foote.

“ The Con­ser­va­tive govern­ment has said it is con­sid­er­ing rec­om­men­da­tions on re­struc­tur­ing at Vet­er­ans Af­fairs, in­clud­ing down­siz­ing the depart­ment and pos­si­bly plac­ing vet­er­ans’ con­cerns with an­other depart­ment. At a time when Canada is wit­ness­ing the re­turn of vet­er­ans from wartorn coun­tries like Afghanistan, it is im­per­a­tive Vet­er­ans Af­fairs sup­ports the phys­i­cal, mental and emo­tional needs of men and women who have proudly served Canada.”

Mrs. Foote was in­sis­tent when she pro­claimed Cana­di­ans would never sup­port the cut­ting back on pro­grams and ser­vices for vet­er­ans.

“And, I know in the rid­ing of Ran­dom-Burin-St. Ge­orge’s, where over 800 men and women are serv­ing in all branches of the Cana­dian Forces, such a move is con­sid­ered cal­lous.”

She pointed out since the Korean War, Cana­dian sol­diers - in­clud­ing many from com­mu­ni­ties through­out Ran­domBurin-St. Ge­orge’s - have been serv­ing in war-torn ar­eas of the world like Cyprus, Haiti, Bos­nia, Dar­fur and the Congo.

“Our sol­diers need to know Cana­di­ans and the Cana­dian govern­ment are sup­port­ive of their ef­forts and their sac­ri­fice.

“A new Lib­eral govern­ment will take ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to en­sure ser­vice, re­spect and dig­nity for the men and women who have fought in de­fence of Cana­dian val­ues at home and abroad.”

Mrs. Foote said her party has con­sis­tently heard from Cana­di­ans that we need to do more for our vet­er­ans, not less.

“ The new Vet­er­ans Char­ter is not work­ing and we need to ad­dress the spe­cific needs of Afghanistan war vets. As well, Post-Trau­matic Stress Dis­or­der is a tremen­dous con­cern for our vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies. We have heard prom­ises from this Con­ser­va­tive govern­ment to make changes to the Vet­er­ans Char­ter but never see any ac­tion.”

Mrs. Foote pointed out the Con­ser­va­tive govern­ment al­ter­na­tive to sup­port­ing vet­er­ans is spend­ing $16-bil­lion on war­planes, in a sole­sourced con­tract and she said money wasted on the G20 sum­mit.

“ While the Con­ser­va­tive govern­ment claims to value the mil­i­tary, its re­cent ac­tions bring that claim into ques­tion, es­pe­cially since they would even con­sider mak­ing cuts to the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs.”

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