Veterans Affairs minister ‘cold, callous’ towards veterans
Editor’s note: The following letter was written to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and copied to The Compass
This is the first time I have written to the prime minister of our country. As a proud Canadian citizen, I would like thank you for the leadership you have given this great nation over the last eight years. As prime minister, you have demonstrated courage and commitment on a national and international level in representing our country, and you are to be highly commended for the work you have done.
That being said, I am angry today and have never, in the 37 years I have been an eligible voter, been so disappointed in any decision made by any level of government. The way your government, represented by the Julian Fantino, has dealt with our war veterans is nothing short of a disgrace. The cold and callous manner Mr. Fantino has displayed in speaking to this issue and the complete disrespect he as shown our veterans is shameful.
We are privileged and honoured to raise the Canadian flag over Parliament Hill each day because men and women across this nation paid the supreme sacrifice for this freedom. Many others have served and continue to represent their country because they believe the freedoms that have been gained by those who stepped up for their country in times of conflict, are worth defending.
Our veterans owe us nothing; we owe them everything. Along with other Canadians, I challenge your government to find other places to make your budgetary cuts and to reverse the decision you have made to close eight Veterans Affairs offices.
Some things are more important than saving a few dollars. This is one of them. If we have to dig deeper and yes, even borrow to care for the needs of the few, we will be a better people and a better nation for having cared for our own.
Mr. Prime Minister, if this file is not dealt with in a manner that is agreeable to veterans, I view it as one of the most important domestic issues your government will deal with in the next federal election. The place of our veterans and those who serve, cuts to the core what this nation values most. We must honour them.
Lest We Forget.
— Jesse Bown writes from Carbonear