Kevin Soren­son Re­ports

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Kevin Soren­son M.P. Bat­tle River-Crow­foot Con­stituency

Lib­er­als Take Tax Re­lief from Cana­dian Troops

Many Cana­di­ans, in­clud­ing Bat­tle RiverCrow­foot con­stituents be­cause our rid­ing is home to Camp Wain­wright and many who serve in the Cana­dian Armed Forces, are dis­turbed by the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment’s can­cel­la­tion of tax re­lief for our troops de­ployed in the fight against ISIS. Many of us feel strongly that it is un­just for the Lib­er­als to take away a tax credit worth up to $1,800 per month from each of Canada’s troops who serve in harm’s way.

The Of­fi­cial Op­po­si­tion is frus­trated and out­raged by the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion and we are ask­ing the De­fence Min­is­ter, the Hon. Har­jit Sa­j­jan to re­verse it. James Bezan, MP our Na­tional De­fence Op­po­si­tion Critic wrote a let­ter in Novem­ber to the Min­is­ter warn­ing that this pol­icy should not be im­ple­mented. Mr. Bezan voiced his ap­peal again at the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on De­fence in De­cem­ber, and has been ask­ing about it dur­ing Ques­tion Pe­riod ever since.

Be­fore Cana­dian troops were de­ployed to Kuwait, the pre­vi­ous Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment en­sured that they would be en­ti­tled to full dan­ger pay. The first cuts by the Lib­er­als were done on Septem­ber 1, 2016. Even more Cana­dian troops will be af­fected on fu­ture mis­sions, in­clud­ing as early as June this year should our troops be sent to Africa.

This is the same gov­ern­ment that has racked up record deficits and tens of bil­lions of dol­lars in bor­rowed money to fi­nance their out-of-con­trol spend­ing. Now, they are rais­ing taxes ev­ery­where (e.g. CPP pay­roll hike, Car­bon tax grab, etc.) and can­celling tax cred­its (e.g. tu­ition and text­book cred­its, chil­dren’s arts and fit­ness tax cred­its, and more) and now they are tak­ing an im­por­tant tax credit away from our troops.

The men and women of the Cana­dian Armed Forces vol­un­teer to leave their fam­i­lies as they travel abroad to per­form dan­ger­ous work and put them­selves at risk in ser­vice of our coun­try. They miss im­por­tant mile­stones like birth­days, an­niver­saries, and grad­u­a­tions. While no amount of money can make up for this, does any­one dis­agree that our troops should earn ad­di­tional in­come when de­ployed to serve in known dan­ger­ous cir­cum­stances?

This de­ci­sion was made af­ter the troops had agreed to de­ploy. It could cost Cana­dian Armed Forces mem­bers $9000 for a six month de­ploy­ment. In cut­ting this ben­e­fit, the Lib­er­als have cheated our troops and their fam­i­lies out of hard earned money that they ex­pected, counted upon, and de­serve.

The Lib­er­als have de­cided to re­voke the ben­e­fit for all of our troops who are bat­tling ISIS at a time when the wold knows that U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is plan­ning to ramp-up the bat­tle against ISIS. This past week, U.S. De­fence Sec­re­tary James Mat­tis, for­mer com­man­der of U.S. Cen­tral Com­mand had glow­ing words of praise for Cana­dian troops say­ing, “The lives lost in the Afghan con­flict have cre­ated a per­ma­nent bond be­tween our coun­tries. Your pledge to do a lot of lead­er­ship, whether it be in hu­man­i­tar­ian ops, in bat­tle groups, in re­as­sur­ance ef­forts, we’re proud as all get-out of you and your forces and what they’ve stood up and de­liv­ered.”

I will con­tinue to sup­port the Con­ser­va­tive Party’s ef­forts to have the gov­ern­ment re­verse their de­ci­sion and sup­port the brave men and women who stand on guard for all of us.

If you have any ques­tions or con­cerns re­gard­ing this or pre­vi­ous col­umns you may write me at 4945-50th Street, Cam­rose, Al­berta, T4V 1P9, call 780-608-4600, toll­free 1-800-665-4358, fax 780-608-4603 or e-mail Kevin.Soren­son.c1@parl.gc.ca.

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