Veterans’ rights: restore life-long support for wounded vets, say 30,000 petition-signers
•Effort stretches coast to coast, as similar petition launched in B.C. by CKNW AM 980
ST. JOHN’S – “We are morally, ethically, socially, and legally obligated to care for veterans and their survivors,” believes Jeff Rose-Martland of Newfoundland. As Remembrance Day approaches, Jeff hopes Canadians will use the occasion to think about how we treat our wounded and disabled veterans, which is why he’s launched an important petition on Change.org asking the Government to restore adequate, life-long compensation for their sacrifice, which already has the support of over 30,000 Canadians.
“Our Government has severely reduced the amount of financial support given to disabled veterans, putting many wounded veterans in dire financial situations.” Rose-Martland, founder of the citizens’ group Our Duty, writes on his petition page. “Before 2006, disabled veterans were given a pension to that would support them throughout their lives. Today, they are given a lump sum for their pain and the Canadian Government wipes their hands of them.”
Rose-Martland notes for a severely disabled veteran, this can mean 40% less than what they would have received under the old pension plan, or even up to 90% less than what other Canadian workers would receive for the same injuries.
He cites the example of Master Corporal Bryce Hooper, whose 12 years of service in Bosnia and Afghanistan left him with severe post-traumatic stress disorder. “For Bryce, the new rules means he got a one-time payment worth far less, to his health and to his financial situation, than a long-term plan of care and compensation,” Rose-Martland said. “We’re doing this for him and for all the others who deserve much, much better from the country for which they sacrificed so much.”
In legal proceedings currently before the courts, a group of veterans is suing the Canadian Government over the lump-sum disability payment. In their defense, Rose-Martland notes, Government lawyers have argued that Canada has no obligation to veterans or serving members of the Canadian Forces or RCMP, beyond that owed to an average citizen.
Rose-Martland disagrees, as do the 30,000 supporters of his petition and the nearly 10,000 supporting a similar petition launched by the Vancouver based radio station CKNW AM 980.
“When a Canadian enlists, they are promised that if they are injured or killed in service, Canada will take care of them and their loved ones,“ he said. “This social contract is our sacred obligation to those who serve. We must defend it.”
Live signature totals on Jeff’s petition: www.change.org/OurDuty
CREDIT TO: Canada Free Press
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