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Canada: Canada's shameful history of neglecting veterans - WALLACE - Canada - News - Tor

Found: Mon Jul 17 02:43:48 2017 PDT
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Contact: http://www.torontosun.com/letter-to-editor
Website: http://torontosun.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/457
Webpage: http://www.torontosun.com/2017/07/16/canad... [translate]
Author: James Wallace, V-P, Editorial, Suns
Newshawk: http://drugpolicycentral.com/bot/


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In one of the many emotional ramp ceremonies conducted during Canada's mission in Afghanistan, Royal Canadian Dragoons Trooper Marc Diabto's flag-draped casket is carried by fellow soldier to an awaiting CC-130 aircraft for repatriation back home from Kandahar. Diabto was killed and four others wounded by an IED on March 8, 2009. (Sun files)

Retired major Mark Campbell, seen here in 2010 in his Alberta home, had his legs blown off in a IED while serving in Afghanistan. (Sun files)

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Related Stories * If U.S. Army medics had not saved Omar Khadr's life...

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Few in Canada, apart from his apologists, support the federal Liberals' secret $10.5 million payoff and formal apology to Omar Khadr.

There's little mystery in that.

Khadr, regardless of his relative youth at the time or the specifics of his engagement in a firefight that left a U.S. soldier dead, was widely viewed as having won a jackpot for fighting with terrorists against Canada.

However, while an Angus Reid poll showed three-quarters of ordinary Canadians think the Liberals made the wrong decision by settling with Khadr, for the men and women in Canada's armed forces, particularly our wounded veterans, it was nothing short of abject betrayal.

Ottawa has spent years fighting a class action lawsuit by injured and disabled Afghanistan veterans seeking to overturn 2007 Conservative government changes to pension entitlements that for many, substantially cut their benefits.

So when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered a back-handed condemnation last week for his government's shameful deal and apology to Khadr, saying "The Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects all Canadians, every one of us, even when it is uncomfortable," those words stuck in the craw of many of our wounded warriors.

The insult wasn't tied to whether the courts would eventually agree that Canada failed to protect Khadr's rights, whether he was subjected to abusive, illegal and degrading interrogation and treatment - conditions that invalidate his guilty pleas before an American military tribunal to terrorism and murder.

Rather, the insult was tied to the fact that if the federal Liberals can do right by Khadr, compensating him for the violation of his rights following capture and imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay, then why have they taken so long to make good on a promise to do right by our veterans.

"Our outrage has nothing to do with Khadr's rights," said Marc Burchell, president of Equitas Society, the group supporting the six disabled Afghan war veterans fighting the government in court.

"All Canadians have rights," Burchell said. "The anger is that the government moved quickly to satisfy Khadr's rights but has failed to do the same after promising veterans they would reinstate their pensions."

In 2007, Stephen Harper's Conservative government changed Canada's disability benefits for veterans, replacing lifelong pension payments with a "New Veterans Charter" that included a one-time, maximum $360,000 payout and complex pension entitlement system.

Major Mark Campbell, now retired and one of the six suing the government, was an infantry officer training and mentoring Afghan troops in June 2008 when he was targeted during a village sweep operation in Afghanistan.

Insurgents had buried an improvised explosive device (ironically similar to the ones Khadr made while training with al Qaeda) and detonated the bomb as Campbell walked by. His unit was then hit on three sides by rocket propelled grenades and machine-gun fire, a "complex ambush".

In the dust and chaos, Campbell looked down and saw the blast had blown off one leg, shredded the other. He died, twice, on operating tables and was revived. He endured multiple surgeries, extended rehabilitation, was left permanently disabled, in permanent pain, with a host of life-long injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Trained throughout his career to overcome adversity, Campbell didn't expect, then or now, betrayal from his own government.

"I served for 20 years before they changed the rules," Campbell told the Sun. "They changed the rules in the middle of the war and they didn't bother to tell us they restructured the benefit."

For Campbell, the new "charter" meant a 46% reduction in lifetime compensation. With a wife, young son and daughter, it meant a reduced income and lifetime of significant disability-related expenses.

"It's a good deal for them, not such a good deal for me," he said.

During the 2015 federal election campaign, the Liberals harshly criticized the Conservatives and promised to address veteran disability compensation.

"We have a social covenant with all veterans and their families that we must meet with both respect and gratitude," the Liberals said on their website.

"Veterans who need crucial mental health services are waiting months, even years, to get help. Harper even left over $1 billion budgeted for veterans' services unspent."

"A Liberal government will live up to our obligation to Canada's veterans and their families. We will demonstrate the respect and appreciation for our veterans that Canadians rightly expect, and ensure that no veteran has to fight the government for the support and compensation they have earned."

During the campaign, Trudeau promised to "reinstate lifelong pensions and increase their value in line with the obligation we have made to those injured in the line of duty."

That hasn't happened.

Instead, Campbell and five other veterans continue to fight the government in court, and rightly question the priorities of a government that deals expeditiously to address the wronged rights of a convicted terrorist ahead of a promise to do right by the men and women harmed and broken in the service of this nation.

"It is frustrating," Campbell said.

"They not only gave Khadr $10.5 million, they gave him a formal apology. Meanwhile we've got 20-somethings sentenced to life in a wheelchair, and they get $360,000," he said.

"It's the absurdity of it."

Canada has a track record of turning its back on war veterans.

During WWI, then-Prime Minister Robert Borden promised Canadian soldiers the country would look after them, particularly those injured in war.

"No man, whether he goes back or whether he remains in Flanders, will have just cause to reproach the government for having broken faith with the men who won and the men who died."

Returning home after the war, to a fragile economy, returning veterans asked the government for a $2,000 payment to help them adjust and compensate them for lost wages during the war.

The government refused.

Although the federal government built a series of veterans' hospitals across the country during and following the two great wars, inadequate services and pensions for veterans became a chronic problem.

By the late 1990s, a Senate committee on pension reform talked about a "common thread" on the pension process running through reports dating back to 1981.

"As veterans have aged, the frustration and anger over the years it could take to fully adjudicate a pension claim have mounted," the committee reported. "Repeated efforts to 'fix' the system did not do away with backlogs of thousands of cases and waits of one to two years just to get a first level decision."

The Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces has written a number of reports detailing problems with pension compensation, and in 2007, Stephen Harper's Conservative government tried to fix problems with a new "Veteran's Charter" that improved benefits for some but replaced lifelong pensions with a complex, bureaucratic system that reduced benefits for many.

WALLACE

Canada's shameful history of neglecting veterans

By James Wallace, V-P, Editorial, Suns

Few in Canada, apart from his apologists, support the federal Liberal's secret $10.5 million payoff and formal apology to Omar Khadr.

There's little mystery in that.

Khadr, regardless of his relative youth at the time or the specifics of his engagement in a firefight that left a U.S. soldier dead, was widely viewed as having won a jackpot for fighting with terrorists against Canada.

However, while an Angus Reid poll showed three-quarters of ordinary Canadians think the Liberals made the wrong decision by settling with Khadr, for the men and women in Canada's armed forces, particularly our wounded veterans, it was nothing short of abject betrayal.

Ottawa has spent years fighting a class action lawsuit by injured and disabled Afghanistan veterans seeking to overturn 2007 Conservative government changes to pension entitlements that for many, substantially cut their benefits.

Also in this article * veterans

About the author

James Wallace

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analysis of article text


prohibitionist hits:0 government drug warrior (prohibition_agency) hits:0 propaganda (drugwar_propaganda) hits:29 legalization hits:0 drug_reformer hits:0 reform_referenda hits:1 cannabis hits:0 stimulant hits:0 narcotic hits:0 hallucinogen hits:0
    prohibitionist     prohibition_agency     drugwar_propaganda     legalization     drug_reformer
    reform_referenda     cannabis     stimulant     narcotic     hallucinogen
                        
                        


incarceration/prison mentioned? yes .

propaganda analysis


explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) hits:0 hated group (propaganda_theme1) hits:8 madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2) hits:11 survival of society (propaganda_theme3) hits:7 gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) hits:0 children (propaganda_theme5) hits:2 demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) hits:1 total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) hits:0 dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8) hits:0
EXP - explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) GRP - hated group (propaganda_theme1) MAD - madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2)
SOC - survival of society (propaganda_theme3) USE - gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) KID - children (propaganda_theme5)
WAR - demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) TOT - total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) DIS - dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8)



conceptevidencehitslinks
 drug of abuse implied / mentioned

drug related 50%
[news] [concept]

drug ngo reform referenda  
drugwar_propaganda : a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or themepropaganda

drugwar propaganda 80%
[news] [concept]

propaganda theme1 propaganda theme2 propaganda theme3 propaganda theme5 propaganda theme6 Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate? (Bruce E Levine, 2012)
Classic Modern Drug Propaganda
Themes in Chemical Prohibition
Drug War Propaganda (kindle edition)
propaganda_theme1 : drug war propaganda theme: hated groupshated group

propaganda theme1 55%
[news] [concept]

"terrorists" "terrorism" "terrorist"8Hated Groups (propaganda theme 1)
drugwarfacts.org/druguse.htm
drugwarfacts.org/racepris.htm
America's Racist Drug laws
narcoterror.org/
Labeling theory
Transfer (propaganda)
propaganda_theme2 : drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugsmadness, violence, illness

propaganda theme2 80%
[news] [concept]

"murder" "killer" "harmed" "dangerous" "injuries" "deadly" "damage" "problem" "problems"11Madness Crime Violence Illness (propaganda theme 2)
drugwarfacts.org/crime.htm
drugwarfacts.org/causes.htm
Distortion 18: Cannabis and Mental Illness
No, marijuana use doesn't lower your IQ (10/2014)
propaganda_theme3 : drug war propaganda theme: survival of societysurvival of society

propaganda theme3 65%
[news] [concept]

"Society" "Freedoms" "American" "Community" "the country"7Survival of Society (propaganda theme 3)
The "Nation" as a Device To Create a Psychological Crowd
propaganda_theme5 : drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugschildren

propaganda theme5 60%
[news] [concept]

"youth"2Children Corrupted (propaganda theme 5)
drugwarfacts.org/adolesce.htm
Think of the children
propaganda_theme6 : drug war propaganda theme: demonize; use of drugs is epidemic; wardemonize, war, epidemic

propaganda theme6 50%
[news] [concept]

"chaos"1Demonize, War (propaganda theme 6)
List of Wars on Concepts
Perpetual war
The Failed War on Drugs (2012)
 moral imperative
[news] [concept]
"we must"1Majestic plural
Nosism
Moral imperative
Categorical imperative
 drug ngo 50%
[news] [concept]
drug reform ngo  
 drug reform ngo 50%
[news] [concept]
ramp Mapinc.org Drug Reform Organization link database
 reform referenda 50%
[news] [concept]
amma 2012  
 amma 2012 50%
[news] [concept]
"Amma"1arcompassion.org/news/2011/04/ar...
mpp.org/states/arkansas/
 ramp 50%
[news] [concept]
"ramp"1rampgop.org/
 incarceration 70%
[news] [concept]
"imprisonment"1Prison Hell in America (Stephen Lendman, Oct. 2011)
Understanding the U.S. Torture State
this is what a police state looks like
Torture and the United States
drugwarfacts.org/cms/Prisons and...
aclu.org/combating-mass-incarcer...
november.org
mapinc.org/prison.htm
hermes-press.com/prisons drugs.htm
US Official Prison Policy: Encourage Men's Rape (2014)
Profit Driven Prison Industrial Complex (2012)
The Top Five Special Interest Groups Lobbying To Keep Marijuana Illegal
Sing a Little Louder
Prison Rape Widely Ignored by Authorities
thedailysheeple.com/prisons-are-...
Push Back Against Drug War Profiteering with Jury Nullification
 youth 60%
[news] [concept]
propaganda theme5 ssdp.org/
mapinc.org/youth.htm

st:0.02 fo:0 s:0 d:1.05 c:0.03 db:0.165 a:0.76 m:0.15 t:2.58 (f)


text of article used for CRITICAL ANALYSIS, under FAIR USE provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107, et al.


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    article tags



     

    youth concept
    incarceration concept - Prisons, Jails and Probation
    ramp concept - Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP)
    amma_2012 concept - Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act
    reform_referenda concept
    drug_reform_ngo concept - drug policy reform organization
    drug_ngo concept
    moral_imperative concept
    propaganda_theme6 concept - drug war propaganda theme: demonize; use of drugs is epidemic; war
    propaganda_theme6
    propaganda_theme5 concept - drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugs
    propaganda_theme5
    propaganda_theme3 concept - drug war propaganda theme: survival of society
    propaganda_theme3
    propaganda_theme2 concept - drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugs
    propaganda_theme2
    propaganda_theme1 concept - drug war propaganda theme: hated groups
    propaganda_theme1
    drugwar_propaganda concept - a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or theme
    drugwar_propaganda
    drug_related concept - related to illegal drugs and prohibition