Sit Rep Press Conference 0930, Parliament Hill - Equitas
Be advised that Peter Stoffer, NDP Veterans Affairs critic, will be holding a press conference on Parliament Hill, Tuesday, July 30th at 0930. I have been invited to speak to the Sacred Obligation the Government is claiming does not exists and I will be traveling to Ottawa Sunday for meetings Monday and the PC Tuesday morning. It is important that we present a unified front, that veterans of all ages and eras are seen demonstrating support for the Afghanistan wounded by standing in a row behind the principle speakers.
The Canadian Veterans Advocacy has been steadfast and resolute in support of Jim Scott and the Equitas team, indeed, our position has been somewhat justified by the government lawyers claims that veterans should approach our MP's for legislated change... No kidding. Did we not do just this in 2010 when we protested in front of MP's offices nation wide? Was not the CVA was created to continue this fight on the political level?
The mission has yet to conclude, soon, we will once again march on parliament, we will once again encourage our government's MPs to embrace, not ignore, the obligation they have to those they send to war. We need you to stand for Equitas with us next Tuesday, if you are in the Ottawa area and wish to participate, meet us in front of the Peace Tower at 0900 hrs, if not, support our mission as we enter patrolling season next fall when parliament sits. It is our intention to engage on the national level through Remembrance Week, the focus will be the Sacred Obligation and the treatment of those who sacrificed so greatly prior to 2006 will be compared to the standards Equitas is fighting to resolve.
Are you willing to stand for your brothers and sisters? Are you willing to rally in front of your MPs office, to stand on guard for those who stand on guard for thee, to do exactly what the government's lawyers would tell us to do??????
The time has come to start getting organized in your community for a Rally in front of your MPs office, to stand for Kevin Berry, Mark Campbell, Aaron Bedard and all veterans who are subject to this grotesque policy.
We will fight, we you?
Mike, Prez, CVA
Please give this the widest distribution.
I've listened to the arguments presented by both sides in the current Court proceedings to determine if the Miller Thompson/ Equitas law suit can proceed.
Regardless of the outcome, Government lawyers taught us a very important lesson this week about how the Government views Veterans. They based their argument and it's now a matter of public record in a court of law that the Government feels:
1. veterans are essentially no different than any other citizen collecting other social benefits (welfare, unemployment, etc) and we are owed nothing more.
2. there is no 'Social Contract' between veterans, the Government and the People of Canada despite it being written through out legislation and in CF publications.
3. that if citizens (Veterans in the case of the NVC) don't like the Government's laws, we are free to replace the Government through an election.
Shocking statements showing Government's arrogant, disrespectful and aggressive adversarial position against us. You may recall that as an election promise, the Conservative party committed to improving veterans benefits. Instead of changing the offending parts of the NVC that they opposed in opposition, they adopted the Liberal Government's NVC as if was their own. Now they are wasting what can amount to millions of taxpayers dollars to defend it in the courts, in a breach of our 'Social Contract' and potential breach of Constitutional law, just like they did in their losing battle against Dennis Manuge in the SISIP court case.
When the Liberal Government was rushing the NVC though Parliament before they were defeated in 2006, Minster of Veterans Affairs Albina Gueriani, with the heads of Veterans organizations present, told Members of Parliament, with the heads of Veterans organizations present, that if MP's voted against the NVC, they were voting against Veterans.
Could the same be said about Veterans organizations and individuals who continue to work 'with' the Government, including the Ombudsman, under the current circumstances of a Government who's hidden agenda treats us like a burden on society disrespecting a long established 'social contract' that once was the envy of the Allied world?
What should we make of the organizations who appear to be ignoring supported allegations and calls for explanations of how their policies and actions play a significant role in denying Veterans and their families essential benefits disrespecting the established concept of 'One Veteran'? Aren't they part of our community? Don't they owe us an explanation when asked? Is there anything we can do as a community to address this behaviour? Is the behaviour important enough to address?
On our behalf, Miller Thompson / Equitas argued to the Court that the 'Social Contract' between veterans, the Government and the people of Canada is historically owned by the people of Canada and it's not open for any governing party to manipulate it as if it were their own policy as is the current case. Should we adopt the same position? What can we do about the Government's behaviour?
In summary, the lawyers, on behalf of the Government told us that there is no 'Social Contract', we are no better than welfare recipients and we should vote the current Party out of office. In addition, the Veterans organizations seem to be working 'with' the Government and not with our community.
We know where we stand, what are we prepared to do about it as a community?
All comments including those of the organizations are encouraged to provide a balanced point of view to help us work together to find a way to move beyond the current discourse.
The Canadian Veterans Advocacy Team.