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.