Sent: August-17-13 2:29 PM
To: Jeff Rose-Martland
Subject: Denial of Social Contract
NOTE: I have BCC'd some individuals who need to read this but don't want to be part of a massive email chain. To those people: I apologize for contacting you, but this is absolutely critical. This should be the only email you receive unless you reply.
NOTE: This email has not included, to my knowledge, any media or politicians, only veterans and advocates. Please respect the sensitive nature of this email and DO NOT add any outsiders.
I know you have been following the lump-sum class action suit, but to refresh your memory....
On 24 July, Harold Leduc noted:
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 throughout 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.
You must all take careful note of those statements. They transcend mere legal wrangling - they are the official position of the Government of Canada as presented by Crown attorney. Such arguments in a case like this necessitate Government approval, not just by the Attorney General, but also by the PMO. These are not law references, but official policy statements. The Government of Canada has stated that it doesn't owe you or serving members anything. Entitlements will, therefore, be presented as some sort of gift or benefit, delivered from a condescending hand, not out of moral or legal obligation.
Regardless of how the class-action suit proceeds, you can expect that this will be government's new approach: shifting away from "entitlements" through "benefits" into "nothing more than the average citizen". As we've seen with Harper downloading RCMP medical to the provinces, among other moves, I expect the long-term plan will be to move all veteran and in-country medical expenses to medicare and disability pension to CPP. THAT is what those arguments hint at.
At this time, you need to do two things:
1 - Unite against those arguments
2 - Appeal to civilians
Issue #1, Unity:
I appreciate that there are many complex issues relating to organizational unity and that, perhaps, it is impossible to achieve. That is beside the point at the moment. Government considers you all one demographic. Civilians consider you all the same. Maybe you are not, but in this, perception is reality.
Government has struck at the foundation of volunteer national service: the social contract. Government says it doesn't exist. If no one comes out strongly to prove them wrong, then the contract WON'T exist, regardless of what you were told upon enlistment or how many papers and bits of legislation say otherwise. From Government's standpoint, silence equals agreement.
Therefore, regardless of your feelings on a national unity organization, you must all act against Government's claim. If you cannot form up under one umbrella, then at least find common cause in this issue and send out statements denouncing the Crown's argument.
Issue #2, civilians:
There is a tendency in the veteran-government debate to ignore civilians. It should always be remembered, by both sides, that Citizens are the employer of BOTH. As such, the public are the ones to which you must appeal.
The social contract is not with Government. It is between those who serve and the people of Canada. Government can argue what it wants if citizens are not involved. However, if citizens declare that the social contract DOES exist, government does not have a legal leg to stand on. While judges generally do not consider public opinion, in this case, they will have to - the social contract is unwritten but at the heart of the argument. It exists if both sides say it does. If the public - or a significant portion - declares there is an obligation between the people and those who served, the Crown's case collapses.
Therefore, whatever personal contempt you might feel for civilians, you need to get the public on board to win this fight. That means talking with them and not blaming them.
As those who recently attended the Military Minds weekend can attest, public support IS there. Citizens love and support those who have served; they just don't know what to do to show it. When an event appears, they turn out in droves, even with no promotion. If Citizens are shown what they can do, now, to support veterans, most will be glad of the opportunity.
To that end, I have created a petition whereby Canadians can declare the social contact exists. If significant numbers sign (1% or more of the population), the Crown's case collapses AND future Government moves towards eliminating benefits to veterans are headed off.
Our Duty is pleased to take the lead in this initiative, but we cannot do this alone. Everyone needs to unite to declare the social contract real and valid. While I will be promoting this petition, I hope you will join in and do the same. There are 1 million active duty and veterans; 1 in 33 Canadians. Every one of them has friends and family. So promote, beg, plead, cajole, anything you have to, but get their names on this document. I will be pushing the civilians and enlisting other Citizen groups to help.
The petitions are found here:
Everyone, please carefully consider your next move on this issue. If you lose on the social contract, you will lose on all future issues. Government will have no reason to sit down with any of you for any reason.
Our Duty is a citizens' organization dedicated to ensuring Canada's veterans receive proper pension and benefits.
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