Sent to Canadian Veterans Ombudsman
Dear Mr. Guy Parent,
I was somewhat upset when you first stated that you and your office were not going to take on individual Veterans issues, but were going to instead try to look for and deal with Systemic issues within the system where Veterans are concerned.
Although you are delegated to Veterans issues as the Veteran's Ombudsman, I believe that many of the issues Veterans face today begin long before they become Veterans, either in Parliament or DND and although magnified and accentuated when a soldier become a Veteran, they actually are only a continuation when they get into the hands VAC and VRAB.
Both VAC and VRAB cannot give or even contemplate awarding a pension for a condition which Ottawa has not given the OK or DND has admitted to and therein lies the problem. Some examples of this are CFB Gagetown and the defoliation chemicals used there, Depleted Uranium, Burn Pits, the Suffield Volunteers, Gulf war Syndrome, Anti-Malaria drugs and the list goes on seemingly for ever.
The largest such trickle down systemic which started within the ranks of the Bureaucrats moved on to Parliament where the Serving soldier was not allowed an opinion and was never asked, but who was stuck with the consequences once he or she became a Veteran, was the switch to the New Veterans Charter, and the erroneous Lump-sum kiss off.
However putting this all aside, and with all of the stories of little or no care being given to Veterans one has to have a deep look at the whole system. As it stands right now, Ottawa, DND, VAC, VRAB and even the so called legal aid advocates are working together to systematically reduce the after cost of war. Although this may well be politically and financially good advice for Ottawa, it is not only bad for Veterans but also increases the likelihood of Ottawa committing our young to yet another armed conflict.
For the reasons stated above I submit that the whole system is now slanted against the Veteran, and I believe that you cannot get any more systemic than this.
Kenneth H. Young CD.
The Canadian Veterans Advocacy Team.