Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Michael's Musings

Silence of the Harper government backbench on Veterans issues is deafening
By Michael J Morris

The Royal Canadian Legion is trying to ensure that Canada's veterans receive the treatment they deserve from this federal government
They were put in harm's way in their service to the country.
For example, according to the award winning Canadian journalist Michael Harris, the Harper government spent $128 million promoting the War of 1812, but for living soldiers this same government cut $35 million from Veterans Affairs and closed much needed veteran sites.
Gordon Moore, the Dominion president of the legion, said before appearing before a Parliamentary Committee that the "legion is concerned that the government has forgotten the moral obligation to look after veterans and their families who have been injured as a result of their service to Canada.

“The government put them in harm’s way, now the government has an obligation to look after them.”

A Canadian Press story highlights the fact that the Harper government has endured a barrage of criticism in recent months on its perceived treatment of veterans, and not only as a result of dissatisfaction with the charter.

It adds that a plan to shutter eight regional Veterans Affairs offices triggered widespread outrage, as did a heated – and televised – confrontation in January between Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino and a group of angry veterans.

And, this week,  Defence Minister Rob Nicholson issued a blunt apology in the House this week upon hearing that a Hamilton mother whose son killed himself after a seven-month stint in Afghanistan was issued a one-cent “release pay” cheque by the federal Public Works department, the Canadian Press reported.
Personally, among all the issues with which I disagree with the Harper government, its shabby treatment of our veterans ranks high on my list, Why, some of you may ask.
Well, for starters, my father Jim Morris was killed in the service of Canada while on active service in the RCAF during World War II. His father, my grandfather Harry Morris, served in World War I, and his brother was killed in action during that war,
Also, two of my grandmother Morris' brothers served in World War I.
And I come from a small community in Northern Ontario, Chapleau, where the veterans of World War ! and II respectively, worked tirelessly upon returning home to make it a better community for all of us -- "They served to death, why not we?'" and they did.
In Cranbrook, as many of you know I often visit the Wall of Honour in Rotary Park where the names of those men and women from Cranbrook and area are listed -- reminds me of home where ordinary folks accomplished extraordinary things.
I have lived in five provinces and it's been the same everywhere.
In a scathing article about the dismal failure of the Harperites to properly treat our veteran, silence in iPolitics, entitled "Baffling Silence of the Backbench", Mr. Harris writes,
"Who can explain the silence of the Cons?
"I don’t mean the cabinet snake-oil parodies on the nightly news — the ones who would sell their mothers, not to mention Canada’s veterans, down the river for a chauffeur and a fat paycheque.

"I am talking about the ones who let Julian Fantino and Stephen Harper turn their names to mud back home with the people who sent them to Ottawa.

"Does anyone seriously believe that Conservative MPs are getting fan-mail over the atrocious disrespect the Harper government has shown to soldiers, ex-soldiers and their families? After all, the PM once said these soldiers were the best of Canadians. Is it likely these silent MPs will be greeted with brass bands when they return to their ridings?"
Here is link to complete article by Michael Harris:
Like Mr. Harris, I simply don't get it. Surely the Conservative MPS  Canadians  sent to Ottawa have more backbone than they show. If not, best we dump the lot of them in 2015 .. or sooner if that is possible!
MPs are starting a two week break now, so how about asking your member to take a stand. End the baffling silence of the Harper government backbench.
My email is

Full disclosure: I am not now and never have been a member of the Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society; however, I did conduct a workshop for its members for which I was paid.

1 comment:

  1. Based on response to this column, albeit anecdotal, from all parts of Canada, Conservative MPs might want to get the message that the grassroots in this country is increasingly unhappy with the Harper government. Thanks for all comments but please tell your MP