We treat veterans – and others – badly

I am not saying to quit fighting bad policies. Just realize who the real enemy is.

At the end of July, the Harper government unveiled a travelling tribute to the men and women who lost their lives in Afghanistan.

The memorial, however, rings hollow when one looks at the unjust and immoral way the current federal administration is treating Canadian Forces’ veterans.

Disabled veterans had to file a class-action lawsuit against Ottawa to stop it from clawing back a portion of their monthly Veterans Affairs disability pension. The courts sided with the pensioners; the government had to replace the funds. Many families of “in need veterans” who die are denied the money required to pay for their burial.

Harper’s very selective austerity program has turned down 67 per cent of the applications for support for such burial costs.

Veteran’s affairs aside, we have gross inequities, underfunding, and poor policies in health care delivery in Canada affecting all of us. However, in the face of such bad policies, from any and all government departments, we need to be careful who we are inclined to quickly blame.

I am not a Harper supporter. However, we live in a time of many uncertainties. As a consequence, folks move to the economic, social, and political “right” – adopting a small “c” conservative value system that serves those whose life focus is “I, me, and myself.”

In the midst of such a muddy puddle, folks will not expend energy to challenge injustices that do not directly and immediately impact their personal lives.

I am a retired registered nurse and a former lieutenant in the Canadian Forces Medical Reserve.

I am sorry for the gloomy outlook I share, but rather than blaming political party leaders, we need to accept that it is the collective apathy, ignorance, and self-serving attitudes of Mr. and Ms. Public that is at the root cause of unjust and inequitable public policy.

I am not saying to quit fighting bad policies. Just realize who the real enemy is.

To quote the cartoon character Pogo: “We have met the enemy… and he is us.”


Bruce Holvick


Surrey North Delta Leader

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