February 3, 2018 3:10 pm
Updated: February 3, 2018 3:13 pm

Roy Green: It’s about the money, not the veterans

WATCH ABOVE: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced some tough questions from a military veteran, an Indigenous woman concerned by racism and people worried about a lack of progress on pipelines during a town hall meeting in Edmonton Thursday. Vinesh Pratap reports.

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“Why are we still fighting certain veterans’ groups in court? Because they’re asking for more than we are able to give right now,”  Canada’s prime minister said on Thursday at an Edmonton town hall meeting, responding to a Canadian Armed Forces veteran who lost his leg to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

Boos ensued.

The issue was proper support for Canada’s wounded and injured military veterans.

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READ MORE: Injured veteran that questioned Trudeau during Edmonton town hall says ‘enough is enough’

The veterans Canada’s prime minister admitted to be “fighting” over money are members of the Equitas Society. The group launched a class-action challenge of Ottawa’s lump-sum payout of veterans under the Stephen Harper government that continued after the election of Justin Trudeau, even though he had committed during the 2015 campaign to rectify what he then declared were shortcomings.

The most fundamental such shortcoming, according to Equitas veterans, is the federal government arguing it has no special relationship or duty to CAF members injured or wounded in service to Canada.

WATCH: Former soldier talks about why he challenged Justin Trudeau on military veterans policy

The British Columbia Court of Appeal recently decided in favour of Ottawa’s position. Equitas counters that ruling, stating, “It is necessary, as a matter of utmost public importance and safety, that the social covenant be recognized as having legal effect.

“The social covenant was and is constitutionally necessary for military recruitment to raise a voluntary citizens’ army, as evidenced in its inclusion as a term of condition of service.  Those who enlist in military service do so at great personal risk and sacrifice, but do so based on the premise which underlies the social covenant.”

READ MORE: Veterans take dispute with federal government over disability pensions to Supreme Court

The covenant goes back to the historic Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917, during which Canada suffered heavy casualties while accomplishing a military objective at which Allied forces had failed.

Yet the Court of Appeal concluded the social covenant between the federal government and the men and women of Canada’s Armed Forces does not exist.

Speak to Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry Major Mark Campbell, who lost both legs and suffered additional wounds from an IED explosive in Afghanistan. Major Campbell, an Equitas member, makes clear his disgust at the Trudeau government’s refusal to properly support Canada’s injured military members.

LISTEN: Maj. Mark Campbell joins the Roy Green Show (Jan. 21)

Individual stories of abandoned, wounded and homeless veterans are many. Deflecting responsibility for the care of such warriors has become a political art form.

Unlike members of Parliament and the Senate, soldiers, sailors and Air Force men and women cannot vote themselves a grand-slam pension plan which delivers riches for life with guaranteed increases based on cost of living, beginning after two election victories or six years of comfortable parliamentary life.

READ MORE: B.C. Court of Appeal to rule on whether wounded veterans’ lawsuit can proceed

Upon end of service, members of Canada’s military — whether wounded and harmed for life or not — may not declare “I am entitled to my entitlements” as David Dingwall, former MP, Liberal cabinet minister and appointed president and CEO of the Canadian Mint, stated when asked why he should receive a severance package following his resignation from the Mint.

The Equitas Society is appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada to hear its case and to decide a social covenant indeed exists between the federal government and men and women in Canadian military uniforms.

READ MORE: Soldier among group suing federal government over slashed disability benefits speaks out

Trudeau had no difficulty locating $10.5 million for convicted terrorist Omar Khadr and has stated that members of a declared genocidal organization (ISIS) might perform “extraordinary” duties for Canada with his backstopping of their financial requirements. (Has the prime minister even determined whether returning ISIS terrorists have now made it their objective to help Canada, or continue in their previously sworn mission to fight against countries such as ours?)

Somebody open a window. This stinks.

Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Corus Radio network.

Listen to the latest from the Roy Green Show

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