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Canada's military veterans are suffering another condition of late: envy. They watch National Defence Ombudsman Gary Walbourne, relentlessly petition government to improve the lives of soldiers. Veterans long for their Ombudsman, Guy Parent, to have the same backbone.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau's new fiscal plan called for $725 million in additional benefits for injured veterans.
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We cannot continue to hide from the truth. We broke them; we owe them. No amount of re-framing will change that fact. If these veterans made it home from a war, then we should be able to stop them being further casualties.
If I were a member of the Liberal caucus who unceremoniously and quietly replaced a parliamentary secretary that cared about veterans with someone that helped ensure that 2015 would not be the last past-the-post election, I know I couldn't look myself in the mirror.
My message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is that Lionel Desmond's death and his killing of his family could have been avoided. It's time to stop lying to veterans. It's time to stop fighting veterans.
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They have demonized Lionel Desmond as a typical example of male entitlement and bemoan the media portraying Lionel as a victim - when the lack of mental health services is central to this tragedy. Lionel was trying desperately to get help. Lionel was denied that help. The Desmond family is now dead.
Whether help comes in the form of artillery fire, jet fighters, or helicopter gunships, no expense is spared to support and protect our troops when the bullets start flying. But is the federal government willing to continue to fork out $85 a day to keep each of our veterans with PTSD out of harm's way? Apparently not!
Former Canadian combat engineer Fabian Henry used to thrive on adrenaline - especially in combat zones - during his 12 years in the military. Now he smokes medical marijuana to avoid stressors that remind him of his most disturbing wartime experiences. And that's what now keeps him sane, he says.
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The office was closed as a cost-saving measure under the Harper government, along with several others across the country.
We all know where the problems are. Disappointingly, the Trudeau government is using the same delaying tactics of its predecessors. Canadians won't ignore this. Veterans were a key issue in the last election and will continue to be until they are treated with respect and compassion.
November 8 is National Aboriginal Veterans Day.
Gary Walbourne has released a landmark report.
Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press
"If a veteran tells another veteran about something that is working for disability, you can be guaranteed that they will tell a hundred other vets.'
"We have an obligation to address this issue of veteran homelessness.''