I always knew that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would be a poor choice to lead a country. I knew he was lying about what he would do if elected prime minister. The fact that he — someone born into privilege — had the audacity to suggest an injured veteran requesting a pension was greedy, shows just how out of touch he is with reality. What comes to mind is a man that is intrigued to see how the lower class people live, almost a curiosity with a world alien to his own.
From the day you enlist, every soldier considers that signature on the dotted line as a blank cheque — the ultimate sacrifice being one's life. Willing and able to lay down their last breath for Queen and country. This week, Trudeau looked in an amputee veteran's eyes and had the audacity to tell him that some veterans are asking for "more than we can give." A line has been drawn in the sand by the former white-water rafting instructor, and it is clear his privileged upbringing has skewed his perception of reality, leading him to take for granted the sacrifices made by so many.
Not surprising. His father, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, hid behind his family's wealth during the Second World War, deferring service despite being of age and healthy. Meanwhile, my one grandfather was getting bombed in Malta every day for three years before losing his firstborn to pneumonia under starvation conditions. My other grandfather, at 16 years old, was under age. He had to be dragged out of the recruiting office by his mother.
Respect is earned the hard way, and it would be hard to argue that Trudeau has done anything close to that.
A leader lacking integrity
The 10 principles of military leadership are tantamount to gospel for those serving, and include taking pride in your integrity. In the military, you are only as good as your word. Respect is earned the hard way, and it would be hard to argue that Trudeau has done anything close to that.
Take for example Trudeau's broken campaign promise to fix the first-past-the-post system under which his Liberal Party came to power. Fact is, 39.9 per cent of the vote at a 63 per cent turnout means that only 26.1 per cent of Canadians voted for a party that has infected 100 per cent of the population — and thanks to Trudeau, this scenario will continue to play out. Then there is his trip to "family friend" the Aga Khan's private island, for which he has faced no legal consequences. The laws don't seem to apply to him. He is above it all.
Glossing over problems in Veterans Affairs
The issues were supposed to be fixed. There are even six committees and a stake holder summit held biannually. I belong to the service excellence committee, whose suggestions are ignored. The stakeholder summit has not held its last two meetings. Each of the six committees have now had multiple meetings in Ottawa travel, accommodations and per diem covered, and I am not aware of one suggestion implemented by the government.
Trudeau spoke of the services that come with the cost of the New Veterans Charter, but the fact is they have only gotten worse. The suicide report known as the Veteran Suicide Mortality Study (VSMS) is a collaborative study between Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), the Department of National Defence (DND) and Statistics Canada (STC), with the following aims: to enhance the understanding of factors associated with suicide in Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) veterans, to provide updates on suicide trends over time, to aid in the discussion of suicide prevention activities and to respond to the ongoing public expectation for timely reporting — the very same reporting that conveniently stopped at 2012, right before a rash of suicides the next year.
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Events like the nine recent Veterans Affairs Canada office reopening ceremonies served to distract from the endemic rot within the department — glossing over the fact that it was the Liberal Party that upped the level of commitment in Afghanistan to appease the Bush administration, only to turn around and cut the pensions of those injured fighting their war. The only Canadians subjected to a lump-sum settlement are soldiers. Try doing that to border security, police forces, fire fighters, EMS, teachers, city workers, or any other public sector worker that has a union.
This should be a wake-up call for anyone thinking of serving or currently serving. Explore all other options, because it is not worth it. Those that think it won't happen to you — I thought the same thing. Then I got shot. Now I'm entering my 12th year without a pension.
It is a good thing the Liberals wear red; it will help hide all the blood they have on their hands.
Frankly, the prime minister is still not ready to lead, and never will be. I lost all use for him when he did one-armed push-ups with Invictus Games athletes, only to allow the Equitas lawsuits run out 12 days later. Think about how self-absorbed one must be to ask injured veterans for a favour, knowing full well that you were going to reopen a court case against re-establishing their pensions. Not only does Trudeau break campaign promises, he puts resources into making sure they stay broken.
Keep your wreaths
Personally, and for these reasons, I think that Prime Minister Trudeau should be no longer welcome at Remembrance Day events. After years of neglecting the military community and disrespecting the values by which we live, Trudeau's hollow commemorations have grown disrespectful and insulting.
My message to him: keep your wreath, and stay off the beaches at Normandy and Dieppe while you are at it. Stay away from military events in general. Stay on your side of the line. As for my sons, I am going to encourage them not to join the military — just like you and your dad. I will use your deceptions as examples of how they can become better men.
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