11/16/2012 12:18 EST | Updated 01/16/2013 05:12 EST

What Harper Needs to Do for Veterans


It's the never the wrong time to do the right thing

A few days ago I was on Sun News' Charles Adler show having been invited to appear to talk about Grant Humes' campaign to bring national attention to the plight of our Veterans.

As Grant's campaign manager I can tell you I was 100 per cent in agreement when he told me he wanted to make Veterans Benefits an important issue of the campaign.

As part of that campaign we made signs that said "support our veterans" and launched an issue specific website,

Some have remarked that it is insensitive to talk about veterans' benefits so close to Remembrance Day -- but we launched this campaign before the election was called. The only person who knew when this election was going to be was Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Remembrance Day has come and gone -- and still there has been no action by the Harper government. On Sunday, the Dominion President of the Royal Canadian Legion wrote and condemned the inaction of this government.

Of course on Adler last night I was attacked and my candidate was attacked for daring to stare down Stephen Harper and demand he do better.

The reality is that it is now Thursday, and we are still talking about veterans. Our campaign to bring national attention to this issue is working.

We will continue this campaign with single minded purpose and resolve until Stephen Harper stands up and makes things right for our Veterans and their families.

This campaign will take as long as it takes. Thanks to the leadership of Grant Humes and this by-election in Durham we have been given a little of the media spotlight -- we do not intend to waste it.

Here is what our campaign is calling on the Prime Minister to do:

1) Restore the Veterans Disability Pension. Right now our disabled vets who come home are being given lump sum payments and then being shown the door. It's not right.

2) Expand the eligibility and contributions of the Federal Burial Fund (Last Post Fund). Over 20,000 families have been denied funeral assistance in burying fallen vets. Vets deserve a respectful funeral.

3) Stop fighting our Veterans in courts. Harper has been appealing every time he loses a court fight with Veterans dragging them through the courts for years and wasting our tax dollars on lawyers at the same time.

With every passing day we hear more and more Canadians say enough is enough. A few days ago, Charles Adler asked me to apologize for the campaign -- I will never apologize.

We did not decide to run a campaign in one of the most Conservative ridings in the country because we were opportunists -- we're running this campaign because it is the right thing to do.

Harper has a choice, he can do the right thing, he has done the wrong thing. The only one who should be apologizing is him.

Always remember; never forget.