Billion dollars reclaimed another slap in the face for veterans

"I consider the action by the Harper Government to be one more slap in the face of all veterans."

On November 11, I led the Trail Pipe Band down the street with the veterans, the RCMP, the 44th Engineers Squadron 39CER, cadets and numerous young people in our many local organizations to and from the Cenotaph.

We were all there to remember those who served, and those who gave their lives, and those who returned to our community affected by the horrors of war.

This week, I and many others learned that the Harper government has reclaimed over a billion dollars from the Department of Veterans Affairs to pad their good news fiscal report, and to pay off the wealthiest 15 per cent of Canadians with a tax giveaway on income splitting.

My comrades in the Legion are constantly engaged in fund-raising exercises to support veterans of all ages; to build a fund to give support to those of meagre means, and especially our younger veterans who have returned from Afghanistan, and are challenged in their return to normal life with both physical and mental injuries.

I consider the action by the Harper Government to be one more slap in the face of all veterans.

As you are also aware, almost all of the local members of the 44th Engineers Squadron are not full-time soldiers.

They are members of the reserve forces, who take time to train, and be ready, should they get the call to serve our country. As you may be aware the soldier gunned down in Ottawa on October 22, was also a member of the reserves.

The Harper Government was publicly embarrassed by the compensation package that Corporal Cirillo’s family was entitled to; and made a ‘special’ case to award his family something more appropriate.

According to the press, the last three Veterans’ ombudsmen have asked for, and lobbied the minister to change the regulations so that there would be no difference between the survivor’s benefits for members of the regular forces, and members of the reserves serving our country.  They have been ignored.

I am disgusted by the actions of this Conservative government, which uses the photo ops with our forces for their own shoddy political games; and deserts those same men and women when they need help the most.

I would ask your readers to write a letter directly to Prime Minister Harper and Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino, or use this online link:, to express your feelings about this.

I would also ask you to reconsider who you would support, if you were at all thinking of voting for the Conservative Party candidate, next year.

Lest we Forget,

J. Gordon Titsworth


Just Posted

UPDATE: Accident closes Hwy 22 near Castlegar

Highway not expected to reopen until Sunday.

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Métis Flag flies in Trail on Louis Riel Day

Area students, officials and public attend flag raising at Trail City Hall

Early Trail borrowed a couple of names from the U.S.

Place Names: Connection between Trail and Butte, Montana

First Past the Post is the only option

Letter to the Editor by Dieter Bogs of Trail

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Most Read