McLeod must support troops for more than photo-ops

Tories need to show respect for sacrifices of Canadian troops

To the editor:

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod likes to say the federal Conservative government supports our troops.

The facts say otherwise.

The Conservatives are cutting post-traumatic stress and suicide prevention programs for soldiers returning from Afghanistan, even though suicide rates doubled last year.

All told, the Tories are chopping over $200 million from Veterans Affairs, including cuts to The Last Post Fund, which helps low-income veterans get a proper burial.

It took a six-year battle in our courts to shame them into not clawing back the pensions of our disabled veterans.

They have also repeatedly been caught snooping through the personal medical records of veterans’ advocates to find embarrassing details that can be used to intimidate them into silence. Harold Leduc, Denis Manuge, Sylvain Chartrand and Sean Bruyea have all suffered from this disgusting behaviour.

Mrs. McLeod needs to learn that supporting our troops means giving them real respect. It means providing mental health support to cope with the horrors of war.

It means refusing to nickel-and-dime veterans whose service has left them disabled. It means respecting the privacy of their medical records.

We make a promise to our men and women in uniform that in exchange for their commitment and sacrifice, we will be there for them when they come home, to provide support to them and their families.

Our veterans deserve better.

 

Sean Casey

Liberal Party Veterans Affairs critic