Editor, The Times:
M.P. Cathy McLeod likes to say that the Conservative Party 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, they 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 veteran’s 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 behavior.
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.
Liberal Party Critic for Veterans Affairs