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Veterans Organizations Stand United and Demand Government Reaffirms its Social Contract to all Veterans

Feb 16, 2016

OTTAWA, ON – The Veterans Consultation Group representing various Veteran Organizations listed below, is outraged that Department of Justice lawyers representing the Government of Canada reject the view the Government has any moral or social obligation to Veterans and their families. On behalf of these Veteran organizations, The Royal Canadian Legion Dominion President, Gordon Moore strongly believes that all Canadians trust the Government will honour its obligation to the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the RCMP who willingly risk injury, illness or death to serve our country protecting the values and way of life we all enjoy. There is also a responsibility to the families of these men and women.

In 1917, just prior to the Battle of Vimy Ridge, Conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden stated that “You can go into this action feeling assured of this, and as the head of the government I give you this assurance: That you need not fear that the government and the country will fail to show just appreciation of your service to the country and Empire in what you are about to do and what you have already done. The government and the country will consider it their first duty to see that a proper appreciation of your effort and of your courage is brought to the notice of people at home… that no man, whether he goes back or whether he remains in Flanders, will have just cause to reproach the government for having broken faith with the men who won and the men who died.” Inherent in these words by the Prime Minister, was the promise and moral recognition that Canada and the Government of Canada would never forget the sacrifice its Veterans and their families make. This promise formed the basis of Canada’s legislation to support our Veterans.

Moore is concerned that the Government has forgotten this commitment. “On behalf of all 320,000 Legion members across the country and the members of the listed Veteran Organizations I am asking the Government to demonstrate its social and moral obligation to all Veterans and their families who serve and continue to serve our country and assure us that there will be an expanded review of the New Veterans Charter this fall.” In addition Moore states, “The recently filed lawsuit highlights beyond any doubt the need to confirm the Government’s commitment to all Veterans, to hear from Veterans and their families and to fully understand the impact of this important piece of legislation. When have injured soldiers ever sued their government?”

The money and travel related to commemorating Canada’s military history does not have meaning when soldiers are suing their Government. With the 100th anniversary of World War I just around the corner, the most profound activity this Government could deliver to honour this historic event would be to reaffirm its social contract to all Veterans and their families and assure an expanded and transparent review of the New Veterans Charter is conducted.

This is exactly what the Legion along with the members of the Veterans Consultation Group asked for in their letter to the VAC Minister in May of 2013. We are still waiting for the Minister, and indeed the Government, to take action on this issue.

This media release is supported by the following Veterans Organizations:
The Royal Canadian Legion
Army, Navy, and Air Force Veterans of Canada
National Council of Veterans Associations/ War Amps
Naval Association of Canada
Air Force Association of Canada
The Canadian Army Veterans
Canadian Naval Air Group
Wounded Warriors Canada
Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association
Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping
Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones
Hong Kong Veterans Association of Canada
The Company of Master Mariners of Canada
Korea Veterans Association of Canada
RCMP Veterans Association

For further information please contact Bruce Poulin at Dominion Command, The Royal Canadian Legion at (613) 591-3335 ext. 241 or by cell at (613) 292-8760 or bruce.poulin@legion.ca6.

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