Veterans Affairs minister promises Afghan war memorial, but won’t say when

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Don't let politics insult our troops

Post by Guest on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 05:01

News that the federal Liberals are reconsidering the plan for a memorial to Canada's Afghan war effort is a disappointing sign of petty politics.

The Liberals have come to power with a very evident goal of undoing much of Stephen Harper's legislative agenda.

But some things should transcend politics. Among them needs to be Canada's commitment to honouring the sacrifice of our fighting men and women.

Canada lost 158 soldiers during the Afghan war as they fought to help reclaim a nation devastated by the Taliban. Many more soldiers were injured. A journalist was among those killed.

All these men and women deserve our solemn remembrance and a memorial in the capital is entirely fitting.

The Conservative government had already chosen an appropriate spot. All the Liberals seemingly need to do is to stay the course and get it built.

Deliberations are apparently still underway and we are hopeful they will do just that.

But there are signs that give cause for concern.

Already this government has scrapped a $5-million fund meant to help communities create their own cenotaphs to honour this country's soldiers.

It has likewise abandoned the Mother Canada statue proposed for Cape Breton Island, another tribute to the troops.

There is no compunction for the Liberals to follow through on every project put forward by the previous government, which was certainly on a monument spree.

But acting like a child with a pencil eraser is no way to redraw the government's priorities.

There is a middle ground between left and right we can and should find, where the Liberals can pay respect to the undeniable sacrifices made by our armed forces.

Surely these are principles Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, decorated for his own service in Afghanistan, and MP Andrew Leslie, a retired lieutenant general, can speak up for.

Our new generation of veterans has complained of feeling tossed aside.

The Liberals won an election while promising to address those concerns.

We hope they keep their promises to our veterans but also that they do not undo what the previous government had so clearly done right -- enhancing the public respect given to the Canadian military.

It's the stuff that must be above political revisionism.

http://www.torontosun.com/2016/03/06/dont-let-politics-insult-our-troops

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Re: Veterans Affairs minister promises Afghan war memorial, but won’t say when

Post by Teentitan on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 11:29

VAC kicks money into communities that create memorials/cenotaphs so did the scrapped $5million come from VAC's coffers?

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Re: Veterans Affairs minister promises Afghan war memorial, but won’t say when

Post by Guest on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 14:21

Teen ,

Don't know if the $5 million was coming from the VAC funds , but this latest monument to the Canadian mission in Afghanistan is linked to both our former MVA an our current MVA.

Here's more on it ;

MPs speak about a monument to the mission in Afghanistan

Two former Conservative ministers want the Trudeau Liberals to commit to building a monument to Canadian soldiers. Former Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O'Toole and former Minister Responsible for the National Capital Commission, Pierre Poilievre, are responding to a PostMeda report that said the monument to the Canadian mission in Afghanistan, which was announced by the Conservatives in 2014, was potentially on the chopping block. PostMedia reports that current Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr's office has still not decided whether to proceed with the memorial. Poilievre says it's the government's responsibility to honour the 40,000 Canadians who served in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2014. 158 Canadians were killed in the war.

http://www.cfra.com/what-you-need-to-know/2016/03/07/what-you-need-to-know-for-monday-march-7

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Re: Veterans Affairs minister promises Afghan war memorial, but won’t say when

Post by Teentitan on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 14:33

Thanks Trooper. I do know that VAC has a very substantial budget for cenotaph/memorial repair and creation. I gathered info for a monument here where I live for Peacekeepers and VAC's biggest rule for creating a monument is they have to see the plans and finance's first. And seeing as how they are talking to Hehr then I would say VAC is financing a large portion of this monument.
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Re: Veterans Affairs minister promises Afghan war memorial, but won’t say when

Post by pinger on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 15:17

With all due respect, sounds like a $5 million dollar manicure.

Parlay those funds to the living, the dead would appreciate it.
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Re: Veterans Affairs minister promises Afghan war memorial, but won’t say when

Post by Teentitan on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 16:31

Pinger it's because they died we have the opportunity to remember them. Personally it is a shameful, selfish act to NOT remember them.

Who gives a rat's arse which political party does the monument just do it. Besides wasn't it the last Liberal gov't that sent Canadians into the Afghan theatre?
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Re: Veterans Affairs minister promises Afghan war memorial, but won’t say when

Post by Ex Member on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 16:56

I don't understand why they gave to study making memorials they should just budget an amount each year and eventually a lot of new memorials would be constructed.

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Re: Veterans Affairs minister promises Afghan war memorial, but won’t say when

Post by Teentitan on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 17:00

That's the issue Navrat. Money is budgeted every year for memorials to either repair or construct. Right now the Libs want to take away the money promised for an Afghan memorial because it was the Cons who started the wheels in motion to create a memorial.

Politics should never be involved when erecting a memorial for Canada's veterans. Especially for a war of 10 years that Canada was involved in.
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Re: Veterans Affairs minister promises Afghan war memorial, but won’t say when

Post by Guest on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 18:04

I think they should honor and remember these troops INCLUDING THE DISABLED !!!!!!

they want to do something real bring back the PA PENSION NOW!!!!!

its easy its fast but most of all its the RIGHT THING TO DO!!!

propat

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Re: Veterans Affairs minister promises Afghan war memorial, but won’t say when

Post by Guest on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 18:23

sooo I suppose if they do go ahead with the memorial and do nothing about the buyout pinger IS IN FACT correct .

$5 million dollar manicure.

on a gangrenous hand at that .

propat

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Re: Veterans Affairs minister promises Afghan war memorial, but won’t say when

Post by pinger on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 19:19

It would be great if someone serving right now could tack in. When I was be-bopping around we never talked politics, It was very hush hush. We never bit the hand that fed us.

Probably the same reality today. AKA as common foot in mouth disease
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Re: Veterans Affairs minister promises Afghan war memorial, but won’t say when

Post by Guest on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 19:40

More on this ;

Cuts to Cenotaph Fund insult veterans

Veterans and legionnaires working to build and improve community cenotaphs will be disappointed if they go to the Veterans Affairs website looking for help. “Thank you for your interest in the Community War Memorial Program. We are no longer accepting new applications,” it says.

That is right: A program that has helped build at least 99 veterans’ monuments in communities across Canada is on the chopping block.

Fast-growing younger communities such as Riverside South and Findlay Creek may eventually need assistance to construct cenotaphs where school children and veterans can go to honour those who served. Just a few years ago, the Ottawa community of Metcalfe relied on matching funds to add the names of previously omitted First World War soldiers to the village cenotaph. However, with the cancellation of this fund, similar projects will no longer have access to matching federal money.

In a recent review of the program now being cut, the Veterans Affairs Department found it “is effective, provides good value for money, and is administratively efficient and economical.” It also found that the program came $2 million under budget over five years and that for every dollar in taxpayer money committed, communities raised another $2.80.

The government says it wants to create jobs through infrastructure. Monuments are infrastructure. In fact, the Veterans Affairs Department report on the program said building these monuments generated 115 jobs, and “created local economic activity in many small communities.”

So why end the program? Apparently, the Liberal government does not like military symbols, such as cenotaphs.

The article claims the same reasoning may lead the government to cancel a planned monument to the 40,000 men and women who served and the 158 soldiers who died fighting terrorism in Afghanistan, Canada’s longest ever military mission – a mission the previous Liberal government launched.

That is disgraceful. These monuments are symbols of the thousands who gave all so that we could enjoy the blessings of freedom.
They paid the ultimate price – and the cenotaph fund was a tiny price to pay in return. In the end, it only cost $600,000 per year, which is not even a rounding error given the government’s current spending spree.

In fact, the government of Canada spends, on average, about $600,000 a minute, every minute of every day. Maybe the people who made this terrible decision should take a minute (or better yet a moment of silence) to rethink this decision. Lest they forget.

http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/poilievre-cuts-to-cenotaph-fund-insult-veterans

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Re: Veterans Affairs minister promises Afghan war memorial, but won’t say when

Post by Teentitan on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 10:30

Same shyte different day....vets are forever going to be political fodder for all parties.
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Re: Veterans Affairs minister promises Afghan war memorial, but won’t say when

Post by Guest on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 11:14

I'm thinking our MVA only speaks , when forced to , this on Veteran topics.

Perhaps it's because he wants to limit subjects on Veterans until the budget is brought out , but if you look at his Facebook , he is all over the place speaking an writing on everything else but Veterans.

Something to keep an eye on after the budget is released.

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Veterans Affairs minister promises Afghan war memorial, but won’t say when

Post by Ex Member on Wed 09 Mar 2016, 19:45

OTTAWA — Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr promised the Liberals would “get it done,” but refused to provide further details, as Conservative MPs grilled him Monday over whether the government plans to move ahead on a national Afghanistan war memorial.

The heated back-and-forth on the floor of the House of Commons came after the minister’s office told the Citizen last week that the government had not decided whether to proceed with the Afghan memorial or another devoted to Victoria Cross winners.

“We do have a duty to honour and respect those men and women who have served in Afghanistan,” Hehr said in response to a question from Conservative defence critic James Bezan.

“We’re going to be working closely with those men and women who served as well as the organizations who want to see this project go forward. I ask the member to give us time. His government couldn’t get it done in 10 years. We’ll get it done.”

The previous Conservative government announced the National Memorial to Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan in May 2014. The project, pegged at about $5 million, was intended to honour the 40,000 Canadians who had served in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2014, including 158 who died.

The Tories re-announced the project — along with a separate memorial for Canadians who had won the Victoria Cross — last year. A site for the two memorials was chosen halfway between the Parliament Buildings and the Canadian War Museum.

Hehr said Veterans Affairs Canada is working closely with Heritage Canada “to advance this initiative.” But the minister refused to provide more specifics, including whether the memorials will be included in the upcoming budget.

Conservative veterans affairs critic Alupa Clarke accused Hehr of obfuscating since the latter took over the veterans file last November.

“This House has been sitting for four months already and yet the minister has not been able to give me one real answer regarding the veterans,” Clarke said. “We are talking about memorials for veterans. Will the Liberals honour our commitment to the Afghanistan memorial in the upcoming budget? Yes or no?”

“The Conservative government demonstrated its commitment to recognizing the sacrifices of our Canadian Armed Forces by closing nine Veterans Affairs offices and by cutting 800 front-line workers,” Hehr shot back. “We will treat our veterans with care, compassion, and respect. As well, we will take their commemoration forward in a dignified fashion.”

Hehr was asked at one point about his government’s decision to pull the plug on a $5-million program, also set up by the Conservatives, that helped local communities build their own war memorials. Conservative associate defence critic Pierre Paul-Hus asked if the Liberals had consulted stakeholders first.

“This government understands the importance of commemoration and recognizing the men and women who have served in our armed forces,” Hehr said.

“We will treat them with care, compassion and respect, not only getting them the services they need but also the commemoration they deserve. We will not continue with the (former veterans affairs minister Julian) Fantino follies of the last 10 years, and will do things better on this side of the House.”

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/veterans-affairs-minister-promises-afghan-war-memorial-but-wont-say-when

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