WHY???

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Re: WHY???

Post by Dannypaj on Fri 14 Jul 2017, 07:30

I don't know about you guys and gals but this takes the cake and we should all be tired of the back and forth delays on our Rights and our Freedom.
Every waking moment I am worried...(VAC has absolute control, they provide my financial support), don't follow the vocational rehab program and chances are you get the boot.
Do veterans under the PA feel this way?
My rights are violated (no financial security, because of always waiting on a decision, and only god (VAC) knows the outcome) and no Freedom, because I must rely on a benefit that is reassessed every two years....

I felt bad for receiving a 5% pension and I fought 19 years to get it, this is unsatisfactory.
Goes to show how this society works and what pecking order us Vets fall under.
Losing faith with all the parties involved with the GOC?
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Re: WHY???

Post by Dannypaj on Sat 15 Jul 2017, 06:09

http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/veterans-khadr-settlement-1.4206063
(In fact, while the military and its veterans traditionally have been the natural constituents of the right, that largely changed during the last federal election.)
We're being heard left right and center, GoC is GoC no matter which party is in office.

Thanks Sean Bruyea !!! BZ Brother!
Making sense of this is a nightmare in itself.
Bewildered anyone?
Here on forward will be interesting, since there is a promised announcement.....
Can someone correct me if I am wrong about an up coming announcement in reference to our file.
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Re: WHY???

Post by Dannypaj on Sat 15 Jul 2017, 06:30

At the time of the budget, a senior government official speaking on background said the intention is to roll out the revised pension plan later this year and issue cheques to veterans by 2018 — a year ahead of the next election call.

The new plan, however, "would not seek parity with the old pension act," that pre-dates the Conservative changes, the official told CBC News last spring.

At the same time, the letter to Hehr expressed frustration that the advisory panel's recommendations were being ignored and "deliberately pushed down the line for further review and evaluation."

Specifically, the advisers pointed to their October 2016 report, delivered to Veterans Affairs, which suggested rolling a suite of already existing benefits and entitlements, including the Exceptional Incapacity Allowance and Attendance Allowance, into "a single stream of income for life."



Let's hope for a better solution to our concerns, now with all this fiasco in the lime light.
It'll be an eventful summer to come up with a solution.
We served our country and we are worth more then a dollar amount.
"Especially that 10.5 million can be handed out in secret".
Unfortunately this is unsatisfactory and any veteran whom is injured & settles for less....oh boy, oh boy
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Khadr Settlement Provokes Outrage In The Pembina Valley "I'm Embarrassed To Be A Canadian"

Post by Guest on Sat 15 Jul 2017, 15:59

Khadr Settlement Provokes Outrage In The Pembina Valley "I'm Embarrassed To Be A Canadian"


Saturday, 15 July 2017
Written by Steven Sukkau


Many voiced frustration at seeing Canadian taxpayer dollars used for the settlement

Residents from across the Portage-Lisgar riding recently vocalized their dismay at the Canadian government's financial settlement with Omar Khadr.

Those who gathered at Portage-Lisgar MP Candice Bergen's office in Morden Tuesday for a roundtable meeting on the issue expressed outrage over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's $10.5 million settlement.

Trudeau also issued an apology for the Canadian government's role in Khadr's incarceration and torture while detained at the U.S military prison, Guantanamo Bay.

"You could sense the frustration and the anger from people... that was pretty clear," Bergen says. "They want to know what they can do, 'can we change this decision?'"


Portage-Lisgar MP Candice Bergen held a roundtable at her office in Morden Tuesday

While born in Canada, Khadr travelled to Afghanistan with his father, a known affiliate with terrorist organizations. At age 15 Khadr was wounded in a firefight between U.S soldiers and Taliban fighters. During the fight Khadr allegedly threw a grenade that killed an American soldier before being captured and interrogated by Canadian and U.S intelligence officers.

Bergen explains while the Supreme Court ruled Khadr's human rights were violated at Guantanamo Bay, there was no prescribed monetary award.

"It's very disturbing," one resident said, "we don't pay prisoners of war."

Others voiced frustration at seeing Canadian taxpayer dollars used for the settlement.

"It's the first time I'm embarrassed to be a Canadian," another said.

"Common sense has been lost, but I'm not supposed to be angry?"



Others said it's painful to watch veterans struggle to receive needed services, only to watch someone with a terrorist background receive a multi-million dollar settlement.

The response in Morden falls in line with a recent poll conducted by the Angus Reid Institute (ARI) between July 7 and July 10.

Just over 70 percent of respondents felt the government had "done the wrong thing" and instead should've fought Khadr in court, as he was suing the Canadian government for $20 million for breaching his civil rights.

Only around 29 percent believed the government did the right thing, while only 35 percent believed Trudeau had no choice but to offer an apology and financial compensation.

For those upset with the decision, Bergen says the best course of action is holding Liberal MPs accountable.

"I would think, if they're in touch with their own constituency, they will denounce this decision," Bergen says.

https://www.pembinavalleyonline.com/local/khadr-settlement-provokes-outrage-in-the-pembina-valley-i-m-embarrassed-to-be-a-canadian-video

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Re: WHY???

Post by Bruce72 on Sat 15 Jul 2017, 20:16

This is why many Canadian veterans are troubled over the Khadr settlement

By Sean Bruyea, for CBC News Posted: Jul 15, 2017 5:00 AM ET



When pressed about the issue on the Senate floor Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he understood Canadians' "concerns" about the $10.5 million payout to Omar Khadr. "In fact," he added, "I share those concerns about the money; that's why we settled." But to the thousands of men and women who have served in Canada's military, their concerns go far beyond the simple dollar amount.

Many veterans and their families are not happy about the Khadr settlement — that much is obvious. But in the climate of vicious and partisan name-calling that seems to accompany all things Khadr, veterans' reactions are being unfairly dismissed as little more than conservative barking. (In fact, while the military and its veterans traditionally have been the natural constituents of the right, that largely changed during the last federal election.)

Fighting for benefits

At the core of the issue is benefits — specifically, the grueling adventure race veterans have to endure to plead for their parsimonious assistance. Certainly Khadr had to fight for years for justice. Veterans, likewise, often have to fight years — and often decades — to receive their benefits.

Khadr sued the Canadian government for mistreatment and violations of his rights. Veterans are barred from suing government for mistreatment when seeking benefits. What's more, veterans are limited to using the military's rotten veterans tribunal system, one that provides "free" lawyers employed by the very department from which veterans are trying to seek benefits.



Legal settlements in Canada do not fall under taxable income, therefore Khadr will pay no tax on his $10.5 million. But ever since Ottawa replaced lifetime pensions for wounded veterans with one-time lump sums, 95 per cent of the benefits received by severely injured veterans and their survivors is now taxable. The court case to return to lifelong pensions continues for its fifth year, even though Trudeau promised to end court cases against veterans and return to lifelong pensions.

To prove permanent disability, Canadian veterans must make humiliating annual declarations that they are still missing their legs, or that their minds and spirits continue to be devoured by the lingering trauma of war. Should the most injured attempt some part-time employment for a more meaningful life, the government deducts every dollar earned. Indeed, the government already deducts pension, CPP disability, OAS and GIS from veterans' benefits. Khadr, on the other hand, gets to keep every cent of his settlement.

What's more: the $10.5 million was made rather surreptitiously — the government hasn't actually even confirmed that amount, nor has it explained how the precise dollar figure was determined.

Because we don't know the details of the Khadr settlement, the reasons for the discrepancies are speculative. But for those who have devoted their lives to defending Canada and now fight to receive their deserved compensation, watching the Canadian government simply hand over $10.5 million to someone who allegedly fought against our ally is unsettling, to say the least.

Indeed, for all the government's rhetoric about sending signals about fairness and justice, out-of-court settlements have minimal effect upon future court decisions. And as for Trudeau's claim that "when governments fail to respect people's rights, we all end up paying," there is no indication that the bureaucrats who actually breached Khadr's rights according to the Supreme Court ended up paying anything. Instead, you and I are paying the price.

http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/986591811813/

Among Trudeau's justifications for paying Khadr was the idea that it would have cost the government more to fight than to pay. But justice, fairness, openness and transparency about a government's actions should not be dependent on how much it costs to avoid paying a debt. Veterans are owed billions in lifetime pensions. Should we wait until Ottawa racks up a billion-dollar legal bill before settlement is possible?

When they see such comprehensive government action to try to right the wrongs done to Khadr, veterans and their fellow Canadians simply can't understand the gross discrepancy. Why are those willing to make the supreme sacrifice for our country so persistently left behind?


http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/veterans-khadr-settlement-1.4206063

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Older Payout - Same Amount

Post by Guest on Sun 16 Jul 2017, 06:23

Sent to me by VVi's Chief Editor

Maher Arar Accepts Ottawa's Apology - And $10.5 Million Compensation


BY NEWS STAFF

Jan 26, 2007


Maher Arar CITYNEWS

“They have acknowledged my innocence. This means the world to me.”

With those words, Maher Arar finally loosened the long yoke that has followed him around since he was deported from the U.S. and sent to be tortured in Syria in 2002. It happened after the R.C.M.P. provided false information about his ties to terrorists.

He accepted a long awaited – and much cheaper – settlement package from the federal government Friday. He had originally been asking for $400 million. He settled for $10.5 million, along with another $1 million to cover his legal costs.

And he also received another benefit that may be beyond price – an official apology from Stephen Harper.

“In doing so, the government of Canada and the prime minister have acknowledged my innocence,” Arar explains. “This means the world to me, to Monia (his wife), to my kids, to my mother, and father, to my five brothers and sister.”

Saying his struggle has shown him how important it is to fight for human rights, Arar admitted he may never get over what happened to him.

“My suffering and the suffering of my family did not end when I was released,” he agrees. “The struggle to clear my name has been long and hard. My kids have suffered silently. And I feel that I owe them a lot. I feel now that I can devote more time to being a good father to them. And to being a good husband. And to rebuilding my life.”

He also thanked the Canadian people for pushing for the truth.

It was those same people on the mind of Harper as he offered an apology of behalf of Canada for the events that happened before he took over in Ottawa.

“Although these events occurred under the last government, please rest assured that this government will do everything in its power to ensure that the issues raised by Commissioner O’Connor are addressed. I trust, having arrived at a negotiated settlement, we have ensured that fair compensation will be paid to you and your family.”

Arar was tortured for almost a year and lost his job amid a cloud of suspicion. He was eventually cleared in an inquiry conducted by Mr. Justice Dennis O’Connor and received an apology from R.C.M.P. Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli, who would tearfully resign his post over the affair.

Both sides made reference to the large amount that taxpayers will dole out for the tragic mistake, and both insist that no amount of cash will ever be enough to undo the damage.

“I know to some Canadians that will sound like an awful lot of money,” Harper admitted. “But I can tell you that the reality is, given the findings of the O’Connor commission and the unjust treatment that Mr. Arar received, that figure is within this government’s realistic assessment of what Mr. Arar would have won in a lawsuit and that is the basis on which we concluded this settlement.”

Arar’s own lawyer was less diplomatic.

“No amount of money would cause a rational person to choose what Maher Arar and his family have been through,” Julian Falconer points out.

“I ask you to consider that he spent the 10 months and 10 days never knowing which day he would be tortured, never knowing whether he would live or die. To those who would suggest that money could somehow fix this or have rendered him whole, I say to you that is absurd. I would go further and suggest that at the end of the day, not one of us would trade our good names and our ability to live a normal life for that amount of money.”

The engineer was preparing to fly to Montreal from Tunisia when he was held at a New York airport in 2002 and subsequently sent to Syria by U.S. authorities after they received incorrect info about alleged al-Qaida ties from the Mounties. Canadian officials brought him home more than a year later, and a judicial inquiry eventually cleared him.

News of the deal comes two days after the U.S. Ambassador slammed Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day for demanding Arar be removed from the U.S. no-fly list, something they’ve refused to do.

“It’s a little presumptuous of him to say who the United States can and cannot allow into our country,” the ambassador said after meeting with Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach in Edmonton.

“Canadian officials would rightly never tolerate any American official dictating to them who they may or may not allow into their country.”

U.S. officials reason that they have information to back up their decision, but Day said this week that he’d seen it and that there was nothing incriminating in the file.

“It simply does not alter our opinion that Mr. Arar is not a threat, nor is his family,” the minister said. “We are continuing to let our position be known on that.”

University of Toronto political science professor Nelson Wiseman says the settlement doesn’t bring the Arar affair to an end.

“I don’t think the government had much choice in terms of an apology or compensation in light of the legal findings of a Canadian judge. Having said that, I think the real story here hasn’t come out yet, and that’s the culpability of the media and those in the government that leaked false information to the media,” he said. ” The media still haven’t revealed who those people are; nor is it apparent that those people have in any way been disciplined or named.”

Arar has sued U.S. officials over their role in the matter. That suit is pending.

Maher Arar Statement

“Good afternoon. I cannot begin to tell you how important it is, how important it is today that Prime Minister Harper and his government have moved forward on the work of Justice O’Connor by apologizing to me and my family and awarding compensation.

In doing so, the government of Canada and the prime minister have acknowledged my innocence. This means the world to me, to Monia to, my kids, to my mother, and father, to my five brothers and sister.

I thank the prime minister and his government for taking this step. My suffering and the suffering of my family did not end when I was released. The struggle to clear my name has been long and hard. My kids have suffered silently. And I feel that I owe them a lot.

I feel now that I can devote more time to being a good father to them. And to being a good husband. And to rebuilding my life.

This struggle has taught me about how important it is to stand up for everyone’s human rights. Monia and I also realize that this compensation makes it possible for us to contribute in other ways to Canadian society.

As I have stated many times before, this struggle was never just about me. This was a struggle for everyone. And I will continue to do all I can to add my voice to those working to make sure that all of Justice O’Connor’s recommendations … are fully implemented.

The fact that the previous government called a public inquiry into my case must be acknowledged. So too must the efforts of the current government to implement Justice O’Connor’s recommendations.

Finally I want to pay tribute to the Canadian people. Without the support of the Canadian people, I may never have come home, and I would not have been able to stay strong and push for the truth.

I feel proud as a Canadian and I feel proud of what we have been able to achieve collectively. Above all, I must thank my wife Monia for the strength, the courage, and the determination she has shown all along the struggle. To Monia, to my daughter, and to my son, I say I owe you a lot.

Thank you.”

The following is the text of the letter from Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Maher Arar:

On behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish to apologize to you, Monia Mazigh and your family for any role Canadian officials may have played in the terrible ordeal that all of you experienced in 2002 and 2003.

Although these events occurred under the last government, please rest assured that this government will do everything in its power to ensure that the issues raised by Commissioner O’Connor are addressed.

I trust that, having arrived at a negotiated settlement, we have ensured that fair compensation will be paid to you and your family. I sincerely hope that these words and actions will assist you and your family in your efforts to begin a new and hopeful chapter in your lives.

Key Quotes

“I’ve never wanted to become a public figure, but the circumstances forced me to. You know sometimes I sit down and write my name on Google and see how many hits I have. So the minute I feel it’s going, I will come back again and talk to you.”
Arar on his unwanted and undeserved infamy.

“What they’re doing now by making political certain selected items of information, is not the way to proceed. [Not] if the United States considers itself to be a democratic country.”
Arar on his continued exclusion from the U.S.

“I believe that the most important question is that if somebody is put on this no-fly list, how can that name be withdrawn from the list. Are you on that list for life? For example in my case. When they sent me to Syria, they gave me a document in which it was said I couldn’t come to the United States for five years. Now in September of this year, does that mean that they will take my name off the list? That I do not know.”
Arar on how long the ban will last

“We went to Brussels back in March, the plane actually entered the U.S. airspace for about 10-15 minutes, and I was watching us on the map and it actually flew over Bangor [Maine] … where the private jet refuelled before it went to Rome. So I was not comfortable at all during those 10-15 minutes. Time will tell only whether this will change.”
Arar on his travel problems

“I ask you to consider what he now faces, him and his family. Severely restricted from practicing their faith and returning or conducting a pilgrimage to Mecca. They can’t travel to over one-third of the world’s countries according to experts, not simply because of their own fears but because acting reasonably while on the U.S. watch list and for the rest of the foreseeable future, he would be a fool to take such a risk.”
Julian Falconer, Arar’s lawyer

“I have tried to find a job before in my field. I have never been able to. Remember in the old days it, took me like a week to find a job so at least now I have this hope how to rebuild it, how to do it.”
Arar on his future employment as a computer engineer

“Part of this process was an apology in writing, and I want you to know why. Monia Mazigh (Arar’s wife) told me that she wanted an apology in writing from the prime minister so when her children are old enough they have written proof from the prime minister of Maher’s innocence. That is wrong. No one should have to prove their good name to their children. That is simply abominable.”
Falconer on the future of Arar’s family

“I really wish I can buy with this money my life back,”
Arar on what he’d really like to do with the $10.5 million

“Today innocence has triumphed.”
Falconer

Key dates in the Maher Arar ordeal, courtesy Canadian Press:

Sept. 26, 2002: Arar arrives at JFK Airport in New York City, on flight from Zurich, headed for Montreal. Detained by U.S. authorities, questioned, told he is inadmissible to the United States and asked where he would like to go. He says Canada.

Oct. 4, 2002: Arar visited by Maureen Girvan, Canadian consular officer in New York. She later says she never thought the Americans would send him anywhere except home to Canada.

Oct. 8, 2002: Arar taken from his cell at 3 a.m., told by American officials he is being deported to Syria on suspicion of terrorist activity. Bundled aboard private jet.

Oct. 9, 2002: Plane lands in Jordan, Arar quickly transferred by car to Damascus where he is to be jailed by Syrian military intelligence.

Oct. 10, 2002: Arar gets first look at cell he describes as size of a grave. Spends most of next 10 months there.

Oct. 11, 2002: Arar tortured for first time, beaten on palms, wrists, lower back and hips with electrical cable. Confesses — falsely, he says — to terrorist training in Afghanistan.

Oct. 23, 2002: Arar meets Canadian consul Leo Martel for first time. Beatings have lessened since he was first jailed, and Martel later says he couldn’t detect any signs of physical torture. Several more consular visits in subsequent months but none are private; Syrian officials insist on being present.

Early April, 2003: Arar briefly allowed some time in outdoor courtyard. First time he has seen sun in six months.

April 23, 2003: Arar meets Canadian ambassador Franco Pillarella and two visiting Canadian MPs, Marlene Catterall and Sarkis Assadourian. Again Syrians insist on being present and he can’t speak frankly.

Aug. 14, 2003: Routine consular visits resume after long interruption. Arar describes living conditions and later says he told consul he had been tortured. Consul says he knew living conditions were bad, but Arar never spoke of torture.

Aug. 23, 2003: Arar blindfolded, put in car and driven to new prison. Treatment improves and there is no further torture. No longer held in solitary confinement, can mix with other prisoners.

Sept. 19, 2003: Arar teaching English to fellow prisoners when he hears another Canadian has arrived at prison. It’s Abdullah Almalki, an acquaintance from Ottawa who has also been tortured.

Oct. 4, 2003: After days expecting further interrogation, Arar told instead he will be going home to Canada. He doesn’t believe it.

Oct. 5, 2003: Arar taken to meet prosecutor who reads out confession of his supposed terrorist past and tells him to sign it without giving him chance to read it. Then taken to meet head of Syrian military intelligence, who has been joined by Canadian officials for occasion. Arar freed and put on plane to Canada.

Sept. 18, 2006: Inquiry report blames RCMP for supplying inaccurate and unfair to Americans about Arar’s alleged terrorist leanings, likely basis for the U.S. decision to detain and deport. Says Arar has committed no crime and is no threat to Canadian security.

Sept. 28, 2006: RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli apologizes to Arar, but says he will not resign. Receives support from government and some opposition parties.

Dec. 6, 2006: Zaccardelli resigns after acknowledging he provided erroneous information about the Arar case to a Commons committee.

Dec. 12, 2006: Second part of Arar inquiry report released, recommending much tougher oversight of RCMP and other security agencies.

Jan. 26, 2007: Canadian government announces settlement with Arar.

http://www.citynews.ca/2007/01/26/maher-arar-accepts-ottawas-apology-and-10-5-million-compensation/

Posted to show the same payout amount.

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Re: WHY???

Post by Dannypaj on Sun 16 Jul 2017, 06:25

Still doesn't  add up or make any sense.
It is more like a right hook to the jaw from Tyson, then a slap in the face.
First off, the transaction was to be done in secret, what does that tell you?
Another thing, how do you medically release an injured soldier and give him nothing to live on, but yet settle with this amount under veil (evil) & secrecy.
I don't get it at all.
Move on, that is what needs to be done and please allow the new found freedom (eye for eye), we must believe in the government and their deals. (just like the promise to us)
I know my Canada isn't falling apart.  
If Canada can take care of this young fellow (Canada's newest MULTI millionaire), then we can take even better care of our Veterans.
What do you think?
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Re: WHY???

Post by Dannypaj on Sun 16 Jul 2017, 06:43

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Re: WHY???

Post by Dannypaj on Sun 16 Jul 2017, 07:15

"By contrast, Omar Khadr was less than two months shy of his 16th birthday when he murdered SFC Speer. Footage aired on the popular American television program 60 Minutes shows Khadr laughing and joking while making and planting the kind of explosive devices that killed 97 Canadians in Afghanistan. Omar Khadr was no child soldier. Had he not been injured and apprehended that July day, he would have attempted to kill more NATO troops, and may have succeeded".

According to

International law (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_use_of_children)

In 1989, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 38, proclaimed: "State parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 15 years do not take a direct part in hostilities." However, children who are over the age of 15 but under the age of 18 are still voluntarily able to take part in combat as soldiers.

"In addition, some accounts from leaders of armed groups, claim that children are as effective recruits as adults citing their apparent bravery, agility and stamina. Beber & Blattman (2013)"

Hence why we all joined the CF, good old Canadian Family values.


Last edited by Dannypaj on Sun 16 Jul 2017, 07:21; edited 1 time in total
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Re: WHY???

Post by Dannypaj on Sun 16 Jul 2017, 07:18

Listen to the infantries encounters and commentary reporting, they are the frontline staff (up close and personal).
"American television program 60 Minutes shows O.K. laughing and joking while making and planting the kind of explosive devices!"
Where's the investigation to where those bombs went and any if any hurt our Forces (incriminating footage ,even abroad)?
Would you be awarded 10.5 million, if CSIS had a video like that of you (I don't think so), I know there is some on here that worked for CSIS, so what do you think, EH?
Done Ranting, almost!
One more thing, if this isn't promoting child soldiering by handing over 10.5 million, "then god only knows what'll stop the worlds bigotry".
And it sure isn't the courts, nor politicians, or bureaucrat; but our own beliefs as Canadians that'll fix and solve this solution.

Why the GoC would award a wrong with a right , leaves me clueless and speechless?
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Re: WHY???

Post by Dannypaj on Sun 16 Jul 2017, 07:46

This is more like my Canada.
canadians-raise-money-for-us-soldiers-family-after-khadr-settlement

http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/canadians-raise-money-for-us-soldiers-family-after-khadr-settlement/ar-BBErNdL?li=AAggFp5&ocid=SNYDHP

Speer has not responded to requests to talk about the situation but in the past expressed appreciation for a similar fundraiser in 2012, when Khadr was returned from Guantanamo Bay to Canada to serve out his sentence. That campaign raised about $100,000 — with about half coming from the Edmonton-based South Alberta Light Horse Regiment.
BZ!!!!
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Re: WHY???

Post by Dannypaj on Sun 16 Jul 2017, 08:26

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Re: WHY???

Post by Dannypaj on Sun 16 Jul 2017, 08:47

Hmmm....BUT, The United states military members are treated with respect and appreciation for their service, quoted Ab. L. " basic element of being a nation is you take care of those who are born to battle".
AN ACTUAL CONTRACT!
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Re: WHY???

Post by Dannypaj on Sun 16 Jul 2017, 09:16

ScottyG wrote:The interest alone will reward him 400000 per year for life....far exceeding what a totally ruined vet would receive in his life time

Simple math
$10,500,000* .3% (average interest, per year)
Starting Principal:  $   10,500,000
Years:       1
Annual Interest Rate:      %  3

 

Results

Future Value, using...  
 Simple Interest:  $    10,815,000
 Interest made = $     $315,000

OMG, I am sick to my stomach.

SHORT CUT TO SIMPLE CALCULATER
http://www.moneychimp.com/features/simple_interest_calculator.htm
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Canada's shameful history of neglecting veterans

Post by Guest on Mon 17 Jul 2017, 06:22

Canada's shameful history of neglecting veterans


BY JAMES WALLACE, V-P, EDITORIAL, SUNS

SUNDAY, JULY 16, 2017 07:26 PM EDT | UPDATED: SUNDAY, JULY 16, 2017 08:51 PM EDT


In one of the many emotional ramp ceremonies conducted during Canada's mission in Afghanistan, Royal Canadian Dragoons Trooper Marc Diabto's flag-draped casket is carried by fellow soldier to an awaiting CC-130 aircraft for repatriation back home from Kandahar. Diabto was killed and four others wounded by an IED on March 8, 2009. (Sun files)

Few in Canada, apart from his apologists, support the federal Liberals' secret $10.5 million payoff and formal apology to Omar Khadr.

There’s little mystery in that.

Khadr, regardless of his relative youth at the time or the specifics of his engagement in a firefight that left a U.S. soldier dead, was widely viewed as having won a jackpot for fighting with terrorists against Canada.

However, while an Angus Reid poll showed three-quarters of ordinary Canadians think the Liberals made the wrong decision by settling with Khadr, for the men and women in Canada’s armed forces, particularly our wounded veterans, it was nothing short of abject betrayal.

Ottawa has spent years fighting a class action lawsuit by injured and disabled Afghanistan veterans seeking to overturn 2007 Conservative government changes to pension entitlements that for many, substantially cut their benefits.

So when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered a back-handed condemnation last week for his government’s shameful deal and apology to Khadr, saying “The Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects all Canadians, every one of us, even when it is uncomfortable,” those words stuck in the craw of many of our wounded warriors.

The insult wasn’t tied to whether the courts would eventually agree that Canada failed to protect Khadr’s rights, whether he was subjected to abusive, illegal and degrading interrogation and treatment — conditions that invalidate his guilty pleas before an American military tribunal to terrorism and murder.

Rather, the insult was tied to the fact that if the federal Liberals can do right by Khadr, compensating him for the violation of his rights following capture and imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay, then why have they taken so long to make good on a promise to do right by our veterans.

“Our outrage has nothing to do with Khadr’s rights,” said Marc Burchell, president of Equitas Society, the group supporting the six disabled Afghan war veterans fighting the government in court.

“All Canadians have rights,” Burchell said. “The anger is that the government moved quickly to satisfy Khadr’s rights but has failed to do the same after promising veterans they would reinstate their pensions.”

In 2007, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government changed Canada’s disability benefits for veterans, replacing lifelong pension payments with a “New Veterans Charter” that included a one-time, maximum $360,000 payout and complex pension entitlement system.

Major Mark Campbell, now retired and one of the six suing the government, was an infantry officer training and mentoring Afghan troops in June 2008 when he was targeted during a village sweep operation in Afghanistan.

Insurgents had buried an improvised explosive device (ironically similar to the ones Khadr made while training with al Qaeda) and detonated the bomb as Campbell walked by. His unit was then hit on three sides by rocket propelled grenades and machine-gun fire, a “complex ambush”.

In the dust and chaos, Campbell looked down and saw the blast had blown off one leg, shredded the other. He died, twice, on operating tables and was revived. He endured multiple surgeries, extended rehabilitation, was left permanently disabled, in permanent pain, with a host of life-long injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Trained throughout his career to overcome adversity, Campbell didn’t expect, then or now, betrayal from his own government.

“I served for 20 years before they changed the rules,” Campbell told the Sun. “They changed the rules in the middle of the war and they didn’t bother to tell us they restructured the benefit.”

For Campbell, the new “charter” meant a 46% reduction in lifetime compensation. With a wife, young son and daughter, it meant a reduced income and lifetime of significant disability-related expenses.

“It’s a good deal for them, not such a good deal for me,” he said.

During the 2015 federal election campaign, the Liberals harshly criticized the Conservatives and promised to address veteran disability compensation.

“We have a social covenant with all veterans and their families that we must meet with both respect and gratitude,” the Liberals said on their website.

“Veterans who need crucial mental health services are waiting months, even years, to get help. Harper even left over $1 billion budgeted for veterans’ services unspent.”

“A Liberal government will live up to our obligation to Canada’s veterans and their families. We will demonstrate the respect and appreciation for our veterans that Canadians rightly expect, and ensure that no veteran has to fight the government for the support and compensation they have earned.”

During the campaign, Trudeau promised to “reinstate lifelong pensions and increase their value in line with the obligation we have made to those injured in the line of duty.”

That hasn’t happened.

Instead, Campbell and five other veterans continue to fight the government in court, and rightly question the priorities of a government that deals expeditiously to address the wronged rights of a convicted terrorist ahead of a promise to do right by the men and women harmed and broken in the service of this nation.

“It is frustrating,” Campbell said.

“They not only gave Khadr $10.5 million, they gave him a formal apology. Meanwhile we’ve got 20-somethings sentenced to life in a wheelchair, and they get $360,000,” he said.

“It’s the absurdity of it.”

Canada has a track record of turning its back on war veterans.


During WWI, then-Prime Minister Robert Borden promised Canadian soldiers the country would look after them, particularly those injured in war.

“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.”

Returning home after the war, to a fragile economy, returning veterans asked the government for a $2,000 payment to help them adjust and compensate them for lost wages during the war.

The government refused.

Although the federal government built a series of veterans’ hospitals across the country during and following the two great wars, inadequate services and pensions for veterans became a chronic problem.

By the late 1990s, a Senate committee on pension reform talked about a “common thread” on the pension process running through reports dating back to 1981.

“As veterans have aged, the frustration and anger over the years it could take to fully adjudicate a pension claim have mounted,” the committee reported. “Repeated efforts to ‘fix’ the system did not do away with backlogs of thousands of cases and waits of one to two years just to get a first level decision.”

The Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces has written a number of reports detailing problems with pension compensation, and in 2007, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government tried to fix problems with a new “Veteran’s Charter” that improved benefits for some but replaced lifelong pensions with a complex, bureaucratic system that reduced benefits for many.

http://www.torontosun.com/2017/07/16/canadas-shameful-history-of-neglecting-veterans


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