I think I'm starting to see now why Greg Thomspon resigned. He was one of the few, if not the only, Progressive Conservative left in this party, and would not have presided over this disgrace.
We have to fight this. Be sure to join this group and show your support. We have to let our veterans know that we are glad they made it home.
Opposition MPs plan to force another House of Commons committee to return early from summer break to review the impending departure of the first-ever veterans ombudsman. Liberal critic Rob Oliphant submitted a letter to the clerk of the all-party Veterans Affairs committee Friday and demanded it be recalled to study the Conservative government's refusal to appoint retired colonel Pat Stogran to another term.
Stogran unleashed a barrage of criticism on the Veterans Affairs Department earlier this week, claiming bureaucrats were more interested in "penny-pinching" than helping those who fought for the country. He promised to carry on a public campaign for veterans during his last three months in office. The Conservative government notified him two weeks ago that his three-year appointment — due to expire on Nov. 11 — would not be renewed.
Stogran, flanked by vets at an Ottawa news conference, claimed to have been told by a senior federal Treasury Board official that it was in the country's best long-term financial interest that soldiers die in Afghanistan, rather than come home wounded because pay-outs were less. Stogran also accused the department of "cheating" war widows and said that a program to help them was shelved.
For his part, Oliphant accused Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn of misleading both former soldiers and the public. Oliphant disputes Blackburn's statements regarding a federal move to replace guaranteed life-time pensions with lump-sun payments and earning loss stipends. "I think it's time the minister answer some questions because I don't think he's being up-front with Canadians," said the Toronto-area MP.
And a little John McDermott for our veterans.