OTTAWA - Former Canadian soldiers don't want the voice of war veterans silenced just yet. A petition is circling some legion halls that urges the Conservative government to keep popular veterans ombudsman Pat Stogran on the job awhile longer.It's criminal that it had to come to this.
The Tories have said the retired colonel's three-year contract won't be renewed this fall. But the petition makes it clear the veterans want Stogran to stick around. Among other things, it calls on the government to "renew the mandate of the Veterans Ombudsman, Col. Pat Stogran" The petition will be sent to Parliament once it makes its way through the legions.
And to do a little damage control, the government has thrown a few bucks their way, but it was only perceived as further insult.
Following WWII, veterans were offered low-interest loans and free college tuition to help adjust to civilian life after serving their country. Surely Afghan vets should be entitled to the same by a government spending $16 billion on new fighter jets. The slick hardware may be necessary for a modern military in the 21st century. Yet the most precious asset this country has is human — serving men and women — and their benefits have been eroded under the Veterans Charter. This Tory fix needs a retrofit.This country needs a retrofit.