If you ask MP Russ Hiebert what the compensation package is like for being under fire in Ottawa and coming out healthy and virtually unscathed, he will likely respond that it is not all that bad.
All expenses paid by the public purse. Travel in the lap of luxury. A fully indexed pension for life in return for a relatively small sacrifice. Enough business contacts to launch a whole new career and create income streams.
If you ask the same question of one of our young Canadian reservists, under live fire and coming home with wounds and lifelong disabilities from Afghanistan or some other country in turmoil – sent there by our government to serve – the reply will carry quite a different tone.
Disabilities dealt with by paltry, one-time, under-market payments. Taxed on the proceeds of any annuities purchased with them. Denied their dreams and aspirations as a result of the restrictive nature of their injuries. Paying sacrifice for fighting in wars at our request and then left to languish for the rest of their lives with the injuries they sustained as a result, and ultimately left to their own devices for retraining, employment and income.
The government – all parties – changed compensation legislation in 2006 with the result that our Canadian soldiers are effectively punished for their unquestioned service to our country.
While on the one hand, I am confident this was not the intent of any individual or party, on the other hand, none of them are clamouring to correct the mistake.
Equitas Society is a local non-partisan, non-profit society which is taking the fight for these soldiers to Ottawa and to the courts to right the wrong that has victimized them.
Get informed. Find out how you can help – equitassociety.ca or call 604-970-7884. Hold elected officials accountable for their actions, and encourage them to do right by those who fight for our freedoms.
Jim Garnett, Surrey