TML Daily (Feb. 3) – JANUARY 31 saw veterans and their supporters in action across the country to denounce the Harper government’s closure of eight district Veterans Affairs offices that day, plus the closure of another office in Prince George, BC that had already taken place. These offices provide crucial services to veterans, many of whom suffer from mental or physical injuries as result of their deployments. In some cases, these services are required on a day-to-day basis to allow the veterans to heal, recuperate and re-enter civilian life. In the case of permanent injuries, the veterans may require the services their entire lives.
The Harper government pretends the cuts and closures are run of the mill modernization of service delivery for purposes of achieving what are called efficiencies and cost-savings and that the service is improved. Far from it. It is a straightforward attack on the human factor which is the essence of the anti-social offensive. The state structures, established in the 19th century with the aim of upholding what was defined as the public good, were modified in the 20th century but today they are being dismantled. Neo-liberal governments do not even recognize that society is an objective thing which exists and that people depend on it for their well-being and that governments are duty bound to uphold public right, not monopoly right.
As in the case of changes to Employment Insurance, the government’s assault on veterans is a new low. In the case of veterans, the government’s cynicism is starkly evident. It cannot expect to keep sending young Canadians to wars to serve as cannon fodder and then not look after the wounded and the families of those who died. It means that the government is counting on the disenfranchisement of Canadians in terms of the electoral process. It does not think their opposition can be made effective. Furthermore, it is hoping that the changes will be so profound and irreversible that a public authority will become a thing of the past no matter what party is brought to power. This explains the insulting behaviour of the Minister of Veterans Affairs and the Harper government towards the veterans. The humiliation is designed to bring home the point that they count for nothing and have no voice. But the government may yet be in for a rude awakening.
CPC(M-L) calls on Canadians from all walks of life to make sure this is the case. Join the protests of the veterans and support their just demands. No-one should be forced to fend for themselves, chasing insurance claims, services or anything else which belongs to them by right. This is especially evident in the case of veterans who the government does not stop telling us carry out the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
This shows that as we enter the centenary year of the start of World War I, Canada faces a defining moment. It is time to dispense with governments whose aim is to pay the rich. Reforms are needed but the kind which strengthen the human factor/social consciousness, not the kind which oppose it.
Veterans Must Not Be Forced to Fend for Themselves!
No to the Closures of Veterans Affairs Offices and Dismissal of Veterans Affairs Personnel!