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Brockville chapter says Harper government neglects veterans with PTSD

Jim RiesberryThe Council of Canadians Brockville chapter submits a letter to the editor and pays for a 2″ x 3″ advertisement in their local newspaper every month. The letter to the editor is printed in a newspaper with a circulation of 6,000 readers and the advertisement goes in a newspaper with a circulation of 24,000 readers. Their letter last month focused on the Harper government’s neglect of veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

In that letter, Brockville chapter activist Jim Riesberry wrote, “[An ad during the Super Bowl game] spent thousands of our money by the Harper government in an attempt to undo the terrible wrong it has done to the sick and injured vets. This is a trick that Harper does. He uses our money to promote his agenda. …The truth behind this ad is that vets feel they have been betrayed by the Harper government. The health services provided to vets wounded in body and mind have been woefully inadequate. The wounded, and those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, have not got the help they needed. Harper cut the budget of Veterans Affairs and reduced veterans’ benefits.”

“Veterans Affairs Canada offices (VAC), the major treatment centres for vets in need, [have been] closed. They can get what they need at Service Canada Centres Harper said. This was a lie. …Harper’s program for vets was described by vets as a triple D plan: ‘delay, deny, and die’. After the VACs offices were closed, the London office’s caseload went from 6,400 to 9,000 over night with vets coming from Windsor.”

Riesberry concludes, “Instead of money towards helping the wounded and those with PTSD, Harper has spent the money on celebrating D-Day, the start of WWI, the 1812 war, etc. Funding for programs to honour veterans has increased by 20 per cent to over $50,000 for 2014-2015. Vets say this money would be better spent on vets who need help now. I guess this Super Bowl ad was paid for by us as part of this program. Harper stands proudly beside soldiers going to war when they are strong and healthy, but he is not to be seen when they return in need of his help. He does not ‘Support Our Troops’ when they need him.”

His full letter can be read here.

Further reading
Council of Canadians calls for Veterans Affairs offices to remain open (January 2014 blog)
Tell MPs veterans deserve better (January 2014 action alert)
This is supporting our troops? (August 2010 blog)

Photo: Brockville chapter activist Jim Riesberry.