To the editor:
I read with great interest the letters from vets in the Feb. 14 Capital News.
First of all I must correct Fred Price on his last paragraph—it is not the opposition parties that are delaying changes to the lump sum award, but the actual Conservative government.
As well, Mr. Price, it seems to me that you are getting a small disability pension, and as a WWII veteran maybe even a War Vets Allowance. If you are getting both, one was clawed back from the other until last fall, and as such, you can be a part of an upcoming lawsuit to get that money back. In 2012, the federal courts ruled that the act of clawing back disability pensions was illegal. Your local MP is not telling anyone this because he is a Conservative.
Speaking of such, MP Bob Zimmer (Prince George—Peace River) wrote a letter also toeing the party line about the Veterans Affairs Canada office closures, which are very untrue. The people at Service Canada are in no way capable of helping a veteran any more than pointing them to a computer or the toll free number. The toll free number doesn’t get you much either because they themselves cannot do much other than try and connect you to someone who may be able to. Ninety-nine per cent of the time you get a voicemail and have to wait about a week to get a call back. Over Christmas I had need to call them and ask a question about something. I was told that a letter had gone in the mail ‘a day ago’ but, she was not allowed to tell me what it said.
I had to wait the almost two weeks for Canada Post to deliver the letter.
With all of the cut backs at VAC it now takes more time than ever before to get anything approved. What used to take a few weeks now takes almost five to six months.
Last year my case manager was switched a total of four times, from someone here in Kelowna, to Penticton, and finally in Vancouver. These cutback are hurting veterans of all kinds and as such, we are finally banding together against this atrocious government and making our voices heard.
We the people put them in, and we the people can put them out. And, I for one, intend to do just that. Conservatives are no friends of the veterans no matter what they spew in the media. Actions speak louder than words.
A Canadian disabled veteran
John K Goodwin,