View From the Hill – Helping our vets should be our priority, not political partisanship by Keith Beardsley – Cornwall Ontario – August 24, 2010

Cornwall ON – Today we have news that the opposition parties are uniting to force a recall of the veterans affairs committee. It’s a shame that PMO didn’t seize the initiative on the Stogran issue and look at what is best for our veterans. Instead their talk point is that they are conducting an internal review.

Who is conducting this review? Let us have their names or departmental titles so that we can see how valid a review this will be. Is it an internal departmental review with bureaucrats analysing the work of other bureaucrats or is it being carried out by impartial outsiders? When does it report and how long will it take to make any changes that they might recommend? Will this review be made public?

I know the Prime Minister has a genuine concern for our veterans, which is one of the reasons that he appointed Pat Stogran as the Veterans Ombudsman. With Stogran’s appointment lapsing in a few months, why not meet with him one on one to get his insight on the situation? It not only offers a chance to defuse this issue, but it will put two men who care passionately about our vets face to face without all the media hype that results from a press conference. Failing such a meeting, we need a genuine review. Our vets are too important to this country to be a talk point in a memo to Conservative MPs.

Unfortunately with opposition MPs seizing the initiative from PMO, one can expect that this issue will become another political football with partisan politics once again coming to the forefront.

We don’t need MPs from all four parties standing up to pound their chests as they all yell that they love our vets more than the others do. We need a real review, one that will report in months and one that puts the interests of our vets first. Our veterans have given Canada their best, now it’s our turn to stand up and give our best to them.

Keith Beardsley is a senior strategist for True North Public Affairs in Ottawa, as well as a blogger and political analyst. He can often be found running or cycling on his favorite bike trails.

Elect Gary SamlerEOTB

1 Comment

  1. Keith: Doesn’t your comment about partisanship and Harper and Stogran meeting one on one miss the bus? Col. Pat Stogran was appointed by Harper and was already giving 100% and some for our veterans. So why was he obstructed and not renewed? Answer: a petulant PM who can’t tolerate competition or a challenge. And Canada continues to be demeaned as a result. All thinking Canadians know what the solution is: Harper must not be renewed.

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