Bruyea fights a good fight: vet

The Hill Times-Published January 26, 2009

Re: “Veterans Affairs too secretive, House should assess effectiveness: vet,” (The Hill Times, Jan. 19, p. 1).

Sean Bruyea’s tireless efforts on behalf of disabled veterans, and his continued commitment in seeking public hearings into Veterans Affairs Canada and their programs, service delivery, and overall treatment of veterans is vital to us changing the status quo at this time. It is equally important for us to follow Mr. Bruyea’s lead in speaking out for true transparency, ending secrecy, and, most importantly, to continue to break down the stigma and stereotyping levelled at us by senior bureaucrats, politicians, and the Canadian public.

Mr. Bruyea, who lives daily with PTS, has the berries to advocate, write, speak to the media, and the Senate, and Parliament.

Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson said the New Veterans Charter is a living and breathing document. It’s time to breathe some new life into it for the veterans.

Dennis Manuge

Porter’s Lake, N.S.

(The author is a former corporal who has launched a class action lawsuit against the government over compensation deductions.)

Re: “Veterans Affairs too secretive, House should assess effectiveness: vet,” (The Hill Times, Jan. 19, p. 1).

Although I welcome any discussion on Veterans Affairs, I find it hard to get all worked up about any Parliamentary committees to answer the question and shortfalls of department.

We victims of Gagetown were invited to speak to one of those committees while the Liberals were in power and once the election was called, everything was tossed in the garbage.

Given that it’s unclear how long this Parliament will last, I find it more than an exercise in futility to put sick and hurting Canadian veterans through the political process of testimony that will likely be thrown out as soon as the next election is called.

Moreover, Mr. Harper’s Conservatives are well-versed in creating totally toothless and meaningless Parliamentary committees and public inquiries to feign the prospect of actually caring.

At this moment, the Veterans Affairs Canada’s refusal to afford the Gagetown Toxic Chemical Victims the benefit of the doubt as legislated in the Veterans Act, in my opinion, is contemptuous.

Until Ottawa is willing and able to reign in Veterans Affairs Canada to follow the mandate from Ottawa, whatever the committee may come up with, is totally meaningless because Ottawa has lost control of some top bureaucrats at Veterans Affairs Canada.

Kenneth H. Young

Nanaimo, B.C.

(The author is a retired corporal.)