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Are you happy with the way the opposition parties are criticizing VA?

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FSTO

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Are they being honourable or political?

Do you believe that if the Liberals or NDP are elected, will the VA get any better?

- tiny mod correction of title spelling -
 

Fishbone Jones

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FSTO said:
Are they being honourable or political?

Do you believe that if the Liberals or NDP are elected, will the VA get any better? criticizing

Political

No
 

Tibbson

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I think it's all just political because if the opposition parties were sincere they wouldn't let the government get away with their weak and evasive answers in the HoC. 

As to whether or not they will do any better once (or ever in the case of the NDP) get into power all I can say is there are very few universal truths but I honestly believe that political parties using the CAF and/or Vets for their own political gain is one of them.  The party that criticizes the government over it's treatment of Vets today wont change how Vets are treated once they get elected.  History over the last 30-40 years has shown that each time. 

They have repeatedly shown they have no honour and just today I wrote my MP (a Conservative no less) and told him exactly how I felt about the whole mess.  I expect a form letter drafted by some mid level functionary and signed by an autopen in reply but at least I got some points off my chest.  :eek:rly:
 

Happy Guy

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I believe that the intent by the opposition parties is to better the veterans and it is to their advantage to make a ruckus about the sordid affairs going on at Veteran Affairs.

Yes all political parties agreed to the new Veteran's Charter but let us accept that the majority of politicians, and to be fair most Canadians, did not fully analyze and understand the implications of this bill upon the veterans.  As it was explained to me by Veterans Affair employee this bill is designed to get you back into the work force and not give life time benefits for any of your disability(ies).

I believe that the current minister cares about the veterans but his personality is not suitable for this dept.  In addition it does not help that he is not able to do anything without direction from the PMO's COS (kids in shorts) whose sole purpose is to protect the PM at the expense of the other ministers.

As an outsider looking in it looks like the current government is loath to help any veteran because it of the fiscal costs involved, however I firmly believe that the no opposition party is able to do any better to sort out Veterans Affairs.
 

The Bread Guy

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FSTO said:
Are they being honourable or political?

Do you believe that if the Liberals or NDP are elected, will the VA get any better?
Political.

Not if it costs $.

Happy Guy said:
I believe that the intent by the opposition parties is to better the veterans and it is to their advantage to make a ruckus about the sordid affairs going on at Veteran Affairs.
And if it costs significant amounts of money, neither of them will do anything substantive if they became the ruling party.

Happy Guy said:
Yes all political parties agreed to the new Veteran's Charter but let us accept that the majority of politicians, and to be fair most Canadians, did not fully analyze and understand the implications of this bill upon the veterans.
Lucky they voted unanimously in favour of the NVC, then, eh?

Happy Guy said:
I believe that the current minister cares about the veterans but his personality is not suitable for this dept.  In addition it does not help that he is not able to do anything without direction from the PMO's COS (kids in shorts) whose sole purpose is to protect the PM at the expense of the other ministers.
An absence of orders to do truly better by the vets = no intent to do truly better by the vets

Happy Guy said:
As an outsider looking in it looks like the current government is loath to help any veteran because of the fiscal costs involved, however I firmly believe that the no opposition party is able to do any better to sort out Veterans Affairs.
:nod: on both counts

Schindler's Lift said:
I think it's all just political because if the opposition parties were sincere they wouldn't let the government get away with their weak and evasive answers in the HoC. 
1)  The government rehearses how it responds to questions in the House (see attached), so all we get is what we get - as someone smarter than me said, it's called "Question Period", not "Answer Period".
2)  Given that, what should the opposition parties do?

Schindler's Lift said:
They have repeatedly shown they have no honour and just today I wrote my MP (a Conservative no less) and told him exactly how I felt about the whole mess.  I expect a form letter drafted by some mid level functionary and signed by an autopen in reply but at least I got some points off my chest.  :eek:rly:
You're right to expect a canned response - still, in spite of apparently being able to get better answers only if you're a party supporter, well done for being heard.
 

OldSolduer

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http://www.thechronicleherald.ca/canada/1255752-veterans-affairs-managers-reaped-rewards-after-cuts

Maybe, just maybe the Loyal Opposition could ask why middle level managers in the employ of the Federal government get bonuses for cutting staff and services to veterans.

 

George Wallace

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A very good interview with Maj (Ret'd) Mark Campbell, one of the six veterans fighting in the Courts, on CBC providing an excellent insight as to what the fight is all about:

http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/ID/2624683706/

 

a_majoor

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Jim Seggie said:
http://www.thechronicleherald.ca/canada/1255752-veterans-affairs-managers-reaped-rewards-after-cuts

Maybe, just maybe the Loyal Opposition could ask why middle level managers in the employ of the Federal government get bonuses for cutting staff and services to veterans.

Middle level managers get bonuses for saving money and cutting expenses. If this can be construed as increasing productivity or "doing more for less" by senior managment, then bonuses, congratulations and tea and crumpets all around are warrented. How it looks to you and I on the outside is less relevant in this construct.
 

The Bread Guy

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Jim Seggie said:
http://www.thechronicleherald.ca/canada/1255752-veterans-affairs-managers-reaped-rewards-after-cuts

Maybe, just maybe the Loyal Opposition could ask why middle level managers in the employ of the Federal government get bonuses for cutting staff and services to veterans.
1)  Count on this coming up next week in QP (with the usual responses of "why can't the opposition support our veterans more (by voting for omnibus bills that include legislative "poison pills" the opposition doesn't want)?"
2)  How about the government asking?
2)  To be fair to VAC, I'm guessing this happens across ALL departments in one form or another.  I suppose front-line staff taking sick leave is a sexier issue to tackle (playing to taxpayer stereotypes) than managerial bonuses in the midst of budget cuts.
 

Gronk

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think any the opposition parties have committed to ending the NVC lump sum award and bringing back lifetime pensions.
 

Gronk

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Further to my last - Until they do make that commitment, and act on it, they are just blowing smoke in my opinion.
 

GK .Dundas

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I have begun to wonder quite frankly if the right question to ask is, does the elected government actually still running VAC ? I ask this because at times it seems to be the other way around .Have they lost control of the department ?
It may explain a great deal.
 

brihard

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Gronk said:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think any the opposition parties have committed to ending the NVC lump sum award and bringing back lifetime pensions.

I haven't seen it, no. The opposition are big on what they don't like, and they're definitely trying to harness us up for some political mileage. I've yet to see any concrete promise out of any of them about what they will do better.

The general momentum in government policy is away from very costly defined-benefit pension plans, and I think to an extent this will carry over into military disability pensions. Now that lump sum is in place, it's much easier for any party to not get rid of them for whatever BS reason they can come up with. I want to see a return to pensions, but I'm skeptical. as hell. It's frustrating because the array of benefits - SISIP, ELB, PIA, means there are a number of different benefits that bring regular payments, but figuring them all out is somewhat baffling.

If I can pretend to be king for a second, why not just something simple like a disability pension as was the case before, a generous career education/retraining benefit, and an incentive to get back to work- say, fifty cents on the dollar reduction in payments against any earned income, so you can still get back to work, but if you have a regression in your condition or have trouble finding *good* work, you're still collecting that disability pension both as compensation for lost income and as compensation for the pain and suffering element. Support guys who are hurt, offer them routes back to work (not just for economic reasons but for their own mental and emotional health), and offer them an incentive to do so by letting them keep some net gain from gainful employment while receiving disability benefits. It would seem to fairly easily balance a number of factors and interests...
 

ModlrMike

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Gronk said:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think any the opposition parties have committed to ending the NVC lump sum award and bringing back lifetime pensions.

For that to happen the Liberals would have to admit that they were wrong. I don't see that happening any time soon.
 

Edward Campbell

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The government is in court, right now, arguing against a suit brought by some wounded members, including an Army.ca member. The government's position is that while the benefits in the New Veterans' Charter are, indeed, "less generous," it is Parliament's right and duty to set limits to public expenditures, including limits to benefits for men and women most grievously wounded in the service of the country.

I have argued before that the benefits voted in the 1940s and '50s were very, very generous and that Parliament does, indeed, have a duty to manage such spending for the greatest good of all. What I have argued against is that it was done in a manner that unilaterally changed conditions of service while Canadian troops were actively engaged in combat. I believe that - legislation brought in by Liberal PM Paul Martin but passed with all party support - was immoral, but I believe it can still  be rectified by "grandfathering" all those who were serving up to the day the legislation was signed into law (Spring of 2006, as I recall). That would be a little bit embarrassing to some politicians and a lot of bureaucrats and a wee, tiny bit costly, but easy to manage and political gold.
 

Brad Sallows

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I haven't paid much attention to the Act, but it is always imprudent to offer lump sums instead of steady payouts.  Few people manage money well.

What passes for a default "long term disability" plan is generally something intended to support a person for some limited period - six months, a year, two years - during which they are expected to acquire new skills and employment within the limitations of their impediments.  As long as a person is capable of some sort of employment, the benefits will end.  If you want real lifetime "long term disability", there are financial products available.

This is all of a piece with governments seeking to align public employee compensation with customary practices elsewhere in order to reign in past overcommitments.
 

PuckChaser

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Brad Sallows said:
If you want real lifetime "long term disability", there are financial products available.

You mean like the SISIP LTD that we're forced to pay into but rarely get to use?
 

a_majoor

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The opposition are hoping to harness the outrage that the "Veteran's Industry" is generating without having to actually propose any solutions. It seems to be working so far.

How sad that these generally well meaning advocates are allowing themselves to be so easily used and discarded (unless they put a fire to the feet of Tom Mulcaire and the Young Dauphin to demand what sort of changes their parties would institute if in government, and get it loudly and publicly proclaimed so they will face backlash when they renege, the vets will get absolutely nothing from any new government, not even a pat on the back).

As a serving member myself, and with a wife who is in an ongoing battle with VA/SISSIP, I can certainly sympathize, but knowing that the other parities are likely to be even more of an obstacle rather than less, I do not support the current course of the Veteran's Industry, and can hardly think of any more counterproductive COA for getting changes.
 

The Bread Guy

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E.R. Campbell said:
I believe that - legislation brought in by Liberal PM Paul Martin but passed with all party support - was immoral, but I believe it can still  be rectified by "grandfathering" all those who were serving up to the day the legislation was signed into law (Spring of 2006, as I recall). That would be a little bit embarrassing to some politicians and a lot of bureaucrats and a wee, tiny bit costly, but easy to manage and political gold.
Bang on - although the bits in orange are significant "speed bumps" these days.
 
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