Author Topic: Counterpoint: The Conservative record on strengthening Canada’s military  (Read 22933 times)

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Offline M2A

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Sourced from The National Post, 18 Jun 2012, Link Here

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Counterpoint: The Conservative record on strengthening Canada’s military
Peter MacKay, Julian Fantino and Steven Blaney,
National Post 
Jun 19, 2012 – 7:00 AM ET |
Last Updated: Jun 18, 2012 5:38 PM ET

We wish to respond to Liberal MP Marc Garneau’s recent contribution to your newspaper titled “Supporting the Armed Forces” (June 8 ). In his article, Mr. Garneau attempts to extol the virtues of the Liberal party’s support for the Canadian Armed Forces. But Mr. Garneau’s commentary fails to present facts that support his claims.

It is telling that Mr. Garneau himself identifies the Liberals as having made the willful decision to move forward with “sustained significant cutbacks” in support provided for our brave men and women in uniform. This confession undermines his argument. As he knows, while in power, the Liberal government slashed the budget of our Canadian Armed Forces by over 20%.

This negligence by the previous Liberal government was perhaps best reflected by their decision to send our troops into Afghanistan wearing green uniforms and black boots in a desert setting. It is simply unbelievable that a government would approach the management of our military with such irresponsible and careless abandon.

Taxpayers recall their decision to suffer a $1-billion penalty to walk away from the replacement of our Air Force’s search and rescue helicopters, and providing our Navy with defective submarines.

We welcome Mr. Garneau’s contrast of the Liberals’ demonstrated failure to support our troops, with our historic action to restore the Canadian Armed Forces with the support they need.

When our government was elected in 2006, we embarked on a historic plan to restore and strengthen the resources we provide our troops, in order for them to be successful in their missions at home and abroad. Our government has increased our investment in our bravest Canadians by 27% — or over $5-billion — to unprecedented levels to ensure they have the tools necessary to conduct their missions safely and effectively.

Our government’s historic action to deliver our brave men and women in uniform with new, modern equipment is creating and supporting thousands of jobs across our country. Our efforts have already resulted in the delivery of new transport and tactical aircraft that have been effective in our Royal Canadian Air Force’s successful missions in Afghanistan, Libya and various search and rescue missions.

These investments also include the modernization of our Canadian Army’s Light Armoured Vehicle III fleet, delivery of new Leopard II tanks and Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicles. Canadians are also acquainted with our unprecedented action to restore and strengthen the Royal Canadian Navy, and our decision to build our new ships in Canada.

While much has been accomplished in six years, we know there is more to be done. One of our priorities is our commitment to replacing our pilots’ CF-18 aircraft. Our pilots have demonstrated outstanding service to our country with these aging aircraft. While Mr. Garneau writes that he will not “mention the CF-18 replacement program,” we have no such reservations.

Our government has not signed any contracts for the purchase of replacement aircraft. We have been clear that we have set a budget and we will work within that budget. A new secretariat has been established to play the lead co-ordinating role as the government moves to make a decision on replacing the CF-18s.

Prior to Treasury Board approval, the treasury board secretariat will first commission an independent review of the Department of National Defence’s acquisition and sustainment estimates — which will be made public. Ultimately, we will provide the Canadian Armed Forces with the aircraft they need to do the jobs we ask of them.

Moreover, our investments have included unprecedented commitments to care for our troops once they leave the military. That is why we doubled the amount of operational stress injury clinics for our veterans, and are investing $189-million over the next five years to strengthen the New Veterans Charter to help our most ill and injured veterans receive the care and support they need.

We continue to support the Helmets to Hardhats program in Canada, which helps connect our veterans with high paying job opportunities in the construction industry, following their service. But, perhaps most notably, our efforts are resulting in less red tape so that our veterans can access critical services they have asked for hassle-free.

These are important resources that our government has introduced that did not exist before, and demonstrate important progress in these regards. Canadians can trust that our government will continue to stand up for our brave men and women in uniform who sacrifice their own safety for the benefit of the rest of us.

National Post

Peter MacKay is minister of national defence. Julian Fantino is associate minister of national defence. Steven Blaney is minister of veterans affairs.

[Note: Embedded hyperlink included from source]

Offline Nemo888

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It's a great time to be selling kit to the Army.

All while screwing over actual soldiers with the New Veterans Charter. Cuts to physio, deployment fatigue, etc

Offline Brihard

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Moreover, our investments have included unprecedented commitments to care for our troops once they leave the military. That is why we doubled the amount of operational stress injury clinics for our veterans, and are investing $189-million over the next five years to strengthen the New Veterans Charter to help our most ill and injured veterans receive the care and support they need.

Yeah, alright boss. Pound sand. We will not forget that the government has had fully six years to fix the 'New Veterans Charter' and hasn't.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline M2A

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A little clarity on Brihard's comment perhaps can be found here, originally from CBC News.

Of note, the issue of suicide mentioned in the link stands out the most:

Quote
This spring, the military released figures showing that 19 soldiers committed suicide in 2011 – more than at any time since the mid-’90s.

This number, however, only includes soldiers who took their lives while deployed overseas. The military does not take into account reservists who commit suicide, or veterans who do so after returning from duty.

(emphasis mine)

As I've stated in a previous post, we can only wonder what's happening to the reservists and veterans.

Offline cupper

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This spring, the military released figures showing that 19 soldiers committed suicide in 2011 – more than at any time since the mid-’90s.

This number, however, only includes soldiers who took their lives while deployed overseas. The military does not take into account reservists who commit suicide, or veterans who do so after returning from duty.

Did I read that right, they only include members who commit suicide overseas? Suicides by members not on deployment aren't considered relevant?
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Offline Hamish Seggie

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The subject of VAC and equipping the CF with kit are two different subjects and two very different government departments.

They are separate issues.
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Offline jeffb

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Yes they are Mr Seggie but fair criticism to lump together against the government if it tries to frame itself as the defence minded government. Not taking care of veterans does not exactly leave those currently serving confident that they will be taken care if they are injured while on deployment.
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The subject of VAC and equipping the CF with kit are two different subjects and two very different government departments.

They are separate issues.
Very true - funny, then, that the Government seems to be lumping these Ministers together on this one specifically (note, also, where the first reaction comments here were focused).

More broadly, I think I'm seeing a bit of "coverage creep", too, with the Vets Affairs Minister speaking at conferences on the Law of War, sending other Ministers to military change of command parades, and discussing military history (more here) - this when there's folks in DND who do some military history work already. 

Why?  I leave that to greater minds than mine to guess ....
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Offline Sythen

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I am too lazy to actually do it, but how many posts do you think we could dig up complaining the government isn't properly communicating what they are doing, to the Canadian people? I am not gonna defend the NVC, but this seems like complaining for the sake of complaining. If you all want, we can go back to the 90's and ignore everything we've been given since then.
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Offline dogger1936

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Did the veterans Bill of rights end up in the Omnibus bill?

http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?id=1610

Harper is pro military; just not fond of those pesky veterans.

Offline Brihard

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I am too lazy to actually do it, but how many posts do you think we could dig up complaining the government isn't properly communicating what they are doing, to the Canadian people? I am not gonna defend the NVC, but this seems like complaining for the sake of complaining. If you all want, we can go back to the 90's and ignore everything we've been given since then.

No, it is not complaining for the sake of complaining. It's complaining to spread the word on a serious issue, hopefully with there ultimately being a remedy. Groups like CVA have been slowly pushing issues like this and are meeting success.

What you would call 'complaining', I'd call 'telling another side of the story' from the one presented by government mouthpieces.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline jeffb

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Harper is pro military; just not fond of those pesky veterans.

I'm tracking that you are being sarcastic here but taking care of veterans is a MORAL imperative by society. Soldiers are deployed and put their life and limb on the line in support of the national interest. The implicit contract between them and society, in order to accept unlimited liability, must be that in the event that they are killed or wounded - thus becoming veterans in the case of the wounded- they are their dependents will be provided a reasonable standard of living. In an extreme case if we didn't take care of our veterans at all, I can see a legitimate argument from soldiers in against taking undue risks while on deployment or even refusing to deploy at all.

Veteran's Affairs and DND are separate departments and that makes sense to me. However, both are part of the Government of Canada and that government is the ideally the collective representation of the people and nation of Canada. Policies that effect Veterans effect serving soldiers who will all be Veterans one day.

The reality is to me that if we want the best and the brightest fighting our nations wars, we need to take care of these soldiers both while they are healthy but most of all when they are injured.
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Offline Sythen

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What you would call 'complaining', I'd call 'telling another side of the story' from the one presented by government mouthpieces.

Nothing will ever be perfect, and when it is there will still be posts here complaining about something. His message was a counterpoint to continual attacks by the opposition parties. There definitely is a lot more work to be done, but to constantly slag them when they have done so much for us is foolishness. There are enough threads about the NVC, as well as other grievences that we may have with certain things, why not allow them to tout their own horn about what they HAVE done for us? Even if it isn't everything we want yet?
Written on Soldier’s Tower, University of Toronto:

Their story is not graven only on stone over their native earth, but lives on far away, without visible symbol, woven into the stuff of other men’s lives

"I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools.  Let's start with typewriters."
Frank Lloyd Wright, architect

Offline Brihard

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Nothing will ever be perfect, and when it is there will still be posts here complaining about something. His message was a counterpoint to continual attacks by the opposition parties. There definitely is a lot more work to be done, but to constantly slag them when they have done so much for us is foolishness. There are enough threads about the NVC, as well as other grievences that we may have with certain things, why not allow them to tout their own horn about what they HAVE done for us? Even if it isn't everything we want yet?

In what way are they not being allowed to 'tout their own horn'? Me pointing out a part of their announcement that is three fingers left of right the **** out of 'er doesn't lessen their ability to tell their side.

Yes, they have done a fair bit of things that are positive. They didn't do it for us out of some goodness of their hearts; they did it in order to have a military more able to effectively carry out their policy in the national interest, so they would have fewer dead Canadians on CBC every few weeks, and because higher ups said 'If you want us to do x, we need y'. It wasn't some sort of altruism on the government's part that we got better kit, and I won't drop to me knees and thank them for it as if I'm bucking for a promotion.

If they want to have the gall to try to push what they're doing for veterans, they will be called on it.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline Sythen

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In what way are they not being allowed to 'tout their own horn'? Me pointing out a part of their announcement that is three fingers left of right the **** out of 'er doesn't lessen their ability to tell their side.

So you're implying what the ministers wrote is not true? That they haven't invested in the military, and haven't done more for us in 6 years than the previous 2 decades combined?


Quote
Yes, they have done a fair bit of things that are positive. They didn't do it for us out of some goodness of their hearts; they did it in order to have a military more able to effectively carry out their policy in the national interest, so they would have fewer dead Canadians on CBC every few weeks, and because higher ups said 'If you want us to do x, we need y'. It wasn't some sort of altruism on the government's part that we got better kit, and I won't drop to me knees and thank them for it as if I'm bucking for a promotion.

If they want to have the gall to try to push what they're doing for veterans, they will be called on it.

In all honesty, I couldn't give a flying monkey's rectum about why they did it. If you came here and said they did it cause they lost a bet, does that detract at all from anything we've received? Let's put the Liberals back in, or even better the NDP... Then see what happens.. I will fully agree there is a lot to fix, the NVC being at the top of that list, but saying they should not be proud of what they HAVE done for us is way off base.
Written on Soldier’s Tower, University of Toronto:

Their story is not graven only on stone over their native earth, but lives on far away, without visible symbol, woven into the stuff of other men’s lives

"I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools.  Let's start with typewriters."
Frank Lloyd Wright, architect

Offline Brihard

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I'm not 'implying' anything. I'm baldly stating that they have no moral ground to stand on making any claim regarding positive impacts on the NVC in specific, and little regarding treatment of veterans in general, because any other incremental improvements are greatly overshadowed by the NVC failure. And yes, I am not ignorant of the fact that the Liberals created it; part of why I voted Conservative in 06 and 08. And I am not claiming that they have not invested in the military; in fact my last post clearly acknowledges that they have done many beneficial things. And I agree the motives don't matter- which is why I'm surprised to see you caliming they deserve some sort of uncontested limelight.

Quote
but saying they should not be proud of what they HAVE done for us is way off base.
.

I said, and I quote, "If they want to have the gall to try to push what they're doing for veterans, they will be called on it." That is not off base when the worst hurt veterans are those getting boned the hardest. I'm not making any issue of what they have or denying credit for that. I'm saying they have no place claiming credit for what they HAVEN'T done. Read my words carefully before you call them 'off base', and do not suggest I'm making claims that I haven't directly made. I speak specifically.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline dogger1936

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I'm tracking that you are being sarcastic here but taking care of veterans is a MORAL imperative by society. Soldiers are deployed and put their life and limb on the line in support of the national interest. The implicit contract between them and society, in order to accept unlimited liability, must be that in the event that they are killed or wounded - thus becoming veterans in the case of the wounded- they are their dependents will be provided a reasonable standard of living. In an extreme case if we didn't take care of our veterans at all, I can see a legitimate argument from soldiers in against taking undue risks while on deployment or even refusing to deploy at all.

Veteran's Affairs and DND are separate departments and that makes sense to me. However, both are part of the Government of Canada and that government is the ideally the collective representation of the people and nation of Canada. Policies that effect Veterans effect serving soldiers who will all be Veterans one day.

The reality is to me that if we want the best and the brightest fighting our nations wars, we need to take care of these soldiers both while they are healthy but most of all when they are injured.

Couldn't agree more. Nothing more demoralizing to a healthy soldier watching his friends fighting the government after tour. Makes you question things your doing that's for certain.

Offline Hamish Seggie

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Yes they are Mr Seggie but fair criticism to lump together against the government if it tries to frame itself as the defence minded government. Not taking care of veterans does not exactly leave those currently serving confident that they will be taken care if they are injured while on deployment.

All political parties should be sharing equally in the blame for the care of veterans, not only this government.  :2c:
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Offline Sythen

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which is why I'm surprised to see you caliming they deserve some sort of uncontested limelight.

No where at all did I say this. What I am saying is that there is enough threads about the NVC, and other issues.. Let's have one where we are actually happy with the progress, while being able to admit that there is a lot to change. This is starting to be like ARRSE where every thread, no matter what its about, starts an argument about Harriers and Carriers.

Quote
I'm saying they have no place claiming credit for what they HAVEN'T done.

Quote from the article:

Quote
Moreover, our investments have included unprecedented commitments to care for our troops once they leave the military. That is why we doubled the amount of operational stress injury clinics for our veterans, and are investing $189-million over the next five years to strengthen the New Veterans Charter to help our most ill and injured veterans receive the care and support they need.

They keep claiming the NVC is a living document. Let's give them credit where its due. Yes, the NVC overall is terrible. No one will deny that fact. But they are investing more and if you expect a huge change overnight, I wouldn't hold your breath. Bit by bit it will be improved.
Written on Soldier’s Tower, University of Toronto:

Their story is not graven only on stone over their native earth, but lives on far away, without visible symbol, woven into the stuff of other men’s lives

"I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools.  Let's start with typewriters."
Frank Lloyd Wright, architect

Offline Brihard

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All political parties should be sharing equally in the blame for the care of veterans, not only this government.  :2c:

Yes, however the government that has the power to affect change and doesn't gets the lion's share. The Conservatives have shown no reticence to use their majority to quickly push through legislation on matters of policy or principle. Apparently hurt veterans are deemed of less significance than the wheat board or the long gun registry. or adding thirty seats to Parliament. Or hell, *any* piece of legislation introduced by the government.

This is not to dismiss any legitimacy or necessity in these laws- just to put things in perspective regarding what gets attention versus what doesn't.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline dogger1936

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Yes, however the government that has the power to affect change and doesn't gets the lion's share. The Conservatives have shown no reticence to use their majority to quickly push through legislation on matters of policy or principle. Apparently hurt veterans are deemed of less significance than the wheat board or the long gun registry. or adding thirty seats to Parliament. Or hell, *any* piece of legislation introduced by the government.

This is not to dismiss any legitimacy or necessity in these laws- just to put things in perspective regarding what gets attention versus what doesn't.

Bang on!

Offline M2A

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Did the veterans Bill of rights end up in the Omnibus bill?

For some info on what's included in Bill C-38 wrt veterans, see my post here.

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Yes, however the government that has the power to affect change and doesn't gets the lion's share. The Conservatives have shown no reticence to use their majority to quickly push through legislation on matters of policy or principle .... This is not to dismiss any legitimacy or necessity in these laws- just to put things in perspective regarding what gets attention versus what doesn't.
And we have seen instances where a Minister (even the Veterans Affairs minister) wants something (examples here, here, here, here, here and - even if it's not entirely within government rules - here), and it happens pretty quickly.
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Offline I, Citizen

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Yes, however the government that has the power to affect change and doesn't gets the lion's share. The Conservatives have shown no reticence to use their majority to quickly push through legislation on matters of policy or principle. Apparently hurt veterans are deemed of less significance than the wheat board or the long gun registry. or adding thirty seats to Parliament. Or hell, *any* piece of legislation introduced by the government.

This is not to dismiss any legitimacy or necessity in these laws- just to put things in perspective regarding what gets attention versus what doesn't.

Post of the day.
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Offline Nemo888

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Yes, however the government that has the power to affect change and doesn't gets the lion's share. The Conservatives have shown no reticence to use their majority to quickly push through legislation on matters of policy or principle. Apparently hurt veterans are deemed of less significance than the wheat board or the long gun registry. or adding thirty seats to Parliament. Or hell, *any* piece of legislation introduced by the government.

This is not to dismiss any legitimacy or necessity in these laws- just to put things in perspective regarding what gets attention versus what doesn't.

Nice. This pretentious announcement about how many billions they are spending on Gucci kit only makes the attitude that vets are disposable all the more obvious. Good luck fighting a war with that over priced kit without Canadian soldiers that have the grit to do whatever it takes.