Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Last Post Fund (CNW Group/Last Post Fund)

Hand-out

When it comes to its dealings with Canada's Armed Forces veterans, the Harper government has a tendency to display multiple personalities. On Remembrance Day, there are the reverent, tradition-minded Conservatives who have poured millions into celebrating this country's past military exploits and who never miss the chance to reaffirm the debt we all owe to the men and women who defend our liberties.

Call this Captain Jekyll. Then there is Minister Hyde: the coldly calculating technocrat who has cut disability payments for modern-era veterans, left critical services underfunded, and even argued in court that the federal government has no moral obligation toward its veterans. It would be nice to know which federal government is pinning a poppy to its lapel today.

A year ago, Ottawa was under fire for failing to properly fund The Last Post Fund, a non-profit organization that administers Veterans Affairs Canada's Funeral and Burial Program. The fund has resorted to private donations to ensure all former soldiers, some of whom are impoverished to the point of homelessness, are given a proper burial.

Story continues below advertisement

During the summer, the Harper government was again facing criticism, after Justice Department lawyers argued in court that Ottawa has no particular moral or social obligation to veterans. It was a counter-argument to a suit filed by six veterans attempting to overturn new rules governing the compensation of personnel wounded in the line of duty, and it stung veterans that Ottawa would take such a stand.

Last month, the Veterans Ombudsman said those new compensation rules would leave more than 400 severely disabled veterans in poverty after the age of 65. The Ombudsman also said the changes are a net financial loss to the veterans of recent conflicts, and "improvements are required." If all that weren't enough, two weeks ago Ottawa was accused by veterans of deliberately discharging wounded servicemen and women just months before they became eligible for a pension, as a cost-saving move.

That the Harper government cares about the past contributions of our men and women in uniform is not in doubt. But veterans can be forgiven this Remembrance Day for wondering whether that same government cares quite as much about their future.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies