The words Justin Trudeau spoke to veteran Brock Blaszczyk in Edmonton last winter will likely haunt him for the rest of his political career. “They’re asking for more than we are able to give right now,” Trudeau said when asked why he was still fighting veterans groups in court.
When he was campaigning to be prime minister, Trudeau had promised veterans groups that he would stop the court battles. He told the story of his grandfather, James Sinclair, serving as an MP and in the RCAF at the same time to drive home the idea that he understands vets and military people.
“So if I earn the right to serve this country as your prime minister, no veteran will be forced to fight their own government for the support and compensation that they have earned,” Trudeau said at a campaign stop near CFB Trenton in late August of 2015.
A smooth talking Liberal.
To any veteran listening, upset at the court battles that were ongoing at the time, that would have sounded like Trudeau would deliver. But he didn’t, he hasn’t and that is why injured veteran Brock Blaszczyk lashed out during the townhall in February.
A few weeks ago my mother emailed me to ask if her friends were spreading fake news on Facebook by claiming that Trudeau had spent $40 million fighting veterans in court. My mother isn’t a fan of Trudeau but she thought it was too crazy even for him.
I had to tell her it was true, based on this story from CBC.
This from the same PM that cut Omar Khadr a cheque for $10.5 million because he didn’t want to waste time and money in court. Or at least that was his excuse.
Money for corporate welfare, not for vets.
The news this week brings back the, “but we don’t have money for our veterans” line I so often hear.
The PM gave away $60 million to a new company owned by Apple and two mining giants, Rio Tinto and Alcoa. He didn’t “invest” as they like to say, he gave them the money. And that comes days after he gave Toyota $110 million for an auto plant in Ontario.
None of these companies need this money but Trudeau it seems needs to give it away, unless it is to veterans.
I’m not saying every court case should be abandoned, every crazy idea funded because it comes from a vet, but Trudeau has not lived up to his promises to vets on many fronts. He didn’t fund the lifelong pensions to the degree promised, he is keeping up the court battles that he criticized the previous government for engaging in.
Given the choice between funding corporate welfare and funding vets, most Canadians would take vets every day of the week.