28 September 2013

A Primer for Veterans

A Primer for Veterans

I’m sorry great soldier; you were lied to and fooled
When you enlisted and we told you the rules
We promised you value, we promised you care
We gave solemn promise to see to your affairs

We said if you worked hard, were loyal and true
If you served your country then we’d care for you
You had but to be strong and do as you should
Defending our nation and standing for good

If you gave good service, then you would be set
Good jobs awaiting for you to accept
Canadians would treasure one such as you
There’d be parades and honours and many thank-you’s

We’d all support you, should you get hurt
Sacrifice in service being the noblest of wounds
We’d carry you home and see to your care
If it be crutches or braces or a limb or a chair

By chance if your mind went, lost in the horrors
Of witnessing things no one should observe
Then we’d be here to catch you, to hug you, to cry
To get you whatever to takes to survive

Or if you are unlucky and pay the ultimate price
Be awarded the Last Post, make a noble sacrifice
Leaving behind children and parents and a spouse
And a great lousy void in their life and their house

We promise to fill that, as best we can
To care for your loved ones, to look after your Nan
To provide for your children, see them through school
And support your wife - or husband - like you’d do

We make all these promises, we give solemn oath
If you serve us all, then we will protect you
The great social contract, an agreement so strong
It will never be broken, not by bullet nor bomb

You just sign here and say these few words
And our nation will guard you, just like you’ve heard
For there’s nothing so noble as the troops’ sacrifice
Guarding the country from bumps in the night

Remember those you protect, as you stand in the rain
Or the snow or the sun, on the hills or the plains
On deck of a ship in freezing below
Or sitting in aircraft, staring out the window.

Away from your family, away from your dog
Away from your comforts and living high on the hog
No beers on Fridays, no Saturday games
No sleep-lates then breakfasts-in-bed, more’s the shame

You’ll go where you’re sent; you’ll do as you’re told
You’ll hold your tongue and don’t be so bold
For service is obedience, it goes with the job
The rights you’re protecting ain’t yours, you poor slob

But be a good soldier or airman or sailor
Do your job well and earn what we pays ya
Or be a true Mountie and maintain the right
Even when we curse you for tickets at lights

Do all of that and we’ll do our bit
We’ll see to your needs when you’re no longer fit
To serve us all, it’ll be all so right
When it’s our turn to offer comfort at night

With pensions and schooling and job grants and aid
You’ll have so much support, why, you’ll have it made!
We honour our veterans; we support our troops
‘Course we’ll provide when you get cut loose!

You all believed us, you believed all those words
Who’d lie to a soldier or Mountie but a turd?
The Queen and the Maple Leaf, a promise so proud
A golden contract, a sacred vow

You poor, poor fools! We had no intention
Of keeping that contract, so don’t even mention
We can’t believe you believed US! How foolish you are!
We sat at home and sent you afar!

To work until broken, in body and mind
And crushed in spirit, and you all were blind
To our crossed fingers, to our dirty deals
When we couldn’t give you bullets or decent meals,
What made you think we had pensions waiting?
That wasn’t a contract; it was just fool-baiting.

We bilked you for service. We exploited your oath.
We took all you had and just left you with hope.
A hope so futile that we can’t believe
You still think we can fill it. Why, we’re nuttin but t’eives!

We stole your best years, your futures, your lives
Ripped you from children and husbands and wives
Gave you low pay and little more
And when you were broken, we gave you the door

Now you want something from us? You’ll see what you get.
Your job-skills are useless in the private set
We don’t want to hear ‘bout your stories of war
We put ribbons on our cars, you want something more?

Prove that we owe you, go ahead, and just try
We’ll fight you in court til the day that you die
That sacred contract is not written in stone
And when you fight now, you fight us alone

You say you were promised, that you are not lying
Well that social contract? It’s not legally binding
It’s not in the big books of our legal code
And our vast legal team says we need not uphold

The promises made, for we are in charge
We can do what we want to the veterans at large
We don’t even have to pay one red cent
You cannot make us, we’re the government

So you go and sue us, and you get your ruling
By the time we pay out, you’ll be sitting and drooling
We have greater concerns that ones such as you
We have a great crop of fresh new recruits

All ready to sign up, to take the oath
They believe all our words, as they are spoke
They’ll do their duty like you did before
And when they return, all broken and sore

They’ll find even less support than you got
They’ll be left on the streets, to live there and rot
It’s cheaper that way, and cuts must be made
There’s a recession and we’ve bills to pay

But not to you folks, we owe you naught
You signed of your free will, you know what bought
Go read the fine print, with your arse in a sling
You know what we’ll pay you? Not one goddamn thing.

You took us at our word, more the fool you
Our word means nothing, so what can you do?
You can beg for our help, you might appeal to our pride
But don’t you get it? We won’t pay ‘cause WE LIED!

08 September 2013

Release/Communiqué: Citizens' Group Calls for Settlement of ‘Obscene’ Lawsuit / Citizens' groupe Appels à Règlement d'un litige «obscène»


Le français suit

Citizens’ Group Applauds Court Decision, Calls for Settlement of ‘Obscene’ Case

St. John’s, NL - On Friday, a BC Supreme Court justice ruled that a group of veterans can sue the federal government.  The Attorney General of Canada had argued the suit should be tossed out because it had no chance of success, and that government has no duty to care for those injured or killed in service.  Justice Gordon Weatherill denied the government’s arguments, ruling, in part, “that the Crown solemnly undertook to act in the best interests of injured veterans upon their return from battle... That makes sense when one considers that it is the Canadian Forces members and veterans who fought and in many cases died and continue to fight and die for the freedom of all Canadians and the fundamental principles that all Canadian citizens treasure."[p67]  The court approved the lawsuit by 6 Afghanistan veterans, who say the lump-sum payments they received under the 2006 New Veterans Charter are inadequate.

Our Duty agrees: “One day, you are patrolling in Afghanistan, secure that, if you are injured, you will be looked after for the rest of your life,” said Jeff Rose-Martland, President of the citizens’ group, “The next, you are patrolling that area, knowing the best compensation you would get wouldn’t buy a house in most markets.  You weren’t even asked if you wanted your benefits changed, weren’t given an option to quit the Forces when they were, you just got stuck with what the government handed you and sent off to dodge bullets.”

Our Duty notes that the New Veterans Charter was introduced as the fight in Afghanistan was heating up.  “The lump-sum award came into effect on 1 April 2006, just as the spring offensive was starting.  Six weeks later, the Harper Government announced it was sending more Canadian troops and extending the mission for at least two more years - now seven and counting,” said advocate Rose-Martland, “One month, the government is saving money by cutting benefits to injured veterans; the next month it sets out to create more injured veterans.”  Rose-Martland also notes that, of the 158 Canadian soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan, 147 died after the lump-sum payment plan was implemented.

Our Duty backs the veterans’ lawsuit: “We support the Equitas Society, who is fundraising to offset the legal expenses.  As citizens, we are tired of watching our government fighting our veterans in court.  These people served us, served Canada, and they should be looked after,” said the President, “The idea of wounded veterans, and families of those killed, having to go to court to get fair treatment is obscene.”

In light of the Friday decision, Our Duty is calling on the government to concede defeat. 

“Our government stood in court and declared that Canada doesn’t owe veterans for their sacrifices,” said Jeff Rose-Martland, “That’s not only grotesque, it’s also patently false.  Canadians know what we owe our troops; we know that we have a duty to provide for those who have sacrificed for us.  All citizens know this. 

“But the government argued otherwise, and used us to defend their position, saying that it can’t put the needs of veterans before taxpayers.  Why not?  We ask the Forces and RCMP to put Canada before themselves.  We put them between us and harm.  When they are harmed, it is only just that we put their needs before our own.   Fortunately, Justice Weatherill agrees with the rest of Canada and dismissed government’s argument.”

Rose-Martland added: “The federal government has now seen that they will lose this case, so why drag it out for another decade?  The lump-sum payment is unfair, everyone knows veterans deserve better, and Canadians would be better served if government would give in now.  The federal government should work towards fixing this mess, instead of wasting taxpayers’ money on a legal battle.  Canadians honour our veterans; we don’t fight them in court.”


Our Duty has launched an online campaign confirming the social contract with the Forces and RCMP, confirming the obligation to care for those who are injured or killed in service to Canada, and demanding government cease court battles with veterans.


The decision rendered by the BC Supreme Court, along with transcripts and other documents, can be found at:


Le Groupe de Citoyen se réjouit de la décision de la Cour, les appels pour le règlement de l'affaire «obscène»

Saint-Jean, T.-N.-L.  -  Le vendredi, un juge de la Cour suprême de la C.-B. a jugé qu'un groupe d'anciens combattants peut poursuivre le gouvernement fédéral. Le Procureur Général du Canada avait fait valoir le costume doit être jeté dehors parce qu'il n'avait aucune chance de succès, et que le gouvernement n'a pas l'obligation de prendre soin de ceux blessés ou tués en service. Justice Gordon Weatherill a refusé arguments, la décision du gouvernement, en partie, «que la Couronne solennellement engagé à agir dans le meilleur intérêt des anciens combattants blessés à leur retour de la bataille ... C'est logique si l'on considère que ce sont les membres des Forces canadiennes et les anciens combattants qui ont combattu et dans de nombreux cas sont morts et continuent à se battre et à mourir pour la liberté de tous les Canadiens et les principes fondamentaux que tout trésor Canadien des citoyens. » [P67] La cour approuvé le procès de 6 vétérans d'Afghanistan, qui disent que les paiements forfaitaires reçus en vertu de la Nouvelle Charte des anciens combattants 2006 sont insuffisantes.

Notre Devoir est d'accord: «Un jour, vous êtes patrouiller en Afghanistan, sûr que, si vous êtes blessé, vous serez pris en charge pour le reste de votre vie», a déclaré Jeff Rose-Martland, président du groupe de citoyens, «La prochaine , vous êtes patrouiller cette zone, connaissant la meilleure compensation que vous obtiendriez serait pas acheter une maison dans la plupart des marchés. Vous étiez même pas demandé si vous vouliez changer vos prestations, n'ont pas eu la possibilité de quitter les Forces quand ils étaient, il vous suffit coincé avec ce que le gouvernement vous a remis et envoyé à esquiver les balles. »

Notre Devoir notes que la nouvelle Charte des anciens combattants a été présenté comme le combat en Afghanistan se réchauffait. «Le prix forfaitaire est entré en vigueur le 1er Avril 2006, un peu comme l'offensive de printemps commençait. Six semaines plus tard, le gouvernement Harper a annoncé qu'il envoyait des troupes canadiennes et plus l'extension de la mission pendant au moins deux ans de plus - maintenant sept ans et compter» a déclaré défenseur Rose-Martland « un mois, le gouvernement économise de l'argent en réduisant les avantages sociaux à anciens combattants blessés;. le mois prochain, il vise à créer des anciens combattants blessés plus» Rose-Martland note également que, sur les 158 soldats canadiens qui ont été tués en Afghanistan, 147 morts après le plan de paiement forfaitaire a été mis en place.

Notre Devoir soutient la poursuite des anciens combattants: «Nous soutenons la Société d’Equitas, qui recueille des fonds pour compenser les frais de justice. En tant que citoyens, nous sommes fatigués de voir notre gouvernement lutte de nos anciens combattants en cour. Ces personnes nous ont servi, servi le Canada, et ils devraient être pris en charge » a déclaré le Président « L'idée de vétérans blessés et les familles des personnes tuées, ayant pour aller au tribunal pour obtenir un traitement équitable est obscène » À la lumière de la décision de vendredi est de notre devoir appelle le gouvernement à reconnaître sa défaite. «Notre gouvernement se tenait dans la cour et a déclaré que le Canada ne devait pas les anciens combattants pour leurs sacrifices» a déclaré Jeff Rose-Martland «Ce n'est pas seulement grotesque, c'est aussi manifestement fausse. Les Canadiens savent que nous devons à nos troupes, nous savons que nous avons le devoir de fournir à ceux qui se sont sacrifiés pour nous. Tous les citoyens le savent »

«Mais le gouvernement a fait valoir autrement, et utilisé nous pour défendre leur position, en disant qu'il ne peut pas mettre les besoins des anciens combattants avant contribuables. Pourquoi pas? Nous demandons aux Forces Canadiennes et de la GRC de mettre Canada avant eux-mêmes. Nous les mettons entre nous et le mal. Quand ils sont lésés, il est juste que nous mettons à leurs besoins avant les nôtres. Heureusement, le juge Weatherill est d'accord avec le reste du Canada et a rejeté l'argument du gouvernement »

Rose-Martland a ajouté: «Le gouvernement fédéral a maintenant vu qu'ils perdront ce cas, pourquoi faites-le glisser pour une autre décennie? Le paiement forfaitaire est injuste, tout le monde sait anciens combattants méritent mieux, et les Canadiens seraient mieux servis si le gouvernement donnerait maintenant. Le gouvernement fédéral devrait travailler à la fixation de ce gâchis, au lieu de gaspiller l'argent des contribuables sur une bataille juridique. Canadiens honorer nos anciens combattants, nous ne nous battons pas en cour »


Notre devoir a lancé une campagne en ligne confirmant le contrat social avec les Forces et de la GRC, ce qui confirme l'obligation de prendre soin de ceux qui sont blessés ou tués en service au Canada, et exigeant gouvernement cesse batailles judiciaires avec les anciens combattants.



La décision rendue par la Cour suprême de la C.-B., ainsi que les transcriptions et autres documents, peuvent être consultés à l'adresse:  http://equitassociety.ca/media

Jeff Rose-Martland (anglais seulement)
President, Our Duty Inc