As if it’s not enough that the government fails many of our Veterans while they are alive, the government is also failing them in death.
Of the many subjects I write about, the treatment of Canada’s Veterans is one of the most shameful and enraging. I still cannot understand why governments that have no trouble wasting billions of taxpayer dollars all of a sudden start pinching every penny when it comes to supporting Veterans.
Politicians give themselves raises, expand their budgets, run gigantic deficits, send billions overseas, pile on debt, and then all of a sudden find savings and efficiencies when it comes to spending money on those who served our country.
It’s disgusting and shameful.
Now, a report from the Canadian Press reveals that because of budget cuts, 45,000 Canadian Veterans graves are falling apart.
The report notes that of the roughly 317,000 graves of Canadian Veterans, 207,000 are maintained directly by Veterans Affairs (VAC). That’s where the problem is.
An audit by VAC found that “More than 45,000 of these veteran grave markers require maintenance, with a total of close to 60,000 repairs required (some grave markers require more than one type of repairs),” their final report said. It added that interviews with Veterans Affairs officials “identified that there are not enough funds currently allocated to veteran grave maintenance to address the known required repairs.”
Liberals cut funding
Veterans Affairs used to receive $5 million per year to maintain the graves. However, the Liberal government cut that funding to just $1 million in 2003.
The Harper government increased the funding by $200,000 in 2009, but it still falls far short of what is needed.
According to the CP, “The auditors calculated that it would take 17 years at current funding levels to complete the all of the outstanding repairs, the total cost of which was estimated at around $12.9 million.”
Finding government savings at the cost of letting Veterans graves fall apart is sickening, and 17 years is an unacceptable wait.
Give them the damn money
There are many things I don’t like my taxes paying for: For example, a payment to Omar Khadr, foreign aid while Canadians are suffering, and a state-owned media channel.
But you know what I would love to see my tax dollars go towards?
Keeping the graves of Canadian Veterans in the best possible condition.
All of the security and freedom we have in Canada came at the price of those who lost their lives for our country. It is absolutely disgusting that any government would refuse to spend whatever is necessary to honour them and keep their graves in perfect condition.
The government should stop wasting time and give Veterans Affairs whatever resources they need to get the job done now.
Photo – YouTube