Trudeau and the Troops
February 16th, 2018
Pensions, Payoffs, and Problems
While Prime Minister Trudeau is currently under flack for forgetting that the term “humankind” exists, there is another problem that is gaining traction. Trudeau’s treatment of Canadian veterans is under scrutiny, his lack of funding in particular. At a town hall in Edmonton, a Canadian Soldier posed this difficult question to the Prime Minister, while simultaneously bring about another intersecting concern: the payment made to Omar Khadr. Arguably, that payment could have been money put towards veteran concerns, solving all of the problems that Brock Blaszczyk, the soldier, brought up.
Our veterans fought for the rights of all citizens of the nation, whether we want those questionable citizens to have those rights or not. There very well could be a lack of federal funding going to veterans, but in an interview that Brock gave to global news, his issue is with the pension for life program that the government just implemented. While this is a great program, it could be better. Brock has a full-time job and therefore does not qualify. This is a huge problem with the program if previous veterans do not qualify simply by having a job. They deserve better!
In regard to Khadr, according to Trudeau, the payment had to be made. It would set a precedent that no one can get away with torture, not even the Canadian government. He stated that “no future government should ever think its okay to allow someone to be tortured, no matter how unpopular they were”. This addresses the fact that it goes against our constitution and bill of rights for any citizen, regardless of the actions done by them, to be tortured in any way. Which makes sense. Even if we ignore that fact that torture is outright wrong, studies show that it is relatively ineffective. Trudeau feared that if the Khadr issue dragged on, it would end up costing Canada more money.
This town hall has proven that we can always do better when it comes to our soldiers. This new program could be better but it’s a step in the right direction. Regarding the payoff, however, as long as the actions committed by Omar Khadr aren’t being swept under the rug because of the constitutional issues of his torture, the governments approach actually sets a reasonable precedent: despite actions committed, a citizens rights are inalienable. As much as we may dislike that this person is having their rights addressed, it is still a Canadian citizen’s rights.