Sunday Jan 15, 2016 


Is Anybody Listening?

Vet's voices are loud and clear

Staff, The Valley Voice


t's not about dollars, it's about dignity. Veterans from all branches of the military back east have been very excited that someone's paying attention to them and are extremely thankful for a recent story by The Voice.


Locally, it started with former MP Chuck Strahl and his legacy of neglect has continued through to his son, MP Mark Strahl.


Oddly, Chilliwack's vets haven't responded with the exception of Claude LaTulippe, who has been working on this for years. No worries, their brothers and sisters in the eastern part of the country are doing all the legwork.


Their plan is to send the item to the Prime Minister. But is Trudeau listening, or will it fall on deaf ears? Of course that remains to be seen.


The following are some of the comments The Voice has been fielding from veterans across Canada. More will be posted below as they roll in.


John Labelle, Veterans Annuity Campaign, Mrs. Reina MacNeil - Translator/Member

Re: Vets Get Lump of Coal in their stocking. Reference:

Dear Veterans and Forces Personnel,

You are requested to view the Veterans editorial printed at the reference. The Committee is pleased to announce that Mr. Craig Hill, Publisher of The Chilliwack, Fraser Valley News has printed a resume editorial that penetrates the issues that affects Military/RCMP Veterans and their Families, CPP Pension claw back for far too long.

"A lump of Coal for Vets" editorial clearly indicates the frustration of Veterans for the failure of the Government of Canada to address their CPP claw back issue when they have over 60 billion dollars surplus in their pension plan to pay for their earned and paid for benefits. Veterans seek no funds from the tax payers. Can you imagine that Veterans who suffer from PTSD get their CPP disability pension clawed back from their service pension by the Government of Canada?

Veterans are requested to send thank you notes to Mr. Craig Hill, editor here.

He has presented a number of facts gathered from our Committee and the Chilliwack vets led by Claude Latulippe. Craig's efforts to prepare this special report that affects Veterans in Canada is second to none. The Committee would appreciate it if Veterans were to send notes of appreciation to Mr. Craig Hill for devoting his time towards our Veterans issues.

With the support of over 112,500 Veterans, 121 former Colonels, 54 former officers of the rank of Generals and/or former RCMP Superintendents, we continue our march towards justice.

We expect that some day our Canadian Government will really support its Veterans with more than just a few flattering words. When will Prime Minister Trudeau stands up for his Military/RCMP Veterans and their Families and take action to terminate the CPP claw back to their paid for service pension?

Honour, Dignity, Justice, Equality!

Re: Jodi-Anne & Len Anderson

Mr. Hill,

On behalf of myself and my husband Len (both veterans), we want to thank you for your editorial "A lump of Coal for Vets”.

I spent a few good years in the Airforce, while my husband served for over 43 years in the Signals branch of the Army.

While our past and present governments have failed the veterans of this country miserable, with columns like this, and people like you advocating on our behalf, maybe, just maybe, Mr. Trudeau will grow a set and do what’s right for all.

Thank you.

Don Lightheart (Sgt ret'd)

Dear Mr. Hill

As a veteran I would like to extend my Thanks and deep appreciation for the editorial (Jan 6th-A lump of coal again for our vets) in THE VALLEY VOICE NEWS. As a veteran it is nice to know that someone else fully understands our situation. It is just sad to realize how many veterans are not alive today to see this situation reversed (If it ever is). 

As a 77-year-old veteran myself who has served in many and varied locations throughout the world. I was always proud of being a Canadian and the way our military personnel conducted themselves. I just feel it is a shame we have to fight so hard for so long to try to obtain what we deserve..

Once again thank you for the great editorial.

Yves Rivet (MWO, retired), Ottawa

Mr. Hill,

Thank you for your work !!

I left the military in 1999, and not once have they (DND) contacted me as if I don’t exist anymore.

Cpl/Capt R. Wayne Wannamaker CD1 Ret'd

Thank you Mr. Hill

Douglas Moore, CPO Ret'd

Mr. Craig Hill. 

I am a retired Chief Petty Officer who retired in 1985. I, like other veterans have been waiting many years for our government to take action on the subject.

Many, many thanks for your article concerning the claw back issue.

Hopefully your article will help the cause.

Once again, many thanks.

Search and Rescue, Billy Ternes

I just retired after 28 years in the Forces ending as a Search and Rescue Technician here in Comox, B.C.. Like all SAR Techs I am broken, but still able to play with my little girl thank god. Our pensions are important and to think the Government will be clawing it back in my 60's fires up my PTSD. We lived with loyalty, honour, and respect "that others may live". Damn people deciding on the claw back don't have a clue what some of us went through and have to live with.

Thanks Craig for writing the article.

Name Withheld

Mr. Hill.

My personal thank you for the interest and effort you have provided to all the Canadian Vets. In particular those who are unable to speak up themselves. It is frustration and extremely disappointing that the Canadian Government shows utter disregard for the plight of veterans and the with holding of funds that we have contributed.

I spent 30 years in the RCMP and numerous occasions had to provide security for government officials - particularly Prime Ministers, including the current one as a child. I do not miss the funds that I feel were cheated from me, but on every trip to the Legion, Remembrance Day Parade or other associated gathering, my heart is heavy. It seems every attempt to gain any attention is simply disregarded. They need a lawful wake up call.

Would we not get some attention for this simple suggestion? Every vet, able to, should be encouraged to send a registered, "signature required" letter to the personal attention of a particular government official requesting action. I believe by law someone would have to sign for the letter. In addition, one could place a cheque in the amount of $1.00 payable to one of the opposition party leaders as a campaign donation. This of course, would have to forward on to the payee. I can only imagine the attention thousands of letters they would get. This could continue for a period of time.

I realize that this would appear to be an immature suggestion. However the mature responses by intelligent people are getting absolutely nowhere.

Keep up the good work.

H. Karl Bartlett (MWO Ret), Ontario

Mr. Craig Hill,   Publisher, The Valley Voice News

I received an e-mail from John Labelle, Chair for the Committee dedicated for the abolition of the reduction to CF/RCMP Veterans' Pensions once they have reached their 65th birthday

I was extremely pleased that John attached an editorial from your Newspaper in which you have brought an important voice to the Veterans thrust to right a wrong imposed upon our financial and trust status which we expected to enjoy in retirement.

I wish to applaud you for taking such a supportive role by bringing the issue to the public. You bore out that Veterans are not asking for a drain on Public Coffers as sufficient funds have accumulated even though a substantial sum was withdrawn to pay down the National Debt.

Please accept my heart felt appreciation and thanks for taking this positive step to support Veterans' issues and in particular for those who suffered injury and the most vulnerable being our disabled brothers and sisters. It is difficult to understand that they are being penalized for serving their country.

I am grateful that you have taken such supportive action by bringing public awareness to Veterans' issues.

Guy Maurice Desrochers, Captain ( Retired), Canadian Forces, Saint-Etienne-des-Gres

Thank you Mr. Craig Hill for the attention you showed to the veteran's issues. We appreciate the efforts you take to keep this issue on the front burners

P2CD Mike Atkinson, Royal Canadian Navy (RET)

Mr. Hill

As a retired navy vet who suffered a disability in the performance of my duties I wish to thank you for the editorial you wrote on behalf of vets. I have to say it makes me sick to see some smug politician  spouting the party line who never served and never will. They are only too happy to gorge themselves at the public trough and then rationalize their golden handshake after six years by the suffering they endured being away from home to reside in Ottawa.

It is high time the government stopped this claw back. It is our money. We paid into it to the tune of a multi billion dollar surplus and it is great to see it in print

Once again thank you We need more good honest media people to speak up for us and get our word out.

WO. (retired) Paul Charbonneau, Nova Scotia, Canada

Mr. Craig Hill, thank you for writing about us, Military/RCMP Veterans and their Families, who are all fighting for our rights, regarding our CPP Annuity Benefit Reduction at age 65 or sooner if disabled.

Lt(N) Isaac Brower-Berkhoven, C.D., R.C.N. (rtd)

Mr. Hill

Thanks for your efforts, sitting out here in the prairies it is of some comfort to know we have a voice. Thanks.

Fernand Brulotte, C.W.O. (ret), Army Cantley q.c.

Mr. Hill,

Thank you for devoting your time for the veterans. After all the bla-bla from the politicians in reference to the claw back. For 2017 on Nov.11th., it  should be a NO SHOW from the veterans for the parade in downtown Ottawa and have the politicians stand alone and explain to the country why the veterans are MIA. We have other places around Ottawa (Legion parade) to go to.

John Labelle, Veterans Annuity Campaign, Mrs. Reina MacNeil - Translator/Member


It is I who say thank you for identifying Veterans issues. I am fine receiving a 38-year Military pension. Like you we are not paid for fighting for many other Veterans who needs it most. Since we started the Campaign in 2005 we refuse to charge membership fees or any other fees to our supporters. We pay for all our expenses and continue to do so.

Take care, we will keep you informed.

J. Gaylord Kingston

Mr Craig Hill,

Your article: a lump of coal for veterans ' is extremely timely and informative. As a veteran of 30 years service and in my position as President of the Atlantic Chief and Petty Officers Association here in Halifax, I find it very pertinent to our cause. The second hat that I wear is that as editor of our bi-monthly association newsletter, Crown and Anchor, and I would ask your permission to reprint the article in our March-April issue.

Have a fine Navy day.

Al Grier, RCMP Veteran, Sherwood Park, AB

Thank you SIR - for a great article. It is planned to present this question to our illustrious PM during his cross-country (mostly BS) tour - and see what the reaction is - hopefully other than a lot of Uh oh uh's that he usually responds with when not reading from a script one of his hacks has written for him.

Thank you for your kind and quick response.  The most disgusting thing about the whole issue is that it was done with no advance consultation or even notification, then millions in the pension fund were simply taken and put into general revenues — our money — not the Government’s.






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