Saturday November 6, 2010

Local News

Veterans' Voices "Fall On Deaf Ears"

Local NDP candidate Gwen O'Mahony questions Strahl's absence

Submitted by Dick Harrington, NDP Campaign Manager


he protest march today, sponsored by the local Veterans Association, originated at the Cottonwood Mall and travelled down Vedder Road ending at the office of the local MP. This historically is the first time that veterans have marched against the government.


Gwen O'Mahony, federal NDP candidate for Chilliwack/Fraser Canyon, along with many other local NDP members, were present at this rally to show their support for the Veterans. She supports the Veterans' call for a public inquiry into the handling of veteran claims.

"I would like to see the elected Conservative members come out of hiding and address their constituents," said O'Mahony after attending the veterans national day of protest today in Chilliwack.

Since the concerns of the former veterans ombudsman, Patrick Strogan have fallen on deaf ears and since he, in effect, was fired from his position, there is a loss of accountability on behalf of the federal government.

The federal NDP have advocated since Day 1 on these issues on behalf of all Veterans. The NDP's Peter Stoffer, MP from Nova Scotia is the party's Veteran Affairs critic. He has actively spoken out on many occasions for the need to hold Prime Minister Harper accountable on behalf of veterans.

"The government needs to not just provide funding for our troops in active service, it also needs to be there for them when they return home and this has not been the case," stated O'Mahony.

"We are sure that the majority of Canadians are shocked when they hear that Veterans' Affairs is functioning like a cut-throat insurance company, denying claims, and often tying the veterans up in bureaucracy in hopes that they will give up," she said. "Today, we see that this strategy has backfired as evidenced by the robust turnout, not only here in Chilliwack, but also across Canada."

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