When I was in the army in the late 1950s, do to our country’s obligation to the United Nations, a handful of Canadian soldiers were posted in Kabul, Afghanistan. At that time, the country was basically neutral with Russia offering all sorts of machinery and the US offering all sorts of money, we often wondered what the heck were we even doing there. It was a strange country basically sand, dust storms, scorpions, snakes and a race of people who were followers of Islam but were not sure of themselves and their place in the world. Our stay was one short month and we could not leave fast enough. While there, we had no concerns about our future if any of us had come to harm. We were soldiers and sure our country would look after us.
At this time, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government are fighting Canadian veterans in court because Trudeau says they are asking for more than the federal government can afford.
Before the old lifetime pension was eliminated in favor of a lump sum payment, veterans could have received up to $2,700 per month for pain and suffering. However, under the restored pension plan the Liberal government have introduced, the maximum a wounded soldier would ever see is $1,150 per month. Trudeau said his government’s monthly pension amount is lower because it considers the cost of services offered by the federal government, including post-traumatic-stress treatment and psychological care, support for caregivers, family members who look after wounded veterans and job training for those who can still get back into the job market.
Now a newly announced plan has been implemented. Canada has quietly contributed $33 million to help establish a new center in Kabul to treat Afghan vets wounded in that nation’s many years of conflict.
When built, the rehabilitation center will be the largest and most modern facility of its kind in an impoverished country. It has been suggested a new center would dramatically improve the quality of care for the ill and injured.
There is no doubt the needs are great in the country because of 40 years of war and the remnants of war. The numbers are astonishing because the formal announcement has not yet been made, but it is well within the works.
It’s also said that the center will be a catalyst for more effective treatment of ill and injured Afghan personnel, whose numbers continue to grow because of the ongoing counter-insurgency campaign against the Taliban.
So now our Foreign Affairs department has confirmed that Ottawa recently contributed $33 million, through NATO’s trust fund for the Afghan National Army, for the construction of the Kabul Military National Hospital’s construction.
It is meant to accommodate 100 military and police personnel as well as civilians injured because of the country’s conflicts. An attached facility would house 20 women medical students in training. The goal would be to have the center built by the end 2019.
So, we can spend 33 million on vets of another country but can’t afford to care for our own. Remember this when you vote in the upcoming federal election. And that is how I see things