Saturday, November 06, 2010

No wonder Greg Thompson isn't the minister of veterans affairs anymore

It was my intention to shift my focus to the newly appointed Veterans Ombudsman and not dwell on the mandate of Pat Stogran. However, something bubbled up which underscored the fact that Stogran may have had an impossible job under the Harper regime.

David Pugliese, in a departing interview with Stogran, highlights the effects Stogran's public campaign had to change the way the Harper government was dealing with veterans, particularly those with life-altering wounds. It's still nowhere near good enough, but without the public efforts of Stogran, the Harper government would have continued to generate the lie that they were the party of the troops.

The kicker and the proof comes straight from the mouth of the former minister of veterans affairs, Greg Thompson, who quit his cabinet post because he was "worn out". (more on that below)**

But former Veterans Affairs minister Greg Thompson said Canada has among the best services in the world available to former soldiers and the department’s staff are ready to help those who served Canada.
“My conclusion is that (Stogran) could have done a better job and he focused too much on the personal,” said Thompson.
Too much on the personal?!
Look up the definition of Ombudsman you fucking twit!

No wonder Stogran had to go public with veterans' complaints. He didn't stand a chance of improving the lot of veterans by dealing face to face with school teachers and financial advisors who don't even know the distinction of the role of an ombudsman.

Pugliese's article ends with a comment from Stogran which I'm sure will upset Ottawans.

I can’t stand this city.
Heh! I'm pretty sure that's not a reflection on the good people of Ottawa. It's actually military-speak and a line which regularly falls out of the mouths of service personnel. He probably means that he can't stand Ottawa the seat of government and Disney-like effect it generates. Most service members don't consider Ottawa, the official, to be anything close to reality.

** Thompson was one of the few surviving Progressive Conservatives serving in Harper's cabinet. Despite his reasons for quitting, I suspected then, (and still do), that he found himself out of place amongst the Harperites... for a variety of reasons which are regularly the subject of posts in these pages. Still, his comments on Stogran were typically Harperesque and he deserves a kick in the nuts for making them.

1 comment:

Boris said...

Then there's Blackburn today calling the protesting veterans a bunch of whingers.

Veterans Affairs Minister Jean Pierre Blackburn said the protests are not linked to the government's proposed changes.

"It was organized before these changes that we've already been implementing in our government," he said. "The legions don't support this day of protest."