Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Backroom Deal that screwed veterans

And got Sean Bruyea's confidential medical information into a ministerial briefing note.

What is just as important, however, is what led to all of this: a back-of-the-plane deal to implement a new Veteran's Charter without proper parliamentary scrutiny and without public debate.

Pogge takes it right to the quick.
Allow me to draw your attention back to "the legislation zoomed through parliament." It seems that members of all the political parties are capable of forgetting what parliament is for. Of course there's nothing wrong with politicians from different parties getting together for informal discussions. But in this case, it sounds like they slapped a deal together in the privacy of an airplane's passenger compartment and then didn't look back. The study and debate that should take place at committee and in the Commons was treated like a formality. As evidence of that I offer the fact that the most important "stakeholders" in this — the veterans themselves — are up in arms about a policy that has a profound effect on them. Isn't this what they mean by "back room deals?"
It is indeed, and it will be worth keeping in mind as this unfolds further. The new Veterans Charter was heavily flawed from the start. It was first and foremost a cost-cutting exercise carried out on the backs of veterans.

More later.

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