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The following letter from Paul Moist, CUPE National President, was sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper today, expressing concern over the treatment of Canada’s veterans, particularly those who have been injured while serving this country.

November 8, 2010

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

I am writing on behalf of the over 600,000 members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees who are deeply concerned over the treatment of Canada’s veterans, particularly those who have been injured while serving this country.

This week we will all be remembering the selfless sacrifices made by thousands of brave soldiers, sailors and aircrews during the World Wars and the Korean War. Our thoughts will also be with those members of the Canadian Forces who have recently served, and those who continue to serve, in Afghanistan.

All Canadians owe a great debt to our veterans, one that cannot truly be fully repaid. We can, however, ensure veterans who have been injured or disabled while defending this country have a financially secure future when they return to civilian life.

Veterans have been very clear about their concerns with the 2006 Veterans’ Charter, and the change from pensions to lump-sum payments for injured veterans.

I am urging you to reinstate full pensions for Canadian Forces members injured while serving in Afghanistan.  These Canadian Forces members have made incredible sacrifices to defend freedom, justice and equality. It is only right that our country treat these brave men and women in an equal manner to those who served in the World Wars and in Korea.

I am aware the Hon. Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister for Veterans Affairs, has committed to addressing this issue, and you and your government are to be commended for the recent announcement of $2 billion to enhance services and benefits to wounded veterans. I sincerely hope you will hear the concerns of veterans and use this funding to establish full pensions for injured veterans.

For the sacrifices they have made, it is the least we can do.

Yours Truly,

Paul Moist
National President
Canadian Union of Public Employees

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