11.07.2010

protesting veterans, we support you. please lose the bigotry.

I was very encouraged and impressed to see Canadian veterans demanding better treatment from the country they served. Those red circles on MPs lapels mean as much as a "support our troops" car magnet - nothing - unless they're backed up by action. When Colonel Pat Stogran, the veterans ombudsman, spoke up about the raw deal being foisted on Canadian veterans, the Harper government did what they always do: they fired him.

I was afraid the issue might die there, but veterans themselves aren't letting that happen. I was saddened, though, to see the veterans protest information refer ungenerously to others in need.
It is shameful to think that the Constitution of Canada and the Canadian Bill of Rights guarantees "refugees" and other illegal aliens into this country, more right and privileges without application than a serving or retired member of of the Canadian Forces, RCMP or the Merchant Seamen/women. [Emphasis in original, not added.]

Why include this? The veterans deserve fair treatment, period. Why pit their rights against the needs of others?

Why the inflammatory quotes? This implies the writer doubts there is such a thing as a refugee. One would think that a veteran, who perhaps has seen countries devastated by war, famine and oppression, knows why refugees exist. And I reject the use of the phrase "illegal aliens," as if an immigrant without documentation is not human.

Why lie? Refugees and undocumented immigrants to Canada do not have more rights and privileges than Canadian veterans. Refugee claimants have some basic rights while in the refugee process. Undocumented immigrants have none. And no one has any rights "without application". Refugee claimants go through a formal process. Undocumented immigrants have no rights or privileges whatsoever. They certainly don't have more benefits than veterans. Where in the "Constitution of Canada and the Canadian Bill of Rights" does it say this?

Canadian Veterans are right to protest, and I fully support their demands for better and more comprehensive benefits. The Canada that they served - the Canada that's worth defending - isn't a country that turns its back on needy refugees, despite the political fashion of the day. It's a country that recognizes itself as a nation of immigrants from the very beginning - starting with the British and French who came here without invitation. Unless they're native peoples, every Canadian veteran is a descendant of immigrants of one kind or another. To the people who were already here, those ancestors were aliens, too.

I am saddened by the protest organizers' narrowness of vision. I hope it doesn't reflect the feelings of the majority of veterans who are protesting.

2 comments:

redsock said...

Besides the blatant bigotry, this shows a total lack of professionalism. Instead of simply presenting their core statements and some facts, they include something completely off-topic -- they might as well be also shoe-horning in some denunciation of fags or darkies -- though I suppose they feel there is some shred of a connection. All I see is their hatred of the "other" leaking over into their main argument.

L-girl said...

I wonder, is there a reason the person who wrote that used the Bill of Rights and not the Charter? Is it like flying the Red Ensign? Perhaps the Charter is too inclusive for them.