Apparently Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino hadn’t heard the saying “don’t poke the sleeping bear” when he brushed off a group of veterans who had arrived at the minister’s office for a scheduled meeting on Jan. 28.
What had been a simmering pot of human emotions among veterans and advocacy groups reached a boiling point at the Fantino office debacle, and it would seem that enough fuel has been added to the fire to ensure a successful turnout of veterans for a rally, which began yesterday June 4 on Parliament Hill.
Rock the Hill 2014 is the brainchild of Rob Gallant, a former Royal Canadian Air Force member who was medically released in 2003 after serving his country for 20 years. Gallant intends to show the government, “We, as veterans, have been pushed to the point that we no longer will stay silent while they cut our programs, medical treatment, and benefits, without a fight.
“(We hope to) enlighten the Canadian public on all the misleading statements or half-truths stated by this government,” Gallant said. “In simple terms we will be filling in the blanks that the government seems to always leave out.”
Meanwhile when Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino appeared at a Commons committee last week, he was asked to explain why a $4-million advertising budget had been created and why a recent round of television ads included a phone number for a line that is not staffed in the evenings when the ads have been aired.
He was told that people are angry that the government is spending money on promoting itself instead of putting that cash into programs for veterans.
Prepared from an article by Terry O’Hearn, Zone G6 public relations officer, Royal Canadian Legion.