News, Politics

Protests Against Veterans’ Affairs Department

Julian Fantino. Image:
Julian Fantino. Image:

Veterans’ Affairs, the government department that serves men and women from Canada’s military, is being criticized.

A group of veterans went to Ottawa last week to protest the lack of service and assistance they received after they served their country. They call their protest Rock the Hill.

The protest came after the wife of one veteran wanted Julian Fantino, the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs, to talk about her concerns. Jenny Migneault’s husband has suffered from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) for eight years. PTSD, in this case, is when a person who has been through a difficult time (for instance, combat) has stress-related reactions, afterwards.

Migneault approached Fantino after he made a presentation. But instead of stopping and talking to her, Fantino walked away.

She chased after him, trying to get her message across; that veterans’ spouses and partners want to be trained as caregivers for the injured soldiers. She accused Fantino of spending more money on advertising than on help for veterans.

Another wife of a veteran, Linda Magill (herself a veteran) also spoke out against Veterans’ Affairs. She said she believed that the department was denying and delaying veterans’ requests for benefits until the vets just give up trying to get what they should.

The Conservative government denies the accusations, saying they have actually made it easier to make claims and have given more money to help veterans take care of physical and mental difficulties.

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
e Conservative government believes that it is supporting Canada’s veterans. However, the families of Canadian veterans believe the exact opposite to be true, i.e. that veterans are being ignored and are not being provided with help.

How can two sides with such differing opinions resolve this issue? What steps will need to be taken to resolve this conflict?

Reading Prompt: Point of View
Did you think today’s article was balanced, that both opinions were shared equally? What information did the author include that makes you think so?

Identify the point of view presented in a text and suggest some possible alternative perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Identify the point of view presented in texts, ask questions to identify missing or possible alternative points of view, and suggest some possible alternative perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Identify the point of view presented in texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts; give evidence of any biases they may contain; and suggest other possible perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Language Feature: Acronyms
An acronym is an abbreviation of a title created by taking the first letter of each name. For example, CSA is an aronym that is used for The Canadian Space Agency. Today’s article uses the abbreviation PTSD.

What other acronyms do you know?
Why do people make acronyms for titles anyways?