To the surprise of absolutely fucking nobody Canada is terrible at taking care of veterans. Before we go any further I want to make sure that I explain where my concerns regarding Veteran’s Affairs come from. I’m not exactly a soldier-sniffer; the military is effectively welfare for poor people in the same way that the basic units of government are welfare for the middle class. But soldiers are employees of the state, and as employees they deserve basic protections should they be injured on the job and should expect to receive those benefits and monies that were promised to them while they were federal employees. If we are going to demand that the private sector recognize and honor the agreements made with employees (which is a laughable proposition in Canada as it is, but anyways), it behooves the federal government to take care of its own employees so as to set an example.
Enter Paul Franklin. Paul Franklin was hired by the federal government to destroy people that the Canadian government doesn’t like very much in Afghanistan. In 2006, Mr. Franklin lost the use of his legs as a result of a suicide bombing. He trucked onwards with the military until 2009, when he quit the Forces to go do more useful things. By all accounts, Mr. Franklin is a fine, upstanding soul trying to make the world a better place despite losing his legs. He has been championing the causes of wounded vets who are like him being treated like a sack of sagging dogshit by their former employer, and for that reason alone I’m inclined to say that Mr. Franklin is doing better outside the Forces than in.
Unfortunately, Mr. Franklin still has to interact with the Canadian state after his retirement. As can only be expected with such an interaction, Mr. Franklin finds himself getting more and more frustrated with the federal government. In his position I would be too; once a year, from his retirement in 2009 until at least 2016 Mr. Franklin has been forced to file paperwork with Veteran’s Affairs proving that his legs are still, in fact, gone. And this gets even better, friends. The Canadian government took Mr. Franklin’s wheelchair away because they didn’t know which branch of the Canadian government was paying for it (and because they needed a doctor’s note – it’s not like lost limbs can be visually confirmed or anything, no sir). And they did this twice.
Caker doublethink surrounding the military has Canadians at once believing that their military is small, peace-minded, and polite while also holding to the idea that Canadians are among the world’s finest troops. And cakers are quick to umbrage whenever stories like these arise. But it’s not like the Canadian government does anything about the problem, and eventually cakers return to pretending that their soldiers are really polite ubermensch. Indeed, within the military itself there is a never-ending war between a cold, flaccid, worthless caker corp of penny-pinching shitwands who don’t understand their moral, fiscal, and social obligations to the people who serve said corps and troops demanding that they get what they deserve as employees of the state. Liberal, Tory – it doesn’t matter. From the subhuman treatment of World World One veterans to the “cheap-o” approach to therapy for modern troopers, Canada’s history is one of brutal cruelty to those who served it.
Canada’s veterans are just one more example of why trusting the Canadian state with anything is a bad, awful, terrible, no good idea. And you better believe that we’ll be back on this topic, because hol-ee-shit does Canada treat human lives as nothing more than disposable grist.