Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Steve Jobs
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Minister Foote attacks Veteran

It didn't take long for the Liberals to get arrogant beyond belief did it? Last week the Liberals announced they were resuming the lawsuit against disabled veterans. Despite having passed a resolution in the House of Commons recognizing Canada's "sacred" duty to its injured veterans, a motion passed unanimously in the House, the good old Liberals just renewed the lawsuit against those same vets in the courts in BC. Among the points of contention - should veterans have to prove they are still disabled every 2 years? One of the vets in the suit points out his lost two legs are not going to regenerate themselves... and so it goes. The Liberals broke their word.

As one of those vets I was deeply angered at the betrayal. My local member of parliament Judy Foote, who also happens to sit at the right hand of the Prime Minister in Parliament, posted a few pictures of herself with provincial and federal politicians on Facebook a few days ago. It was the usual pomp and circumstance - flags, podium, smiling politicians - you get the idea. Ms. Foote captioned the photos with self-congratulatory commentary about $35 million the feds were putting into Newfoundland to help with roads, etc. Your typical political stuff here. However, given the absolute anger and borderline hatred displayed recently against the newly elected Liberal provincial government here, it was inflammatory at the least for Foote to be sitting with those same politicians extolling all that they're doing in the province. In other words, it was typical Newfoundland politics of "look at us, we're giving you money for a road, aren't we awesome". The flavour of politics here isn't going down well anymore.

My anger and disappointment at the Liberals renewal of the veterans lawsuit overcame me, as did the obvious attempt by Foote and her other Newfoundland and Labrador federal Liberal MPs to boost the provincial Liberal government, that I had to comment. As a disabled veteran, and as a member of Foote's riding, I thought it was my right to let her know my opinion on these issues. Wrong. Judy Foote, in her righteousness and arrogance decided that wasn't the case. Here's how it went down on Facebook:

Me: " Putting lipstick on a pig (the provincial Liberal Party)  doesn't help. They are tattered.    You should be convincing Trudeau to settle the lawsuit with injured veterans before you (the federal Liberal government) end up the same way."

This is how she responded:

"Well a happy 24th May long weekend to you too Brad. So now you've turned your sights to finding fault with initiatives I am taking as a Member of Parliament to help the people of NL. Why am I not surprised that I have ended up on your long list of those who just can't get it right and you say that without any idea of the work I do behind the scenes on many federal issues to make a difference in the lives of others including our veterans. It is so easy to find fault - having a positive impact takes effort and desire to effect real change and in some circumstances takes longer than in other cases."

Now, in case you can't find any logical connection with her response to me on Facebook and the comment posed to her, well let's just say you're not alone. Minister Foote in fact chose a public forum to marginalize, if not gently smear, a permanently, severely injured veteran - the kind she professes to do so much for. It is true that as a writer, commentator, and as a political scientist I do push for democratic change in this province. I push for fundamental change to the political culture of this province that Ms. Foote's commentary so richly illustrates. As part of that push for change I've written this post so that others can see not just the challenges seriously injured veterans must put up with in pushing for our rights, and those of our brothers and sisters, but also the contempt for which we are held in for doing so. Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees us the right to freedom of thought and expression. Apparently Minister Foote disagrees.

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