How did things get turned so upside down?
We were all outraged when the Trudeau government gave $10.5 million to Omar Khadr.
And that outrage is now further compounded by the fact that the federal government, through the Veterans Affairs Department, is refusing to pay for a $34K prosthetic leg for Air Force Captain Kimberly Fawcett.
A recent Global News article explains the situation:
“Both Fawcett and her husband were members of high readiness units in the Canadian Armed Forces, meaning they could be deployed overseas on short notice and at the same time.
The possibility of a sudden simultaneous deployment of both mom and dad meant the Canadian Armed Forces required the couple to devise a plan to make sure baby Keiran would always have child care, known as the Family Care Plan.
On the morning of Feb. 21, 2006, it looked like a double deployment could be in the works. Fawcett’s husband Curtis was called to the base for workup training to deploy to Africa and her unit was next in line for activation.
Fawcett executed the Family Care Plan with the approval of her commanding officer, donning her uniform and putting her son in the car to drop him at his grandparents’ house.”
Tragically, Fawcett’s vehicle slid off the icy road into the median. She then took her nine month old son and headed for the ditch to get out of the way of oncoming vehicles. But while she was in the ditch, a truck hit a semi and careened into the ditch, hitting Fawcett and her son. Fawcett’s leg was severed, and baby Kieran was thrown under a semi-truck and killed.
Clearly, the circumstances of Fawcett and her husband being in the military were a key factor in what happened, and she was an active member of the Air Force, being willing to defend Canada and serve at a moments notice. Obviously, her injury should have been considered as being when she was on duty.
Yet, for a decade, the government has steadily refused to pay for her $34,000 prosthetic leg.
It’s made all the worse considering the extraordinary dedication Fawcett has shown to her country:
“Against all odds, Capt. Fawcett became the only Canadian woman to deploy to Afghanistan with a prosthetic limb. She served during the height of the Afghanistan war in Kandahar, helping the families of fallen soldiers to process their own losses on bereavement visits.
Despite her dedicated service, Fawcett said she has been betrayed by the very institution and government she has served faithfully.
Prosthetics are expensive, but the Canadian Armed Forces is refusing to pay for Fawcett’s prosthetic leg, disputing whether she was on duty at the time of the accident.
That has left Fawcett on the hook for the cost.”
Keep in mind, the government controls the military, that’s the entire point of ‘civilian control of the military’ in a democratic nation. So, they could order the military to pay for Fawcett’s prosthetic leg. All it would take is a phone call.
Fawcett pointed out the difference between how Omar Khadr has been treated, and how she was treated:
“They bent over backward to be nice to Omar Khadr. To do the right thing even though it wasn’t popular, and then I kinda think… well, I didn’t murder anybody. I didn’t go against my country. I simply served, so why am I being singled out?”
The government must take immediate action and reverse this gross injustice. The Defence Minister or the Prime Minister needs to pick up the damn phone, call the armed forces, and order them to immediately cover the full cost of Fawcett’s prosthetic leg.
Anything less is simply unacceptable.