There are certain things that are expected between a soldier or member of a country’s military and their contractors the government when you serve under a contract of unlimited liability. A soldier should expect good compensation and benefits, good care and leadership when in service, good care mental and physical care and pension after service, and finally veneration in death. In return your country gets to tell you where you go, what you do, and when you die. It is the essence of a contract of unlimited liability in that to protect your countrymen by offering your own life to save their lives. I should point out, that our people in uniform do what they are asked, even when it is impossible to succeed. Failure in a no-fail organization is, and remains, unthinkable.

So like every other Canadian who is proud of our military and loves its people, I woke up this morning to read the headline that Canadian Forces members serving in Kuwait had lost their tax exemption status as the danger or risk associated with the mission had been down-graded by the military. We need to be clear here. It was not down-graded by the military, it was up-ended by a Committee of the Treasury Board of Canada with military membership that classifies the risk associated with military operations. Canadians, I am certain, would rightly, and with great justification, ask why doesn’t the military leadership assess those risks and make the decision? The answer is at one time they did. But ‘bean counters’ at Treasury Board and the Privy Council Office, based in comfort in Ottawa, thought that the military leadership was taking just too good of care of the troops, and so they hived it off to a committee to make the decision. The innuendo, if you missed it, was that the country’s military leadership could not be trusted alone to do this and we needed a committee of the public service with military membership to do this instead. If your blood is not boiling at this point, it should be.

In all this there is one inescapable fact- the Prime Minister and the President of the Treasury Board can end this practice and this poor decision now, and give our people serving in Kuwait the benefits that they are entitled to, and deserve, and correct this whole disgraceful mess. The Defence Minister should be calling the Prime Minister to make this happen. His staff should be climbing the walls at Treasury Board and the Prime Minister’s Office because all it takes to fix this is political will. The question is, “is the political will there to do it"?

#kuwait #taxexemption #treasuryboard #canada #CanadianForces

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