Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino
Editor: If the opinion page in The Guardian were a human brain, it would present as suffering from cognitive dissonance, a stressful psychological condition when the mind holds two contradictory beliefs at once.
Take, for example, the letter to the editor âHelp now closer than ever for vetsâ (Wednesday, February 5, 2014) by one Michel Doiron, assistant deputy minister of Veteran Affairs. In fastidious, icy bureaucratese, he assures Islanders that their vets will be better off than ever before because his government plans to shut eight area offices that are there for them. This is Orwell-speak on the same page as: war is peace, peace is war.
Across the page from Mr. Doiron's propaganda is David McMillanâs commentary, âIn support of veterans, their families and client service agents.â Mr. McMillan, whose franchise, Home Instead Senior Care, explains that his staff has witnessed the degraded service that our soldiers are receiving from the VAC â waiting up to two or three months to be seen by service staff, each of whom has a punishing case load.
His caregivers have helped vets navigate a Byzantine maze of VAC paperwork, policy procedures while helping vets deal with declining health and even a dying spouse.
These two letters illustrate perfectly two opposing views. One of them must be lying. Anyone who claims the VAC is delivering quality service to our aging soldiers has only to see in action the unconscionable Veteran Affairs Minister Julian Fantino, a case study in Psych 101 of a Tony Soprano bully complex. Both Fantino and Doiron might do well to apprentice with Home Instead so they can generate a germ of empathy for the honourable gentlemen who took on the Nazis, the North Koreans, and the Taliban for the likes of them.
J. Blair Arsenault,