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Lt Col Pritam Singh Jauhal World War II Veteran- Vancouver, BC, Canada

An Open E-mail to Prime Minister of Canada
Canada must undo its injustice to brave Allied World War Veterans In Canada

British Columbia, Dec. 12, 2008
By Lt Col Pritam Singh Jauhal (Retd) World War II Veteran

Fighting in both World Wars, Commonwealth Armed Forces irrespective of different nationalities developed comradeship, esprit de corps and formed themselves into a well-knit “United Family“. Not only did they respect each other, they died for each other. They faced successive enemy air-raids, intermittent tanks and missile attacks, artillery and small arms fires, but survived. They also survived when ammunition supplies did not catch up with their fast advances, when their rations and water supplied by air were cut in half and halved again, when faced with extreme heat and constant sand-storms of famous Africa’s Western Desert and when their private mail from beloved ones back home, took five to six months to arrive by sea.

The Commonwealth Armed Forces men and women, fighting as a “well-knit team” with valour, determination and high morale, defeated the enemy in numerous battles, inflicting very heavy casualties on the enemy and taking thousands of Prisoners of War (P O W). They too suffered substantial losses. A great many of our brave men and women died, many got maimed, lost their limbs incapacitating them for life. The lucky survivors including myself also had to go through the horrors of War and uncertainty of life. They, still suffer from wartime nightmares and stresses. This is the life of a soldier. They volunteered to fight against the Nazis and Italian Forces in the Middle East and Japanese in South East Asia respectively, not for them or their families but to protect the Commonwealth and preserve the Democracy in which different people could live together and enjoy freedom in peace.

Recognizing the sacrifices made by men and women of Commonwealth Armed Forces, Canada offered a number of Services and Benefits to qualified Veterans who lived in Canada. Those included pension, disability pension, and health related benefits. The non-Canadian Allied Forces Veterans however, were required to have an additional ten years residence in Canada to qualify. The qualifying Allied Veterans were paid “War Veterans’ Allowance” and granted Medical Benefits depending upon their total annual income.

To the utter dismay of Allied World War Veterans living in Canada, Canada dropped a bomb-shell- passing the legislation, granting them War Veterans Allowance and Medical Benefits was amended in 1995, so that ten years residence in Canada, is no longer a method of meeting the residence requirements for them. Consequently, no applications were accepted from Allied Veterans living in Canada effective February 27, 1995.

By amending the above Legislation, Canada created double standards, with two sets of rules - one for the Canadian Veterans and the other for Allied World War Veterans residing in Canada. This amounted to nothing short of blatant injustice and discrimination against the Allied Veterans.

While amending its earlier Legislation, did the Canadian Parliamentarians conclude that the sacrifices made by non-Canadian Allied War Veterans during the two World Wars were of a lesser degree as compared to their Canadian counterparts, or they were cowards in the face of the enemy? Canada’s Parliamentarians are sadly mistaken if they thought that the World Wars could have been won by Canadian Forces alone and that there was no need to have other Allied Armed Forces? History tells us that vast majority of Commonwealth Forces were from Countries other than Canada, who were in no way inferior fighters as compared to the Canadians.

The Allied War Veterans who made Canada their home after the World Wars, worked diligently and extremely hard, leaving no stone unturned for the progress of their newly adopted young country. They put their life on the line in World Wars when they were needed to. Now, being in their eighties and nineties they look sickly and are in dire need of help for taking care of their personal matters including hygiene. Canada has a morale responsibility to take care of them. This can easily be done because with the passage of time, their numbers have dwindled to three digits only.

Canada is one of the wealthiest countries of the World because God blessed it with excessive natural resources. It exports electricity, uranium, fish (World’s largest fish exporter), wheat, timber, natural gas, coal, pulp, copper, barley, maize, potash, railway cars, gold, (third in the World).Its economy is far better than most countries of the World. Its budget has been surplus over the years. The United Nations declared it as the best country to live in for many years in a row. One fails to understand, as to why Canada is so stingy and careless in looking after few hundreds brave Allied Veterans living in Canada. All Canadians owe them a heart-felt “THANK YOU“.

Canada has always claimed to be the Leader in the World to safeguard Human Rights of people. Its own Charter of Rights and Freedoms of 1982, provides equal rights for all Canadians and prohibits discrimination on a number of grounds including race, place of birth, ancestry, place of origin, political belief and religion. It is hard to understand as to why Allied World War Veterans have been barred from receiving the Services and Benefits when the Canadian World War Veterans continue to receive them? This is a clear violation of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In fairness to Allied Veterans, it is high time the Legislation amending the War Veterans Allowance and Medical Benefits to the Allied World war Veterans effective February 27, 1995 is rescinded.

This E-mail may please be sympathetically perused in detail by the Prime Minister of Canada. Recognizing the sacrifices and achievements of Allied World War Veterans during both World Wars, of whom only a few hundred in their final years now survive and live in Canada in most pitiable conditions, immediate orders be issued rescinding the unjust and discriminatory legislation passed barring them from the entitlement of War Veterans’ Allowance and Medical Benefits effective February 27, 1995.







Lt Col Pritam Singh Jauhal (Retd) World War II Veteran



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