Soldiers’ Danger Pay Cut, Reversal Criticised as Mismanagement

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By A Correspondent

The federal government is reducing danger pay for Canadian military personnel who are currently serving in Afghanistan on training missions, saying that the country is not as dangerous as it used to be, according to CBC's French-language sister broadcaster on April 9.

This was followed on April 10 when the Prime Minister's Office said it intends to reverse a cut in danger pay for Canadian Forces personnel serving in Afghanistan, though it later clarified its statements to say it had asked officials to "re-examine" the move.

Liberal National Defence critic John McKay, on April 10, made the following statement on Department of National Defence cuts to danger pay for Canadian soldiers serving overseas:

“This Conservative government is demonstrating a total disregard for our soldiers deployed around the world by even proposing a cut to their supplemental danger pay. At the 11th hour – and only after the story hit the media – the Conservatives were forced to backtrack and reverse the cuts. How can they honestly call this ‘supporting the troops’?

This is yet another example of Conservative hypocrisy and fiscal mismanagement. They claim to love the troops when it's time for a photo-op, but then they turn around and try to deal with their self-inflicted deficit woes by cutting support for the Canadian Forces.”

Liberal Senator Roméo Dallaire, Deputy Chair of the Senate Defence Committee, continued:

“The Conservative government’s decision to cut soldiers’ danger pay is ethically wrong, downright mean and disloyal.

Our troops left with an agreed upon salary, including risk benefits for these missions, and now halfway through their deployment this government is making significant reductions to the income on which they and their families depend. At a time when the serving veterans and their families are readjusting to a reasonably normal life in garrison, they are seeing the essential elements of quality of life programs being chopped piece by piece. This will directly affect the operational effectiveness of the Forces, as it will cause significant attrition among soldiers still serving.

It is a fundamental duty of the politicians in power and the general officer corps to ensure that bureaucratic, near-term expediencies do not undermine the best interests of those soldiers and their families who have made sacrifices in the field for our country. Cutting danger pay halfway through a mission with a set end-date is entirely inappropriate. This pay should be maintained through the end of the mission in 2014.

The troops and all Canadians deserve full transparency on this government’s decision-making process with regards to danger pay.”

JULY 2018

Vol. 12 - No. 12


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