28 March 2010

"Your Opposition to the Children of Fallen Canadian Heroes"

One Norman Leach writes a letter of denunciation attacking the University of Regina professors who dared to object to the Project Hero Scholarship campaign. There is a lot to learn from this exchange:

FROM:
"Norman Leach" nsleach@telusplanet.net 03/27/10 11:21 PM

To All of You

Just watched the CTV National News. Please add my letter to the "thousands of angry letters" you have received. As a Canadian I fully respect your right to be wrong - and to speak out proving it.

However, to play politics with the lives of the children of soldiers is horrific. The children did not choose their parents' occupation, the soldiers did not choose to go to Afghanistan but were doing what they had committed to do - follow orders and serve their country. Please remember the soldiers are there on the orders of two legally elected governments, one Liberal and one Conservative - orders that were sanctioned by the UN.

If you have an issue with the program how about climbing down from the Ivory Tower and volunteering to help build schools in Afghanistan, with educated children there our soldiers can come home. At least then you will have done some real good.

Of course it is far easier to sit safely in the hallowed halls of the U of R using your position to hurt those you are supposed to be teaching - students.

That's the difference between you and a Canadian soldier - a soldier knows the meaning of honour AND SERVICE.

I applaud the University of Regina for ignoring you - and hope your students do so as well.

Norman Leach

Calgary Alberta

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REPLY:
From Garson Hunter Ph.D. (Social Work), Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Regina

March 28, 2010

Well,

Now you wouldn't be the Norman Leach who is the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce - Canada West would you? Sure you are because the email address you just used to send this message matches the email address from your public profile website. Tell me Norman Leach, Executive Director, American Chamber of Commerce - Canada West; what is the function and purpose of the federal "Children of Deceased Veterans Education Assistance Act C-28?" After you look through the Act and its Regulations would you mind answering the question about what, then, is the purpose of "Project Hero?" Rick Hillier and Kevin Reed’s Project Hero scholarship is explained on Rick Hillier's website “Each university will cover the cost of undergraduate tuition and first-year residence fees for eligible students, and the number of scholarships awarded each year will depend on how many students qualify.”

Let me save you the trouble since I have done my homework. The "Children of Deceased Veterans Education Assistance Act C-28" will provide for tuition, educations costs and a modest living allowance while the dependent attends post secondary education. Using your city of Calgary as the example, the University of Calgary has announced that under Project Hero the university will cover the cost of undergraduate tuition for four academic years (eight semesters) for students who have lost a parent while serving in active military missions with the Canadian Forces. On-campus residence fees for the first academic year will also be covered. So the students are actually just receiving residence fees for one year under the terms of Project Hero and then only if the student lives on the campus. And Project Hero is not in actuality providing any funding to cover the residency expense; rather the University of Calgary must absorb that cost. Why is the business community not contributing to the funding of this scholarship? This sounds like socialist funding to me. It should be pointed out, again, that the benefits provided under the "Children of Deceased Veterans Education Assistance Act C-28" provides for additional educational expenses beyond just tuition. Although the Act should be consulted for the most accurate information, the Veteran Affairs Canada website provides a quick summary:

"We have a program to help children carry on with their education past high school if they have a CF parent who dies as a result of military service; or was pensioned at a medium or high level at the time of his or her death.

Under the program, full-time students can qualify for grants of about $6,700 a year to help pay for their education and living expenses. This amount may change over time to allow for increases in the cost of living.

To qualify for the program, students must be under the age of 30 and attend a post-secondary school in Canada. Former students who went to school after 1995 can also apply to have some of their education costs reimbursed."

Now I know that I will never receive an adequate response from you Norman Leach about who is actually playing politics with the lives of the children of soldiers in a horrific manner. Therefore I am going to make your email message to me and my response to you publicly available to all that are interested. It will include a link to your public profile website.

None of the other signatories to our letter had any part in the drafting of this response to you. It is my response and my response only.

Oh and one other thing Norman Leach, unlike you I am not an Honourary Canadian Armed Forces Peacekeeper whatever that is; but an actual Canadian Armed Forces Peacekeeper. But I guess I must thank you for pointing out to me "That's the difference between you and a Canadian soldier - a soldier knows the meaning of honour AND SERVICE."

Garson Hunter

The "Children of Deceased Veterans Education Assistance Act C-28" can be found online at the Department of Justice Canada website at:


The Veterans Affairs Canada summary of benefits can be found online at:


The link to Rick Hillier's website describing the benefits of the Project Hero Scholarship can be found online at:


The terms of the Project Hero scholarship at the University of Calgary can be found online at:


The website of Norman Leach’s public profile can be found online at:

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