The decision to cut the pay of sick or injured Special Operations soldiers is just plain wrong.
With the home base for the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) located at CFB Petawawa, I have been hearing directly from soldiers and their families how unfair they feel this treatment of injured soldiers is.
I was shocked to hear the Trudeau Minister respond to a question in Parliament by confirming the federal government felt it was being generous by delaying an immediate cut in salary. How incredibly arrogant and insensitive to make such a statement.
The new Liberal policy was implemented September 1st 2017.
The decisions we make in life are reflections of our values. The actions of this government are disappointing. It has no respect for the men and women in uniform who risk their lives to defend Canada.
The Prime Minister has no sense of the additional pressure this heartless decision is inflicting on our soldiers and their families.
These are Canadians who are being asked to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country, who have been injured. It is time to show some respect.
A Special Forces operator earns a Special Operations Allowance and Land Duty Allowance. He receives this allowance because he works in a high risk environment, both in training and on operations. The new policy as of September 1st is that if an operator is on a temporary medical category for greater than 180 days, his allowances will cease and he will lose 22 thousand dollars a year.
This has major implications, as illustrated by the following example;
A sergeant in the first battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry is making sergeant pay, his land duty allowance and post living differential. He then applies to become a Special Forces Operator, and thus changes his job and is demoted to the rank of Corporal, a substantial pay cut. He then earns his special operations allowance that brings him to an equivalent level of what he is making before he applied, but he is exposed to substantially more risk. He then deploys, and is shot in combat. If he is not fully recovered within 6 months, he will lose his allowances and he will make his base corporal pay. A 22 thousand dollar a year pay cut because he was injured in combat.
The families of Special Operation soldiers are already asked to make sacrifices. I can think of many situations how this has very adverse effects on the Special Forces community as the government is not taking care of its highly deployable units.
Time to change the policy.
205.385 – Special Operations Allowance (Monthly)
205.385(1) (Definition) In this instruction: means a member who provides command or general support to special operations and training of special operations forces, and who is qualified and current to the standard that is established from time to time by or under the authority of the CDS.
205.15 – No Entitlement – Common Events
205.15(1) (Application) This instruction provides disentitlement events that may apply to the following allowances:
205.15(2) (Disentitlement) The following disentitlement events apply to an allowance as set out in the instructions for that allowance:
(c) the member has been serving for more than 180 continuous days under a temporary medical category or a medical employment limitation that prevents the member from exercising the skill or being exposed to the environment, or performing the duty for which the allowance is provided. Entitlement ends on the 181st day after the day when the category or limitation was assigned;