CANADA VOTES: Strathroy veteran runs for new party in LKM

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Rob LaLande says veterans are upset they are not being looked after by their own government. And he’s trying to do something about it.
The veteran is one of 21 people running for the newly formed Veteran’s Coalition Party. LaLande, a former member of the Princess Patricia Light Infantry who served in Croatia, says a group of veterans began working on forming a party two years ago and just received status this month. It was formed out of frustration.
“The veteran community is upset they are not being looked after,” says LaLande.
He points to the process veterans have to go through to obtain benefits with people who have lost limbs having to prove the limb is still gone year after year. “Veterans are constantly having to jump through hoops. It’s plain ridiculous. The wait times are long, guys are losing their homes, they’re committing suicide, they’re not getting their money.”
And while veterans’ needs are on the top of the VCP’s agenda, LaLande says they’ve looked at a broad range of issues. The party’s platform includes:
• removing tax from income of the Canada Pension Plan
• a four-year moratorium on international aid. The $22.82 billion in foreign aid would be reinvested in programs for homelessness and seniors.
• The VCP will develop a new relationship with First Nations including providing clean drinking water for all First Nations. It will also respect and honour all treaties.
• Cut the GST by 1.25 per cent
• Balance the budget. LaLande all VCP members will cut their salary by 20 per cent to start. If all MPs did that, he says, it would save $12 million per session.
“Wasteful government spending is a huge issue,” he says. The party wants to cuts perks to MPs saying “if the regular guy can brown bag it, any politician can brown bag it.”