June 9: Big contributions by military groups

Victoria councillors that voted to look to the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada to support policing of military commemorative events have displayed a lack of knowledge or understanding.

These events do not celebrate DND or VAC. They celebrate the individual service of citizen sailors, soldiers and air crew. Perhaps money spent by Victoria in hosting these events should be measured against civic contributions of veterans and serving members of the forces as well as direct payments from veterans affairs and DND.

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The Royal Canadian Legion and ANAVETS inject thousands of dollars into community activities, including sports teams, youth organizations, scholarships, and health care.

Members of the forces provide thousands of hours volunteering in support of community causes.

CFB Esquimalt raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for the United Way each year. Tens of thousands of dollars are spent supporting Victoria youth through cadet organizations.

Should the cost of policing the Victoria Day parade be pro-rated to bill military groups? Perhaps the fire department should be billed for the annual firefighters remembrance event and bill the RCMP for a portion of the police remembrance event. The notion is silly at best and, at worst, hurtful and disrespectful.

Gerald Pash


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