Updated: Jun 5, 2019
As CTV originialy reported, Canadian troops critical to the fight against ISIS have lost a major tax break that had saved them more than $9,000 each over the course of a six-month tour.
The tax breaks, worth between $1,500 to $1,800 per month, are provided to soldiers who meet certain criteria related to the risk of their duties and the relative hardship of their living conditions while deployed overseas.
Fifteen soldiers at Camp Arfijan, a base in Kuwait, lost the tax break in September, after the military downgraded the risk level. They fought to get it back, arguing that they faced no less danger or hardship than other soldiers stationed in the country.
But instead of restoring the tax break to Camp Arifjan’s soldiers, the military took the exemption away from the more than 300 soldiers stationed in Kuwait who will no longer be eligible as of June 1st, 2017.
One soldier told CTV News that, out of all the nations fighting ISIS, he believes the Canadians are the only ones who will not be getting the tax break. The Pentagon confirmed to CTV News that all American soldiers deployed to Iraq receive tax exemption status.
Military sources say the change is already causing hardships. One deployed soldier supports his disabled sister and pays his elderly mother’s mortgage, and now their financial future is uncertain.
His mother, Glenda Lindsay, said it feels as though her son is being cheated. “They're cutting corners at the troops' expense,” she told CTV News.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, a Liberal politician and the current Minister of National Defence, promised to fix the situation at a defence committee meeting on Dec. 1 when he was pressed by Conservative Defence Critic, James Bezan.
Despite his promise, there still has yet to be any change almost three months later.
Former Chief of the Defence Staff Rick Hillier expressed his concerns over the years of budgets cuts under the Chrétien Liberals in the 1990s.
More than 15 years later, the Canadian Forces are still suffering from the deep cuts Chrétien made. Modernization of military equipment was stalled and has been ageing ever since.
"Our fighter aircraft are still flying by swapping spare parts with "replacement" aircraft, our submarines are leaking, our Navy is in a desperate need of new ships and our army barely has ammunition to train." said Hillier.
Meanwhile, the Trudeau Liberals have decided to review the whole Canadian defence policy and delay more than $3.7 billion in military spending over the next five years.
"(The government) said it'll come back later," Hillier said. "I never believed that as chief of defence staff. If it's not in the fiscal framework, it's not there. So that's a $4-billion cut that occurred. That came mostly out of the acquisition capital funding, where we desperately need to spend even more."
This at a time that the Liberal government wants to put more troops into UN missions in an attempt at gaining a seat on the UN Security Council in 2021.
What's happening is the good men and women of the Forces are being used as pawns in a global chess match to achieve a desired position of power for the Liberal elites. The least they could do is give them enough money to do the job, properly train, even have enough ammo to go out on exercise to train for the planned UN missions to come.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jozef Lalka is a former Infantryman with the Canadian Armed Forces and founder of War Doll. Since releasing from the military, Jozef continues to rigorously train and expand his knowledge of a variety of weapons platforms and tactics.
Having earned a diploma in Media & Video production, Jozef works as a graphic designer, photographer and videographer while pursing a passion for current global conflicts and how they relate to historical events.