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Discrimination Against Allied World War Veterans In Canada

By Lt Col Pritam Singh Jauhal (Retd) World War II Veteran.

On immigrating to Canada in 1980, I observed the highest discrimination against
Allied World War Veterans. I therefore, decided to write a personal letter to the
Prime Minister of my newly adopted Country, requesting him to withdraw the
appropriate amendment to the Legislation and to treat all World War Veterans at
par. The contents of my letter follow:
Dated: May 31, 2002
The Right Honourable Jean Chretien
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0A6
Dear Mr Prime Minister:
At the outset, introducing myself, having the blood of a World War I Warrior
father in my veins, I fought during World War II in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan,
Egypt and Libya from Aug 1940 to December 1942 in the 8th British Army commanded
by Field Marshall Montgomery. My conscience forced me to address this letter to
you by name on the most undesirable discrimination against Allied World War
Veterans in Canada I sincerely hope you will not mind my direct approach to you
through this letter.
You having been in politics for over four decades, the Prime Minister for close to
a decade and a Senior Citizen, know full well that tens of millions of our men and
women laid down their precious lives fighting in both World Wars, leaving their
aged parents, beloved spouses and beautiful tiny tots behind at the mercy of
others. Did they fight for their personal benefits or for their families? No. They
fought for the Democracy, in which different people could live together and enjoy
freedom in peace.
Irrespective of different nationalities, faiths and cultures, fighting in North
Africa during World War II, the Allied Forces developed comradeship, esprit de
corps, tenacity and formed themselves into United Family.
Together we faced successive enemy air-raids, constant intensive tank, artillery
and small arms fires and we survived. We also survived when our rations and water
supplied by air were cut in half, and halved again, when faced with extreme heat
and dust of the Western Desert of Africa.
Fighting as a well-knit Team with valour, determination and high morale, we
defeated the enemy in numerous battles, inflicting heavy casualties and taking
thousands of Prisoners of War. Those of us who were lucky to survive, I being one
of them, too had to go through the horrors of war and uncertainty of life. Many of
us still suffer from wartime nightmares and the stresses of the Operations of War.
In recognition of the sacrifices made by the World War Veterans, the Canadian Govt
offered a wide range of services and benefits to qualified Veterans. Those
included pension, disability pension, and health benefits. However, the Allied
Veterans were required to have an additional ten years residency in Canada to
qualify and were paid War Veterans’ Allowance and Medical benefits, depending on
their total annual income.
The Legislation was amended in 1995 so that ten year residency in Canada is no
longer a method of meeting the residency requirement for Allied Veterans. However,
those who are receiving benefits on or February 27, 1995 may continue to apply for
and receive benefits, as long as they reside in Canada and meet the specified
income requirements. Since February 27, 1995 no new applications have been
accepted from Allied Veterans even on completion on their ten years residency in
With the amended Legislation, the Federal Govt, I regret to say, has created
a double standard by having two sets of rules - one for Canadian Veterans, and
another for Allied Veterans. This, can not be called by any stretch of imagination
to be fair. Does this mean that the sacrifices made by the Allied Veterans during
the World Wars were of lesser degree than those made their Comrades, the Canadian
Veterans? Or did the Allied Veterans not fight hard enough along with the forward-
most troops, face-to-face with the enemy?
Dear Prime Minister, knowing you as I do, I am certain you will not accept this
injustice and discrimination against surviving Allied Veterans, who now are not
too many in number and who have done their very best for the progress of Canada
since their immigration. They fought when they were needed to in the World Wars,
but now, being in their golden years, and sickly-looking, they need help from the
Canada is one of the wealthiest Countries of the World. Its economy being much
better than most countries, its budget has been surplus over the years, thanks to
the policies of your Govt. The United Nations declared Canada as the best place to
live for a good number of years. The Allied Veterans who fought during the World
Wars and served Canada with their hearts and souls for its progress, definitely
deserve a better life like other Canadians.
Dear Prime Minister, in view of the facts explained above, I most respectfully
urge you to please restore the Benefits of the Allied World War Veterans by
withdrawing the un desirtable amendment to the Legislation enforced effective
February 27, 1995.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
With warmest regards and best wishes.
Yours sincerely,
Lt Col Pritam Singh Jauhal (Retd) World War II Veteran
Founding President Indian Ex- Servicemen Society British Columbia