Cdn veteran stages hunger strike

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    Jun 11, 2011 5:53 PM GMT

    A New Brunswick man is staging a hunger strike in front of the national headquarters of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Charlottetown.

    Fabien Melanson, a veteran from Cap Pele, N.B., said that in 2004, his benefits were deposited into someone else's bank account for a few months.

    The problem was eventually resolved and he was paid the money he was owed, but Melanson said the mix up caused him financial and emotional problems.

    He said his home was in the middle of major renovations when the money was being put in the wrong account. He said that meant he could not afford to pay the contractor and had to leave his home because the furnace had been removed.

    His house has deteriorated since then, he said. He camped out in Charlottetown Monday to protest.

    "I want a public apology from them and I want them to bring back my home as it was before in 2004," he said.

    "They only thing left is just my bones and flesh and that's it. So I am here to give them the rest of my remains. The only thing that's left is doing my hunger strike."

    Melanson, who served for 15 years including stints in Bosnia and Croatia, said he is only allowing himself water and is sleeping at a friend's house during his protest.

    Melanson said he will continue with his hunger strike every day until he gets the apology and enough compensation to repair his house.

    A spokesman for the department said it could not discuss the case due to privacy concerns.


    I am a 60 year old man who has been a Vet on disability for 43 years. Why does it take something like funds getting deposited to the wrong account and a Vet going on a hunger strike to grab the media's attention. This is a common mistake and error that happens everyday.
    Why doesn't the News Media ask the new Veteran's Affairs Minister to share his military background and experience with the public.
    It would appear that the Harper Government does not care what happens to the Vets nor do they care who leads perhaps one of the most Dynamic Departments of the Decade.
    The CBC of today is not even close to the CBC of the older days. They get a prolific story like this and they do not even look into what is and has gone on with the so called revamped Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).
    The Harper Government supports a class system within the DVA and treats the disable Vets with little or no respect. If you are a disabled Vet in Canada the first thing the Government does is ask are you a Regular Force Vet or a Reserve Force Vet. Then they put you into a class system that does not work.
    In Canada there should only be a One Veteran System. If a member is disabled it should not be how long or which Division you belong to.
    Lets get behind our Vets. Why are we getting a Minister of Veteran Affairs who has little or no Experience. I guess that tells us where the Harper Government is going with their Veteran's policy.
    Murray S. Scott
    Edmonton Alberta Canada

    DVA is always bragging how fast they get things done, they were saying how they can get claims done in 16-24 weeks, more like 40-52 weeks. The new charter is a rip off, instead of paying a monthly pension they send you a lump some to save money the government money. My neck and back are destroyed, I have a hard time walking some days and am always in pain, I should have been getting about $800 for the rest of my life instead they send me a lump some that if I paid myself $800 a month it would be gone in 7 years, I will be 56, what do I do for the rest of my life.

    Give the man his apology, but he should have known not to count on DVA to get money to you quickly. What the heck give him $20,000 that what they are giving people for agent orange that lived around Burton N.B who have carpal tunnel syndrome . What carpal tunnel syndrome has to do with agent orange I do not know. Why would someone who lived in Burton get $20.000 but a soldier who gets carpal tunnel syndrome while fighting in Afganistan has to fight for a year get $14,000

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    Jun 11, 2011 5:57 PM GMT
    A film crew is now making a documentary of his case. Meanwhile he sits outside the DVA building a few streets away from my house.

    I was lucky - I got my MP to intervene in my own Disability claim before I lost my house, but not before I exhausted all my savings. I have never recovered financially (but I consider myself much luckier than many I know living on Disability pensions).