16 august 2012

Cuts in military meal program will cause undue hardship to families, union official



The Department of National Defence wants to save $30 million by cutting back on the expenses paid to military workers for living expenses when they work away from home.

But some people fear the change is going to be a hardship for many families.
'There has been no warning — nothing ... I can't even plan to make sure my family stays secure.’, says Susan Gullacher, who lives in Edmonton, Alta, while her husband is posted in CFB Cold Lake.

Gullacher said her husband doesn't have a kitchenette in his room at the base so he would have to purchase meals in the military mess.

She said a full meal plan costs $550, which is about the same amount she used to spend on groceries to feed her entire family of four for a month.

Mary Chamberlain, the executive vice-president of the Union of National Defence Employees, says there were times when the program was being abused. But the elimination of the program is not the way to deal with the previous problems, she believes.

“People should be compensated reasonably for what they're entitled to. I mean, the military is putting them in these circumstances,” Chamberlain said.

Not everyone is criticizing the cuts, however.

Stephanie Sherwood’s ex-husband works at CFB Gagetown near Fredericton.

"I understand that it's hard for families to be [apart], but under the same circumstance they need to realize that this is what happens when you get into this line of work," she said.

"It's money that comes out of our pocket that I feel could be put elsewhere."

Do you think the money could be “put elsewhere”, or should the government feed Canadian troops?

Gilda Salomone, with files from the CBC


11 November 2012 - 09:13

What's happened to the old adage that "An Army marches on its Stomach" How can Canada expect the best from its forces when such expense allowances are cut?

Sent by Duncan Tribute, Truro, Cornwall , United Kingdom

11 November 2012 - 00:30

Money for meals, disabled vets and vets funerals could come from the military commercials budget. At least the hurting might benefit instead of the comfortable !

Sent by Bill Hadgkiss, Kamloops, Canada

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