Walking the talk on veterans

veterans-week-proclamationToronto Mayor John  Tory has proclaimed Veteran’s Week from November 5 to 11 – a week that includes a Council meeting beginning Tuesday,
It would be nice if Toronto’s Council – most of whom will attend Remembrance Day services across the city – would walk the talk in their Council meeting that begins Tuesday.

How can Toronto Council help Canadian veterans?

Well, they could start by adopting 5 easy measures – as I’ve written in the past:

  • Veterans First Hiring Policy – When all other measures are equal between two or more candidates for a city job, hire the veteran.
  • Veterans Procurement Consideration – Toronto is all about giving special consideration to local, minority-owned, aboriginal, etc. businesses when it comes to city purchasing.  Why not add businesses that are owned by, or employ, veterans to this list of preferred vendors?
  • Free Meter Parking for Veterans – This would cost a little bit of money, but it would be real, tangible proof that veterans matter to Toronto’s politicians.  Call it a put-up or shut-up measure.  I wrote, last year, about how it would be easy to adopt.
  • Give city employees time off for Reserve service – As I wrote before, this could be as simple as allowing city employees to convert unused sick-days into time off for military service, so they don’t have to use vacation days.
  • Free transit for in-uniform military personnel – Again, easy to do.  In a military uniform with ID?  Ride for free.

The proclamation is, quite literally, the least we can do for our veterans. I think it’s time to do more.  If you agree, call Mayor John Tory at 416-397-CITY (2489) and your city councillor.  Find your councillor here.