The Dinning Letters

Lincoln Dinning, the father of a Canadian soldier killed  in Afghanistan, earlier today held a press briefing today to press for a better response to his repeated requests for the Department of National Defence to live up to promises to cover the costs associated with the death and burial of his son. Dinning just released the three three letters he sent to the military  — on Aug. 25, 2006, on Dec. 1, 2006, and again on April 25, 2007  — and supporting invoices.

The last letter, addressed to Prime Minister Harper, is written almost a year to the day after his son was killed. In it, he notes that while the next of kin of married soldiers are paid a death benefit, the next of kin of single soldiers, like his son, are paid nothing. This, Dinning says, would have helped with the $25,000 in expenses incurred to receive and bury his son.  DND had, by this point, only reimbursed $6,400.

Your government has spent Billions of dollars in helping the Afghan people. Earlier
this month you spent Millions of dollars to send 3600 school chddren to France for the
90th anniversary of Vimy kdge to honor Canadian Soldiers. Both worthwhile projects
in my mind.

Yet your government won't spend one penny in death benefits for a single,
unmarried Soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice for ALL Canadians.

In closing, unfortunately more soldiers will likely be coming home from the war in
flag draped caskets, some of whom.wil1 no doubt be single. I am asking that you please
do the right thing and fix this injustice ASAP so that parents and next of kin of single
Soldiers don't feel like second class citizens in the way they are treated by their
government. Sir, I believe you owe it to the soldiers and you owe it to their families.

Download a PDF of all the letters Dinning has written.

One thought on “The Dinning Letters”

  1. All CF members have the Supplementary Death Benefit (two years salary) which goes to the person they designate.
    “11. The death benefit payable on the death of a participant who is a serving member is an amount equal to twice the member's annual pensionable pay, if that amount is a multiple of $250, or an amount equal to the nearest multiple of $250 above twice the annual pensionable pay of the participant, if the first mentioned amount is not a multiple of $250.
    12. The death benefit is payable:
    a. to the beneficiary where a deceased participant has designated a beneficiary under CFS Regs; or
    b. if no beneficiary has been designated by the deceased participant under CFS Regs,
    (i) to the estate of the participant..”
    Same for Group Life insurance (SISIP), which apparently is compulsory for those serving in Afstan:
    Meanwhile, Veterans Affairs Canada has “The death benefit is a tax-free, lump sum payment. It is paid to a spouse or common-law partner, and dependent children, if a CF member is:
    * killed while in service; or
    * injured while in service and dies within 30 days of the injury.
    “For 2007, the maximum Disability Award is $255,729.25. It is adjusted annually based on the cost-of-living index.”
    If Master Corporal Dinnings had nominated either parent as beneficiary, that person would get around $90,000 tax free from the Supplementary Death Benefit, the same for whatever amount of insurance he had bought.
    I find it odd that our media have not mentioned these tother funds that flow from the death of a CF member.

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