Veterans fight new battle over keeping benefits

Canada’s veterans are getting short-changed with the new Veterans Charter that was released in 2006 by Veterans Affairs Canada.

Canada’s veterans are getting short-changed with the new Veterans Charter that was released in 2006 by Veterans Affairs Canada.

Last month veterans’ ombudsman Guy Parent released his report comparing the new charter with the old system. The charter came up woefully lacking, especially for those severely wounded and disabled soldiers.

Two years ago town hall meetings were held across the country when (then) ombudsman Col. Pat Stogran heard harrowing accounts by struggling veterans of post-traumatic stress disorders, night terrors, crippling panic attacks, disabilities from lost limbs, life-threatening illness from past exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange, and their lives and those of their families in upheaval and on hold.

Stogran heard of an injured reservist released from the Canadian Forces due to his disability, who couldn’t return to his old job and was unable to do 75 per cent of what he once did for work. Yet Veterans Affairs said he only had a five per cent disability and paid him just $13,000 compensation. Where is there any justice in that?

Currently, according to Parent’s report, there are 1,428 veterans who are totally and permanently incapacitated. His key finding was that, of those wounded vets, more than 400 of them are not receiving any impairment benefits. They have difficulty finding work and, when they turn 65, any benefits from the charter will cease and they will be forced to live well below the poverty line. In fact, Parent identified the insufficiency of financial support after the age of 65 for at-risk, permanently incapacitated veterans the most urgent charter shortcoming to address. How did charter scribes ever manage to come up with such a formula?

These incredibly brave individuals who put their lives on the line in conflict situations abroad are now battling Veterans Affairs for benefits that are fair and appropriate for their condition. And so they should. But they shouldn’t have to.

-Chilliwack Progress

 

Just Posted

CSRD seeks public support for Scotch Creek water system expansion project

The first phase is estimated to cost $8.9 million

Salmon Arm’s new flusher truck won’t fit in existing building

Council approves $25,000 to extend storage building in public works yard

Salmon Arm cannabis retailers reflect on legalization

Edible products now legal, not expected to be available until December

CSRD won’t pursue referendum for Centennial Field purchase

Public opposition to borrowing $1.77 million for park land heard by board directors

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

PET OF THE WEEK: Moose still needs a home

Critteraid cat wants a nice, quiet environment

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Penticton Vees to host 2021 Centennial Cup

It’s the first time Penticton has hosted the tournament which decides the country’s Junior A champions

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Most Read