OTTAWA — The Trudeau government enters the second half of its mandate facing anger and frustration from Canadian military veterans over its recently announced pension scheme for those injured in uniform.
The National Council of Veteran Associations, which represents more than 60 veterans’ groups, is the latest to come out against the pension plan, which Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan unveiled just days before Christmas.
The new scheme was meant to fulfil the Liberal campaign promise to reinstate lifelong pensions for disabled veterans, which were replaced in 2006 by a lump-sum payment and other targeted financial assistance.
But while the government says its plan will provide more compensation than the current system, the National Council of Veterans Association says most disabled veterans will not see any real benefit.
Association chairman Brian Forbes says that means the financial disparity between veterans injured before and after 2006 — the source of much anger for many veterans — continues to exist.
Many veterans voted for the Liberals in the last election expecting that disparity to be addressed, says Forbes, who believes the government will face a backlash in the 2019 election if it doesn’t fix the problem.
The Canadian Press