As the Member of Parliament for Random-Burin-St. George’s, issues affecting our veterans, especially the issue of disability pensions, are among the most pressing that have been brought to my attention in the past four years.
When you consider the lengths to which our soldiers go to protect us and defend our freedom and that of others throughout the world, I find particularly bothersome many veterans who experienced the most severe injuries in the line of duty have not been receiving the maximum benefits to which they are entitled.
The recent announcement by the Minister of Veterans Affairs of increased benefits to Canada Forces Veterans by finally ending the deduction of Veterans’ disability pensions, when calculating their Earnings Loss and Canadian Forces Income Support benefits, is long overdue.
The Federal Court rejected the claw back of disability benefits from eligible veterans last May, marking the end of a five-year struggle for over 4,500 of our veterans who filed a class action lawsuit against the Harper government. Unfortunately, it took the conservatives more than five months to comply with the court’s ruling.
While I am pleased the government has finally acknowledged the financial hardship being placed on Canadian military veterans, I find it appalling it took a court order for the Harper government to do the right thing.
I am proud to represent a riding with so many veterans and over 700 courageous men and women currently serving in our military. Their daily sacrifices need to be rewarded not ignored when they need help.
For our government not to stand up and be there for them is callous.
I applaud the determination of all who stood up to the Harper government to get justice. No government can be allowed to take our veterans for granted and deny them benefits to which they are entitled.
Please call my office toll free 1-888-237-2455 if you need more information on this announcement.
Judy M. Foote, MP