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Veterans minister to announce benefits for reservists

HALIFAX – More support is on the way for Canadian military reservists who are injured while serving.

The Government will soon give reservists who are injured while serving the same Earnings Loss (EL) Benefit as a basic corporal. That amounts to a minimum annual income of $42,426, more than $18,000 dollars more than what they currently offer.

Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole and Justice Minister Peter MacKay will announce the added benefits in Halifax on Friday.

Reservists, many of whom served in Afghanistan, have long complained of unequal treatment. The disparity in the benefits for reservists and regular forces members was highlighted following the death of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo in Ottawa. Cirillo was killed in October when Michael Zehaf-Bibeau opened fire at the National War Memorial before going to Parliament Hill.

After Global News reported that Cirillo’s family would receive $1.8 million less than they would have if he had been a regular forces member the government decided to give his family full benefits.

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According to a release issued by the Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, reservists will now “have the support they deserve.”

READ MORE: Ottawa to change reservist death benefits following Global News story

The government has come under fire in recent months for how it treats veterans. Following the decision to give full benefit’s to Cirillo’s family the government said it would look at changing the rules around benefits for reservists. But in February, the government said it was still working on the new policy.

– With files from the Canadian Press. 

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