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Soldier among group suing federal government over slashed disability benefits speaks out

A man lays a poppy on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at a 2014 Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa, Canada. As Canadians celebrate the fallen today, let us not forget the sacrifices of those who came home bearing the physical and emotional scars of the horrors they witnessed. .
A man lays a poppy on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at a 2014 Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa, Canada. As Canadians celebrate the fallen today, let us not forget the sacrifices of those who came home bearing the physical and emotional scars of the horrors they witnessed. . Mike Carroccetto / Getty Images

As Canadians from coast to coast honored our soldiers’ sacrifice on the battlefield on Remembrance Day, one veteran is reminding them that for many, the fight is ongoing.

Major Mark Campbell is one of a group of soldiers suing Ottawa over slashed disability benefits.

“Every day is Remembrance Day. All I gotta do is glance down, I see my missing legs.”

Campbell lost both of his legs to an IED in Afghanistan, but when he returned home in 2006, he learned the federal government had ended lifetime disability pensions for veterans.

“I didn’t find out my financial compensation had been reduced by 40 per cent over my lifetime compared to the former pension act until I was in my hospital bed watching my left leg get shorter by an inch every other day as they shaved the bone back to try to make a viable stump. So, a really bad time and place to find out that you’ve been financially stiffed.”

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“In the middle of the war, without telling any of us busy fighting the war, they reduced our disability compensation.”

Campbell is now part of a lawsuit spearheaded by the Equitas Society that wants to see those benefits restored, protected, and made tax free and immune from claw-backs.

The former Conservative government eliminated lifetime pensions in 2006, in favour of a lump-sum payout.

The Trudeau government says it’s working on a new pension option, but Campbell says he’s worried it will still fall short of pre-2006 benefits.

Campbell was speaking on the Roy Green show.