December 19, 2017 1:22 pm
Updated: December 20, 2017 11:54 am

Veterans brace for Liberals’ long-promised disability pension plan

Members of the Canadian armed forces march during a Remembrance Day ceremony in Montreal, Nov. 11, 2017.


Veterans across Canada are praying that the Trudeau government will deliver more than a lump of coal when it rolls out its long-awaited plan for providing pensions to injured ex-soldiers.

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Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan will unveil the pension scheme on Wednesday, more than two years after it was first promised during the 2015 federal election.

READ MORE: Federal budget to bring back lifetime pension option for Canadian veterans

The Liberals were the only party to promise to re-instate lifelong pensions for disabled veterans, which were replaced by a controversial lump-sum award, career training and income-replacement programs in 2006.

The commitment was in direct response to widespread complaints from veterans that the new benefits, known collectively as the New Veterans Charter, amounted to far less financial assistance than the old pensions.

READ MORE: Veterans affairs minister urges patience on pensions for injured ex-soldiers

Yet there are widespread fears that the Liberals’ plan, which is being announced after the House of Commons has risen and only days before Christmas, will fall far short of expectations and leave many veterans in the cold.

“They’ve been warned that they can’t let down the veterans,” said Aaron Bedard, who was injured while serving in Afghanistan and is now one of the most vocal proponents for bringing back the pensions.

O’Regan will announce details of the plan Wednesday morning in Ottawa in a press conference at the National Defence Headquarters.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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