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Conservatives failing veterans, critics say

Video: Canada’s veterans ombudsman said former soldiers are slipping further into poverty and the new veterans charter that was supposed to help is short changing them. Shirlee Engel reports.

OTTAWA – The Conservative government is facing mounting political pressure to close gaps in its long-championed veterans legislation.

The NDP says a leaked copy of a veterans ombudsman’s report -slated for release today – confirms there are major problems with a system that was meant to care for former soldiers.

The ombudsman’s office carried out a detailed comparison of benefits and entitlements between those under the new veterans charter and those from the old pension-for-life system.

Veterans ombudsman Guy Parent concludes hundreds of the most severely disabled soldiers will take a financial hit after they turn 65 when some charter benefits end.

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The report says the rates of compensation for pain and suffering are inadequate, and don’t even meet the level of what is handed out by Canadian courts in personal injury cases.

The report also says those affected do not have military pensions and face the possibility of spending their final years in poverty.

Extended video:  More from Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent

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