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Canadian Veterans Deserve a Royal Commission on LIFETIME Disability Benefits

This petition had 27,954 supporters

 Canadian veterans have seen a huge decline in their benefits for risking life & limb. I served in the Canadian Armed Forces from 1999 until I was medically released in 2012, like many others. About 1,500 Canadian soldiers are medically released per year. When I joined, there was the Pension Act pension to act as a "safety net" if I became disabled in service.

However, Canada stated that the lifelong Pension Act pension was deemed too expensive & replaced by a "suite of benefits" in 2006 under the much criticized New Veterans Charter.

Many Canadians, including disabled veterans, believe there should be a Royal Commission into this matter to find out why the disabled veteran, after placing life & limb on the line for the nation, deserves such shabby treatment.

An example of this abuse is, from 1976-2012, Canada deprived the disabled veterans in receipt of both the Pension Act pension & the Canadian Forces' Service Income Support Income Plan (SISIP) of $1.9 Billion as an indirect interception of their pension by way of accounting for it and reducing the SISIP insurance payment. That payment, by the way is TAXABLE! Only 25% of Long Term Disability is taxed in Canada. Why on Earth do disabled in service vets pay TAX? Only 75% of LTD in Canada is taxed. This is hardly the way to treat someone who offered their life to the nation. 

Another much maligned example is the Pension Act offset from the Earnings Loss Benefit as Canada did NOT reverse it's pension offset from 2006-2012. WHY? They did it for the SISIP offset from 1976-2012!

The SISIP pension clawback was ruled to be unlawful, democratic nations should not treat veterans unlawfully as they are the epitome of good citizens, willing to sacrifice ALL for the greater good!

Other court actions are coming to fix other unlawful actions.

A Royal Commission might be the only way to get to the bottom of this long-standing abuse, please sign this petition & share widely.

Here is a recent addition, as other veterans are having the same idea.

An Open Letter to Kent Hehr, Minister of Veteran Affairs

Given the Minister’s willingness to fight veterans in court, the uncertainty he has created over lifelong pensions, the concerns over fairness of veteran raises and pensions, failure to adequately address mental health, the questions of availability of bed spaces for the aged and disabled, the continued failures of Veteran review and Appeal Board, poor treatment of widows, and a host of other concerns too lengthy to list; we the undersigned are demanding a Royal Commission into the Pensions and Re-establishment of veterans.

May 1925 was the last Royal Commission focused on Pensions and Re-establishment. We feel the current method of engagement; the “stakeholder meetings” resembles manufactured consent instead of fruitful consultation. No one can speak more passionately or clearly about veterans needs than the individual veteran and their spouse. At this time, no more suitable means of veteran consultation exists than a Royal Commission.

The structure and methods of the “stakeholder meetings” undermine Section 4 of the Department of Veteran Affairs Act. The Minster is required to consult with all veterans’ not just those that can afford the time and effort to attend stakeholder meetings. The structure of these meetings, and the government dictated agenda, undermines meaningful dialogue. In fact, it makes it difficult for the average veteran to offer input. Consultation is a two-way discussion between the Minister and his clients. As indicated in the Act, disabled veterans and their spouses, not well-intentioned stakeholders, are the Minsters clients.

A Royal Commission would provide a public document that all Canadians, including veterans, the courts, and the Standing Committee on Veteran Affairs, could scrutinize.

The stakeholder meetings resemble the mandate of the Standing Committee but deny much needed input to the Standing Committee. Moreover, the evidence and input that are generated by these meetings do not become part of public record thereby undermining research and accountability. We argue that actual consultation through a Royal Commission, instead of manufactured consent by “stakeholder” meetings, would reassure veterans, the public, parliament and the courts.

Kent Hehr, Minister of Veteran Affairs, must genuinely consult with all veterans and spouses as dictated by Section 4 of the Department of Veteran Affairs Act. The Minster has stated he is committed to “care, compassion and respect” for veterans. With the Minster’s pledge in mind, we the undersigned are demanding a Royal Commission into the Pensions and Re-establishment of veterans!

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