Feature:    Pension...What Pension?

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Issue No: 201990




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Pension...what Pension?

By Perry Grey, Chief Editor VVi

VVi 26 Feb 2019 db pe

Ten dollars.

Just think about what you can do with this amount.

Now consider that this is what some veterans will receive as a monthly payment of the much publicised “pension for life” which the federal government spent months developing.

No kidding, veterans will receive as little as ten dollars per month as the total for their new pension and not a nickel more.

It is quite possible that it costs more than ten dollars to send such pension amounts given the number of federal agencies involved in the administration of the pension for life. VAC had to determine which veterans were entitled to the new pension, and there are thousands who are not, plus Canadian Revenue Agency to collect the taxes because the pension is taxable.

I guess that a measly ten dollars is all that Canada can afford to give veterans based on the prime minister’s infamous statement “they’re asking for more than we’re able to give right now”.

Quite a different situation compared than what was confidently said to Canadian voters in the 2015 election:

Reinstate the pension for Veterans;

Not use omnibus bills; and

Be transparent and accountable.

The pension for life is not a reinstatement of the World War Two era Pension Act. In fact, the Liberal Party is opposed to reverting to the Pension Act. It would rather keep modifying the less generous New Veterans Charter (now called the Veterans Well-being Act) of 2005 because this saves the federal government a lot of money as compared to the Pension Act (we are talking billions of dollars).

The pension was buried in the 2018 budget omnibus bill.

The federal government was not transparent and accountable while it developed the pension for life. It was not reviewed by Commons or Senate committees. In addition, VAC ignored its own advisory group and stakeholders during the development of the pension policy.

The New Veterans Charter or Veterans Well-being Act was supposed to be living legislation to ensure that the federal government honoured its commitments to Canadian veterans forever. Instead being the “evergreen plan” as described by then Minister of Veterans Affairs Seamus O’Reagan, it is the “never green plan” because Veterans will never get what they truly deserve from this mean spirited government. A government which seems to have plenty of money for lots of other people as long as they are not veterans.

Perry Gray is a Regular Force veteran, serving as the Chief Editor of VVi. Perry has been with VVi for 18 years.
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