The Cost of Doing the Right Thing

Ottawa, ON - February 13, 2018

Recent Pension for Life announcements have sparked debate within the Veterans’ community, and comments made by the Prime Minister last week at his Edmonton town hall infuriated many Veterans.

As the Veterans’ Ombudsman, I’m concerned with one thing: ensuring adequate and sufficient benefits are in place to meet the needs of all Veterans and their families, while at the same time ensuring that benefits and programs are easily accessible to those who need them, when they need them. 

In all of my reports and in all of my briefings to the Minister and to Parliamentarians, my focus is on ensuring that VAC is meeting the needs of Veterans.  If a Veteran can’t work as a result of their service, their income should be replaced.  If they’ve endured an injury and require treatment and rehabilitation, VAC should provide all that they need.  When I make recommendations to improve benefits and services for Veterans, I do my due diligence to ensure that my recommendations are viable. I do not, however, consider their cost.  Doing the right thing for Veterans and their families is key, and the needs of Veterans must be met. 

There are still many details of the new Pension for Life program that are unclear, but my initial analysis suggests that there is some promise.  As we learn more, my Office will review and assess this program and report back to you our evidence-based findings.

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Comments

Tina said:

My husband was reg forces for 9 years then went civilian for 3 years so we could get back home to take care of an ill parent also so I did work. He is now a reservist class B. He goes on training and is fulltime but his pay is pitiful even for an officer. Alberta is expensive just like rest of Canada. He works long days with lots of responsibility. Why can we not have the pay be reflective as same as Class c. He works just as hard and long.

May 25, 2018 4:15 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman replied:

Hi Tina. Thank you for your comment. I would suggest that you communicate with the National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman at 1-888-828-3626 regarding your question. Thank you.

June 5, 2018 4:52 PM

Tony said:

I am less concerned about the dollar figures and more concerned with the implementation. The grab bag of programs VAC is touting as the reason the dollar figures are lower, causes more confusion and road blocks to actually getting claims completed, and services one requires, in a timely manner.

February 21, 2018 7:22 PM

brian said:

I am wondering if you will be able to take the new pension for life supplement as a lump sum or if you will only be able to take it as a monthly tax free benefit. Thanks.

February 19, 2018 9:02 AM

Anonymous said:

Yes

February 16, 2018 6:54 AM

Wes said:

Thanks for this report. It is disturbing to find that both CAF and Veterans ombudsmans office could get little information about this program. As a veteran and VAC client this is unacceptable. I can't figure out what the heck VAC has been up since the last election. It hasn't been processing claims, 30k backlog. The answer from MVAC for the backlog was they were concentrating on developing the pension for life. Ok, where are the details? Two years for a slide show? The cost never matters when it comes studies, bueracracy, managers bonuses or anything else for the GoC. Yet when all I am asking for is for the Prime Minister to honor his promise he made to me and all veterans in exchange for my vote. Equality fairness and honesty for all veterans past present and future Thank You

February 14, 2018 1:39 PM

Tanker said:

Thanks for this update. I like your comment"When I make recommendations to improve benefits and services for Veterans, I do my due diligence to ensure that my recommendations are viable." Most are only concentrating on a $$$ number and ignore the benefits improvement from the old pension on ly,

February 14, 2018 10:39 AM

Gramps said:

This so called pension for life still leaves a good portion of Veterans disenfranchised. Instead of a Veteran with 100% disability receiving $2700 per month they will only get $1150. And note that not all Veterans with higher disability % receive any other benefits. There are some that do not get any benefits other than maybe VIP

February 14, 2018 7:54 AM

Graham Godlien said:

For the first time in your tenure you mention the primary requirement for fundamental justice ... that the decision or rule not only be fair - which you touted boldly for the last 6 years; but that it also must be right. Unfortunately your sycophancy has resulted in a horrible mess and now you want to leave on a high note ... don't worry you will be remembered for what you have done.

February 13, 2018 6:07 PM

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