Double Standard Of Veterans’ Pensions Discriminatory
June 21, 2023 – The National Council of Veteran Associations (NCVA) continues to take the position that there is much to do in improving veterans’ legislation to address the financial and wellness requirements of Canada’s
veterans’ community. This is particularly so with respect to the Pension for Life (PFL) provisions originally announced in December 2017 and formally implemented on April 1, 2019.
“It has become self-evident that the greater majority of disabled veterans are not materially impacted by the PFL legislation in that the new benefits under these legislative and regulatory amendments have limited applicability – indeed, some seriously
disabled veterans are actually worse off when compared to the earlier version of the New Veterans Charter (NVC),” said Brian Forbes, Chair of the National Council of Veteran Associations and Chair of The War Amps Executive Committee.
“In our considered opinion, this PFL policy fails to satisfy the Prime Minister’s initial commitment in 2015 (in response to the Equitas lawsuit) to address the inadequacies and deficiencies in the New Veterans Charter/Veterans Well-being Act (NVC/VWA)
and continues to ignore the ‘elephant in the room’ that has overshadowed this entire discussion,” he added.
As stated in the NCVA’s many submissions to Veterans Affairs Canada and Parliament, the Government has not met veterans’ expectations regarding the fundamental mandated commitment to “re-establish lifelong pensions” under the Charter so as to
ensure that a comparable level of financial security is provided to all disabled veterans and their families over their life course, regardless of where or when they were injured. This financial disparity between the Pension Act and NVC/VWA
compensation was fully validated by the Parliamentary Budget Office’s report issued on February 21, 2019, which clearly underlined this blatant discrimination.
“It is totally unacceptable that we continue to have veterans’ legislation in Canada that provides a significantly higher level of compensation to a veteran who is injured prior to 2006 (date of enactment of the New Veterans Charter) when compared
to a veteran who is injured post‑2006. If applied to the Afghanistan conflict, this discrimination results in veterans of the same war having totally different pension benefits,” said Forbes.
It has been NCVA’s consistent recommendation to the Minister and to the department that VAC should adopt a comprehensive pension compensation and wellness model that would:
- treat all veterans with parallel disabilities in the same manner; and
- eliminate the artificial cut-off dates that arbitrarily distinguish veterans based on whether they were injured before or after 2006.
For the full text of the NCVA recommendations, see https://ncva-cnaac.ca/en/legislative-program/.
Chairman of the Executive Committee, The War Amps
Chairman, National Council of Veteran Associations in Canada
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