WINNIPEG – Canadian veterans are being asked to be patient when it comes to the re-establishment of their lifelong pension.
Canada’s Veteran Affairs Minister Kent Hehr was in Winnipeg on Friday to meet with new office employees and service members.
He was asked about his party’s election promise to bring back the lifelong pension for veterans after it was eliminated in 2006 by the former Conservative government in favour of a controversial lump sum payment.
“We’re going to continue to work towards having a clearer option for a lifetime pension and I ask people to be somewhat patient,” Hehr said.
There is currently a lawsuit making its way through the courts in British Columbia that was filed by six severely disabled Afghanistan veterans in 2012.
It was halted in 2015 during the election campaign with the hopes that a new government would create new legislation on lifelong pension for veterans, but as of June the lawsuit is back on.
A judge is expected to make a decision some time in the fall.
“We can’t run government by lawsuit, but we can implement good public policy and that’s exactly what we’re doing and I can say we are very proud of the work we are doing,” Hehr said.
The lack of action on the government’s part has not sat well with veterans who preferred the lifelong pension over the lump-sum.
Winnipeg military reservist Harvey Gingras says he took the lump sum of about $93,000.
“You get a large check, does not last very long. Especially people who have PTSD or any psychological problems – impulses spend it. Especially the younger ones who are getting out now don’t really know how to manage funding,” Gingras said.