Editor on December 27, 2014.
While I have been the first to admit that more needs to be done for veterans and that there are legitimate issues, Cheryl Meheden and Mark Sandilands (Dec. 16 letter to the editor) should do some independent fact-checking before they sound off.
The veterans story is a good one, but certainly not a perfect one, and it will always be a work in progress. Every issue the Auditor General raised was already being addressed and he also cited examples of things going right. The Liberals lapsed almost $112 million in their last year for the same reasons; where is the outrage over that? The 14 substantive recommendations of the Veterans Affairs Committee are all being addressed, but it doesn't happen overnight.
Major Mark Campbell is receiving his full CAF pension plus substantial monthly financial and support benefits under the New Veterans Charter plus substantial lump sum amounts. They should ask him how much he is receiving. What he is not receiving, in addition to all that, is a pension under the old Pension Act that is no longer in effect, having been replaced under legislation passed by the Liberal government and implemented by the Conservative government. This story truly is being misrepresented.
In response to Richard Gaff (Dec. 23 letter to the editor), please read what I actually say. I have always acknowledged legitimate issues in service to veterans. Injured do have access to lifetime financial benefits in form of Permanent Impairment Allowance (PIAS) and PIAS Supplement. See recommendations of the Committee report – also working on making Earnings Loss Benefit for life; we just don't use the word "pension."
I and others are working hard in public and behind the scenes to make progress; and we are, always with more to do. Any government has to deal with reality and competing legitimate demands. Mr. Gaff is right, I was only a "cold warrior" and while not in combat, I did lose over three dozen friends. I do understand loss. And, yes, I would fly the F-35 anywhere.
Hon. Laurie Hawn, PC, CD, MP
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