18 November 2010
The Bill tabled today by the Minister of Veterans Affairs to improve the New Veteran’s Charter is the result of a collaborative process with The Royal Canadian Legion and many other veterans groups, and it is most welcome as a first step. We value highly the quality of life of our veterans. This Bill makes great strides in improving the New Veterans Charter and encompasses many of the recommendations made by the New Veterans Charter Advisory Group and the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs.
We are pleased that the minister recognizes that Veteran’s needs vary. The introduction of payment options of the lump sum payment award for pain and suffering gives the disabled veterans the ability and freedom to choose what works best for them and their families.
What the department has yet to address is the amount of the lump-sum payout in this bill. The current maximum payout is $276,079. The Legion is committed to promoting further changes to the New Veteran’s Charter to increase the minimum lump-sum amount required to sustain a better quality of life for our veterans. In Canada, general damages awards in law court for disabled workers are $329,000, on average. Australian service members receive about $325,000 and in Great Britain the award is almost $1 million.
The New Veterans Charter was developed through consultation with veterans groups, members of the Canadian Forces and rehabilitation specialists because the old system did not go far enough in addressing the quality of life issues for those disabled while in uniform and for their families. The Legion believes that the bill tabled today in parliament is a good step in improving the New Veterans Charter. We encourage Members of Parliament to pass this bill without delay so that our veterans can begin to receive the help and benefits they deserve. The Royal Canadian Legion is committed to continued advocacy on behalf of Canada’s veterans, still serving members and their families to promote a better quality of life.
For further information please contact Bruce Poulin at Dominion Command, The Royal Canadian Legion, at (613) 591-3335 ext. 241 or by cell at (613) 292-8760.
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