Another Harper promise enacted by the Trudeau regime

Seamus O'Regan

Just as they did with carbon standards in 2016, it now seems that the Trudeau regime has yet again reached back into the past, because Seamus O’Regan just announced pretty defence2-1much the same plan that former Minister of Veterans Affairs Erin O’Toole proposed in 2015. That should not be surprising; the officials who thought up the New Veterans Charter in the early 2000s and who advised Minister O’Toole 10 years later are still advising Minister O’Regan, today, and those officials still believe, sincerely I expect, that they have crafted a better solution for veterans in the 21st century. I’m not going to argue that … maybe the new provisions are more appropriate; that is a political and policy decision and making it is why elect people. I am quite certain that officials did not set out to screw veterans, no matter what some people may think.

What I will continue to argue is that in 2005, when the Paul Martin Liberal regime enacted the New Veterans Charter they could have and, morally, should have offered an option to remain under the old system to military personnel who were already serving. The New  Veterans Charter implicitly, at least, changed the terms of service under which Canadian men and women volunteered to serve and when that happens governments usually offer people who are already serving in the military of the public service the option to be  “grandfathered” under the old rule (perhaps paying more for that). That should have been done in 2005, especially because we had troops in contact with an enemy. The government has a right and duty to design pension plans and benefits to meet the needs of everyone in a time and place and circumstance. It also has a duty to treat people in a moral, ethical manner. The New Veterans Charter may be better, for the country, than the old system; how it was introduced, however, was immoral.

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