“We’re saying it’s an urgent need,” Parent said. “I’m urging the government to move on our recommendations as fast as possible.
Deputy ombudsman Gary Walbourne said that Canadians would be “taken aback” if they knew how veterans were being shortchanged.
“I think anyone would be surprised to find that veterans who had sacrificed life and limb for this country find themselves in that situation,” Walbourne said.
Just days before Parent went public with his recommendations, Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino announced that the so-called veterans charter — which outlines benefits for injured and ill veterans — would be reviewed.
But Parent expressed doubts the government is willing to take action.
“What is important here is to hold the parliamentarians to their promise when they first introduced it, that there will be continuous improvement,” he added.
“And it's very hard to believe that statement when in fact for six years there was nothing done about the charter,” said Parent, who served as a military search-and-rescue technician for three decades.
Veterans already suffering financial hardship don’t have time for a drawn-out review, Parent said.
In true Harper fashion, the veterans charter was intended to hand wounded and disabled veterans a cheque and then send them on their way. Here's your disability, this is what it's worth, off you go.
It takes a profound ignorance about wounds to come up with Harper's fantasy.
Wounds can do different things at different times over the lifetimes of the wounded. For example, shrapnel can migrate through the body and it doesn't do much good along its route either. My Dad went in for what was to be routine gall bladder procedure but then they found that his organs had fused which required them to section his liver which took all day in the O.R. and several times damned near killed him over the following week.
Aging is a process of deterioration. Aging wounds can make the process far worse. Not always but sometimes. Because of that you have to match support to need on an ongoing basis. People can succumb to the effect of wounds decades after the fact.
It's things like this that reveal the true, cardboard face of Stephen Harper.