Courtenay-Alberni introduced a couple of bills in support of service veterans this week.

Johns addresses veterans’ issues with pair of bills

Bills cover reduction of service pensions and late-marriage pension benefits

  • Nov. 16, 2016 1:00 p.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record staff

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns, along with Veterans Affairs Critic Irene Mathyssen, has introduced a pair of bills to amend legislation concerning veterans and their families.

One of the bills aims to end what they consider to be an “unfair reduction of service pensions” for retired and disabled members of the Canadian Forces, for RCMP veterans, and for first responders.

“For their service and sacrifice, veterans and their families deserve support and to be treated with financial dignity when they retire or become disabled,” Johns said in a news release.

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney, who works on the national defence committee, notes the suicide rate of soldiers after returning home from Afghanistan.

“That tells you there’s something happening that we need to be doing better,” she said. “Resources at least provide support…This is a group of people who have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.”

She said a major issue faced by veterans is having to prove their health conditions — a battle with which Chuck Murray is familiar. The Comox veteran suffered three accidents during 23 years of service as an engine mechanic in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He hasn’t been able to work after his military career, and feels he’s entitled to more than a monthly pension of about $1,000. Veterans Affairs Canada cannot comment on Murray’s case due to privacy.

“To get benefits it’s a lottery,” Murray said. “They have a quota system. Those that get in are very, very fortunate, and those that don’t get in are very unfortunate.”

Blaney hopes VAC and National Defence will listen to the recommendations forwarded by Johns and Mathyssen.

However, she said the two departments aren’t on speaking terms.

“What we’re seeing is lowering the services available, and making it harder to access them,” Blaney said, noting the challenges that can be presented when provincial and federal jurisdictions intersect.

The other bill addresses legislation that prevents veterans, RCMP members, judges and public sector employees — who choose to marry after age 60 — from providing pension benefits to their spouses when they pass away.

 

Just Posted

CONTEST: Win a pair of tickets to Sunfest Country Music Festival

Make sure to Like the Comox Valley Record’s Facebook page

3L happy with CVRD staff reversal of ruling

Company’s request for minor amendment to RGS was announced as defeated Tuesday, overturned Wednesday

Nickel Carnival coming to Courtenay

Families welcome for games, face painting, food and more

Specialized vehicle analyzing Courtenay roads

If you see a strange-looking white van with what looks like a… Continue reading

LETTER: Hat obnoxious, manager not bigoted

One Langley Advance letter writer takes exception to another’s comments about an MAGA hat incident.

Through your lens: Okanagan wildfires

Check out some of the captivating images and video from social media of the wildfires

Bob Castle’s Under the Glacier cartoon for July 19, 2018

Bob Castle’s Under the Glacier cartoon for July 19, 2018… Continue reading

BC Games: Opening Ceremony from Laketown Ranch

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of volunteers, coaches, parents and officials

World’s translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

Democrats had asked translator to testify about Trump’s lengthy conversation with Putin in Helsinki

Comox legend guest of honour

Stocky Edwards will be the man of the hour Aug. 8

No decision on B.C. school stabbing suspect’s mental fitness for trial

The BC Review Board could not determine whether Gabriel Klein, 21, is fit to stand trial

Cannabis facility planned in Courtenay

Design up to 100,000 square feet

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

U.S president had suggested that auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.

Wildfire evacuation order forces bride to search for new wedding venue

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards is under an order due to the Mount Eneas wildfire south of Peachland

Most Read