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SOLD OUT (under New Vets Charter)

reccecrewman

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I am writing to try and get more awareness out there regarding the VAC Disability Award system that was brought in with the New Veterans Charter of 2006.  This was touted by the Government as a better system than the old monthly pension system that has been around for over 50 years.  Native Americans have long held that they were unjustly screwed over by the Government many years ago when they were bought off their land for cheap trinkets and a pittance of money.  This new system is the same thing to Veterans who have served Canada.  Under the old system, soldiers received a monthly, tax free benefit in accordance with their pension percentage.  A quick look at the 2013 pension table shows that a 5% monthly pension is $129.67.  With a spouse, add another $32.42. One child is another $16.86, a second child is another $12.32 and all subsequent children are another $9.73 each.  So, a married Veteran with a wife and 3 kids and a 5% pension is getting $201.00, tax free per month (Until children reach 18 years of age or 21 if in post secondary).  A Veteran getting a 5% pension under the new system gets a lump sum of $14,929.40.  There is no extra allowance for a spouse and children under the new charter, it's a flat rate.

That being said, the Veteran with the 5% pension under the old system with a wife and 3 kids will make that 15k lump sum in 74 months or 6 years 2 months.  It doesn't matter if it's a 5% pension or a 100% pension, the numbers still wash out the same. A 100% pension under the old system is $2,593.32 a month, $648.33 for a spouse, $337.13 first child, $246.37 second child, $194.50 each subsequent child.  A 100% pension under the new system is $298,587.97. (Again, no extra money for dependants)  Take the spouse and kids out of the equation, it will take a Veteran 115 months or 9 1/2 years under the old system to get the same amount as a Veteran under the new system. If he has a wife or kids, well, it'll be that much quicker, but still, 9.5 years is the longest.

The best part of this is, Veterans under the old system have a guaranteed, tax free monthly income for life that they can count on to help supplement their monthly income (Or if disabled enough that they can't work, to live on alone).  New Veterans don't have this luxury.  A soldier who gets medically released for say, a back condition and gets a 40% pension from VAC is going to get a $120,000 payout and that's it. Unless he gets reassessed down the road,  he may get anther lump sum increase, but he has no guaranteed monthly income.  Perhaps he is unable to return to work with his condition, or if he can, his hours may be limited.  $120,000 is squat if he's 28 and has a whole life ahead of him and can not earn close to his former Military salary.

Herein lies the problem with the New Veterans charter.  We have thousands of Veterans whose lives have diminished and their capacity to earn a living reduced, and they are being punished for it.  The cherry on top of this crap sundae is with the SISIP decision made, Veterans with pensions under the old system and the 75% permanent impairment payments from SISIP are really laughing now as they may well be making more now than they ever did in the Military.  A Corporal who was medically released and pensioned under the old system is on the 75% SISIP payments, getting almost $3,000 a month from SISIP, PLUS, whatever their monthly pension is from VAC. Yay them, but the disparity between that Veteran and a New Veteran Charter Veteran is now grossly widened.  As the new Charter came out in 2006, the bulk of the New Veterans Charter pensioners are war wounded from Afghanistan, men and women who gave their all for Canada in combat, and are now being bought out for cheap.  One's quality of life is substantially higher than the other. Why is this? To me, this is disgusting that our Government has thrown us under the bus in this fashion and why? To save money long term. 

This does not have to stay this way.  The Government can scrap that garbage Charter and go back to the old system fairly easily.  All they need to do is calculate when a Veteran received his lump sum disability award, and then move forward on the calander 9.5 years and begin monthly payments from there for all the Veterans paid out disability awards.  The only way it can change is for Veterans to make noise on this issue.  Write letters to MP's, get the media involved so Canadians on a whole can be shown the differences between the old and new and get them on board.  This has to change.
 
I think right now everyone is waiting for the court decision in the NVC lawsuit and go from there. That decison is suppose to come this October.

I totally agree with what you have said and sure the solution is simple problem is it costs the government money. I can probably safely say that with the way things are currently with cut backs the government won't be giving a dime more to vets. Unless they are ordered by law to change it or some other means I don't see anything happening.

The government lawyers have already stated that if we don't like it elect a new government.
 
Agreed Teager.... I only wrote this to illustrate a brief financial picture of the differences between the two. There is all sorts of print stating the two systems are not at all equal, but you very rarely see dollar values.  I simply wanted to be able to show (from a financial perspective) a rough dollar estimate of how gross the differences are. 

Also, I'm sure there will be numerous court tactics and stalls that will drag that NVC lawsuit on for awhile...
 
Don't forget that the crown lawyers have the "OBLIGATION" to appeal just as they did in the SISIP issue.  It doesn't have to make sense, it just has to be!  I suppose (even though it is/was the right thing to do) they can not concede their position because it will cost millions and public funds are at stake.
 
reccecrewman said:
As the new Charter came out in 2006, the bulk of the New Veterans Charter pensioners are war wounded from Afghanistan, men and women who gave their all for Canada in combat, and are now being bought out for cheap.  One's quality of life is substantially higher than the other. Why is this? To me, this is disgusting that our Government has thrown us under the bus in this fashion and why? To save money long term. 

I am always surprised at the free ride that the Royal Canadian Legion seems to get whenever this topic is discussed.  We should remember that the RCL leadership were very enthusiastic proiponents of the NVC, and I am sure that their support contributed to the government's adoption of the NVC.  In 06, the government was nowhere near as obsessive about spending - indeed they were quite profligate.  I think it likely that saving money was not the defining factor in the decision to adopt the NVC....

All of that to say that it was a group effort to throw us under the bus.
 
I am surprised:

http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/veterans-organizations-stand-united-demand-government-reaffirms-its-social-contract-1820088.htm

August 12, 2013 19;24 ET

Veterans Organizations Stand United and Demand Government Reaffirms its Social Contract to All Veterans

Historical precedent exists to care for those who served

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 12, 2013) - The Veterans Consultation Group representing various Veteran Organizations listed below, is outraged that Department of Justice lawyers representing the Government of Canada reject the view the Government has any moral or social obligation to Veterans and their families. On behalf of these Veteran organizations, The Royal Canadian Legion Dominion President, Gordon Moore strongly believes that all Canadians trust the Government will honour its obligation to the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the RCMP who willingly risk injury, illness or death to serve our country protecting the values and way of life we all enjoy. There is also a responsibility to the families of these men and women.

In 1917, just prior to the Battle of Vimy Ridge, Conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden stated that "You can go into this action feeling assured of this, and as the head of the government I give you this assurance: That you need not fear that the government and the country will fail to show just appreciation of your service to the country and Empire in what you are about to do and what you have already done. The government and the country will consider it their first duty to see that a proper appreciation of your effort and of your courage is brought to the notice of people at home… that no man, whether he goes back or whether he remains in Flanders, will have just cause to reproach the government for having broken faith with the men who won and the men who died." Inherent in these words by the Prime Minister, was the promise and moral recognition that Canada and the Government of Canada would never forget the sacrifice its Veterans and their families make. This promise formed the basis of Canada's legislation to support our Veterans.

Moore is concerned that the Government has forgotten this commitment. "On behalf of all 320,000 Legion members across the country and the members of the listed Veteran Organizations I am asking the Government to demonstrate its social and moral obligation to all Veterans and their families who serve and continue to serve our country and assure us that there will be an expanded review of the New Veterans Charter this fall." In addition Moore states, "The recently filed lawsuit highlights beyond any doubt the need to confirm the Government's commitment to all Veterans, to hear from Veterans and their families and to fully understand the impact of this important piece of legislation. When have injured soldiers ever sued their government?"

The money and travel related to commemorating Canada's military history does not have meaning when soldiers are suing their Government. With the 100th anniversary of World War I just around the corner, the most profound activity this Government could deliver to honour this historic event would be to reaffirm its social contract to all Veterans and their families and assure an expanded and transparent review of the New Veterans Charter is conducted.

This is exactly what the Legion along with the members of the Veterans Consultation Group asked for in their letter to the VAC Minister in May of 2013. We are still waiting for the Minister, and indeed the Government, to take action on this issue.

This media release is supported by the following Veterans Organizations:
The Royal Canadian Legion
Army, Navy, and Air Force Veterans of Canada
National Council of Veterans Associations/ War Amps
Naval Association of Canada
Air Force Association of Canada
The Canadian Army Veterans
Canadian Naval Air Group
Wounded Warriors Canada
Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association
Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping
Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones
Hong Kong Veterans Association of Canada
The Company of Master Mariners of Canada
Korea Veterans Association of Canada
RCMP Veterans Association
 
If I remember correctly this was started by the Liberals and instituted by the Cons.

All I remember about the commentary was the vision of dollar signs dancing in the heads of people. They thought the lump sum payment was the end all to be all.
 
Rifleman62 said:
I am surprised:

http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/veterans-organizations-stand-united-demand-government-reaffirms-its-social-contract-1820088.htm

August 12, 2013 19;24 ET

Veterans Organizations Stand United and Demand Government Reaffirms its Social Contract to All Veterans ....
Guys, guys, guys, no worries - the new Minister has it in hand....
.... We are here to deliver the care and support Veterans need, when they need it. That is our promise to Veterans. Always has been. Always will be.
We'll see ....
 
Passing this on: taken from veteranvoice.info

Our Duty - Denial of Social Contract
« on: August 17, 2013, 02:33:07 PM »
From: Our Duty [mailto:exec@ourduty.org]
Sent: August-17-13 2:29 PM
Subject: Denial of Social Contract

NOTE: I have BCC’d some individuals who need to read this but don’t want to be part of a massive email chain. To those people: I apologize for contacting you, but this is absolutely critical. This should be the only email you receive unless you reply.

NOTE: This email has not included, to my knowledge, any media or politicians, only veterans and advocates. Please respect the sensitive nature of this email and DO NOT add any outsiders.


Veterans,

I know you have been following the lump-sum class action suit, but to refresh your memory....

On 24 July, Harold Leduc noted:
They based their argument and it's now a matter of public record in a court of law that the Government feels:

1. Veterans are essentially no different than any other citizen collecting other social benefits (welfare, unemployment, etc) and we are owed nothing more.

2. There is no 'Social Contract' between veterans, the Government and the People of Canada despite it being written throughout legislation and in CF publications.

3. That if citizens (Veterans in the case of the NVC) don't like the Government's laws, we are free to replace the Government through an election.


You must all take careful note of those statements. They transcend mere legal wrangling - they are the official position of the Government of Canada as presented by Crown attorney. Such arguments in a case like this necessitate Government approval, not just by the Attorney General, but also by the PMO. These are not law references, but official policy statements. The Government of Canada has stated that it doesn't owe you or serving members anything. Entitlements will, therefore, be presented as some sort of gift or benefit, delivered from a condescending hand, not out of moral or legal obligation.

Regardless of how the class-action suit proceeds, you can expect that this will be government’s new approach: shifting away from “entitlements” through “benefits” into “nothing more than the average citizen”. As we’ve seen with Harper downloading RCMP medical to the provinces, among other moves, I expect the long-term plan will be to move all veteran and in-country medical expenses to medicare and disability pension to CPP. THAT is what those arguments hint at.

At this time, you need to do two things:

1 - Unite against those arguments
2 - Appeal to civilians

Issue #1, Unity:

I appreciate that there are many complex issues relating to organizational unity and that, perhaps, it is impossible to achieve. That is beside the point at the moment. Government considers you all one demographic. Civilians consider you all the same. Maybe you are not, but in this, perception is reality.

Government has struck at the foundation of volunteer national service: the social contract. Government says it doesn’t exist. If no one comes out strongly to prove them wrong, then the contract WON’T exist, regardless of what you were told upon enlistment or how many papers and bits of legislation say otherwise. From Government’s standpoint, silence equals agreement.

Therefore, regardless of your feelings on a national unity organization, you must all act against Government’s claim. If you cannot form up under one umbrella, then at least find common cause in this issue and send out statements denouncing the Crown’s argument.

Issue #2, civilians:

There is a tendency in the veteran-government debate to ignore civilians. It should always be remembered, by both sides, that Citizens are the employer of BOTH. As such, the public are the ones to which you must appeal.

The social contract is not with Government. It is between those who serve and the people of Canada. Government can argue what it wants if citizens are not involved. However, if citizens declare that the social contract DOES exist, government does not have a legal leg to stand on. While judges generally do not consider public opinion, in this case, they will have to - the social contract is unwritten but at the heart of the argument. It exists if both sides say it does. If the public - or a significant portion - declares there is an obligation between the people and those who served, the Crown’s case collapses.

Therefore, whatever personal contempt you might feel for civilians, you need to get the public on board to win this fight. That means talking with them and not blaming them.

As those who recently attended the Military Minds weekend can attest, public support IS there. Citizens love and support those who have served; they just don’t know what to do to show it. When an event appears, they turn out in droves, even with no promotion. If Citizens are shown what they can do, now, to support veterans, most will be glad of the opportunity.

To that end, I have created a petition whereby Canadians can declare the social contact exists. If significant numbers sign (1% or more of the population), the Crown’s case collapses AND future Government moves towards eliminating benefits to veterans are headed off.

Our Duty is pleased to take the lead in this initiative, but we cannot do this alone. Everyone needs to unite to declare the social contract real and valid. While I will be promoting this petition, I hope you will join in and do the same. There are 1 million active duty and veterans; 1 in 33 Canadians. Every one of them has friends and family. So promote, beg, plead, cajole, anything you have to, but get their names on this document. I will be pushing the civilians and enlisting other Citizen groups to help.

The petitions are found here:

English:
https://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/government-of-canada-the-social-contract-with-veterans-exists-and-we-must-keep-our-bargain

Francais:
https://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/gouvernement-du-canada-le-contrat-social-avec-les-anciens-combattants-existe-et-nous-devons-garder-notre-affaire


Everyone, please carefully consider your next move on this issue. If you lose on the social contract, you will lose on all future issues. Government will have no reason to sit down with any of you for any reason.

Regards,
Jeff Rose-Martland
President
Our Duty

-----
Our Duty is a citizens' organization dedicated to ensuring Canada's veterans receive proper pension and benefits.
 
PPCLI Guy said:
All of that to say that it was a group effort to throw us under the bus.

..and if I remember right a lot of folks on this forum thought it was a good idea,....at the time.
 
PPCLI Guy said:
I am always surprised at the free ride that the Royal Canadian Legion seems to get whenever this topic is discussed.  We should remember that the RCL leadership were very enthusiastic proiponents of the NVC, and I am sure that their support contributed to the government's adoption of the NVC.  In 06, the government was nowhere near as obsessive about spending - indeed they were quite profligate.  I think it likely that saving money was not the defining factor in the decision to adopt the NVC....

All of that to say that it was a group effort to throw us under the bus.

I'm not..... and I say that as an RCL member
 
So, will this do anything re:  the litigation under way?  Thinking "no" because if Canada was throwing in its cards on the legal action, it would have announced that instead.  This, from the Info-machine today - highlights mine:
After reviewing the compelling conclusions of the Veterans Ombudsman and following several weeks of extensive consultation with stakeholders—including Canadian Veterans, serving Canadian Armed Forces personnel, non-profit organizations, international partners and private sector companies—the Honourable Julian Fantino, Canada’s Minister of Veterans Affairs, announced today that the government will conduct a comprehensive review of the New Veterans Charter, including all enhancements, with a special focus placed on the most seriously injured, support for families and the delivery of programs by Veterans Affairs Canada.

(....)

“Our Government remains fully committed to providing Veterans with the support they need to lead successful lives beyond their service to Canada in uniform,” said Minister Fantino. “To that end, we have already made dramatic improvements—and will continue to strive for enhancements—to ensure that the tools and assistance relied upon by Canada’s Veterans remain as effective, efficient and accessible as possible. I look forward to working with my parliamentary colleagues to consider responsible changes in order to reach a common goal of better serving those who served Canada.”
(....)

Minister Fantino will continue to hold meetings with Veterans’ groups to seek feedback on optimizing the impact of programs, benefits and services available to Canada’s Veterans.

The New Veterans Charter was last reviewed by Parliament in 2011. The fall parliamentary session will begin Wednesday, October 16th, 2013.
Compare the bit in yellow above to the Minister's commitment shortly after he took office ....
.... We are here to deliver the care and support Veterans need, when they need it. That is our promise to Veterans. Always has been. Always will be ....

Also, the Minister's announcement is interestingly timed, given this response from the Veterans Ombudsman:
Guy Parent, Canada's Veterans Ombudsman, is pleased that the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, has agreed with his recommendation to conduct a comprehensive review of the New Veterans Charter, including all enhancements, with a special focus placed on the most seriously injured, support for families and the delivery of programs by Veterans Affairs Canada.

(....)

On Tuesday, October 1, the Veterans Ombudsman will publically release his Report on the New Veterans Charter with an accompanying Actuarial Analysis at a national news conference .... This is the first time that an Actuarial Analysis will accompany any report that has ever been done on the New Veterans Charter. "There are no hypotheses or speculations in my Report,” said Mr. Parent. "I will be presenting to the Veterans Community and to Canadians next Tuesday just evidence-based facts and analysis."  The Actuarial Analysis backs the recommendations that the Veterans Ombudsman will be putting forward and shows exactly where the weaknesses are in the New Veterans Charter, what they are, and what it is going to take to fix them ....
Now, when the NVC & the 'Budman's recommendations/costings come up in Question Period, the answer will be "we welcome the 'Budman's input as we comprehensively review the NVC".
 
I think they know they're going to lose and are attempting to stop the hemorrhaging.  Change it now, that way there when they lose they know the clock stoped at year 20XX.  Instead of having just keeping going and having the numbers running up and up since 2006. 

It's all a PR Shame anyway.  It'll take them 3-5 years to get anything tabled to begin with and another 3 or so to get anything passed.  God willing we'll have the suit won before then.  Of course we may have to dig in.  I for one am in for the long haul. :warstory:

Blue, Red or Orange it doesn't matter once their in power, they're promises go out the window and the screwing over begins.  Maybe I'll start a party whose official colors will be florescent green or yellow, who's campaign promise will be lie, cheat and steal.  At least we'll be honest about it.

oi

 
CBC News is reporting that Veterans charter to get surprise review, Fantino announces.

The report goes on to say that "Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino made the surprise announcement on Thursday, just days ahead of a new report which is expected to show that the marquee legislation is leaving some of the most seriously wounded ex-soldiers out in the cold ... "We have already made dramatic improvements, and will continue to strive for enhancements, to ensure that the tools and assistance relied upon by Canada's veterans remain as effective, efficient and accessible as possible," Fantino said in a written statement ... [and] ... The review is an about-face for the Conservatives, who stated in the aftermath of the last overhaul that no additional changes would be considered until the mandatory five-year review in 2016."

I have always thought it was a political mistake to stick with the Charter. Despite the costs, and they would be considerable, the politically smart decision would have been to declare the Charter tobe a deeply flawed Liberal policy that aimed to save a few bucks on the backs of young wounded vets and to put back in place benefits that are consistent with those awarded to Second World War and Korea vets. But, be aware: a fair system will be tough to get past Finance and the Treasury Board.

 
Screwing over veteran's is an odd issue to be nonpartisan about. Blaming the Liberals would be a great idea. The main reason for the NVC was money though. Bean counters where nosing around Ottawa saying the cost of supporting veterans would be greater than prosecuting the war and that this was unacceptable. I think that was early '05 IIRC. The douche who thought up the scheme got MS so she got let off the hook.
 
Via a leak to The Canadian Press:
Some of the country’s most severely disabled soldiers will take a major financial hit once they hit old age and risk living out their final years in near-poverty, Canada’s veterans ombudsman has concluded.

A report and a painstaking actuarial analysis by Guy Parent’s office are due to be released on Tuesday, but copies were obtained by The Canadian Press.

The study compares the old system of compensating veterans under the Pension Act with the New Veterans Charter, marquee legislation championed by the Harper government since it was enacted in 2006.

It shows that roughly 406 severely disabled veterans, mostly from Afghanistan and recent peacekeeping missions, will be left out in the cold because they don’t receive certain allowances — or a Canadian Forces pension.

“It is simply not acceptable to let veterans who have sacrificed the most for their country — those who are totally and permanently incapacitated — live their lives with unmet financial needs,” said a leaked copy of the report.

Almost a full one-third of the nearly 1,500 soldiers, who have thus far been declared permanently disabled, could also be a risk, depending upon their circumstances. Many of them receive only small allowances and pension entitlements.

The report, which was four years in the making, shows families of veterans who’ve passed away also take an old age hit because “the cash flow going to survivors ceases when the veteran reaches the age of 65,” whereas it continued under the previous pension system ....
 
I guess that explains why Fantino announced the "Surprise review of the Charter".
 
Update on the Ombudsman report.


Canada’s veterans ombudsman says current legislation is failing some of the most severely wounded and disabled soldiers, “and will continue to fail them unless changes are made quickly.”

Guy Parent released his report Tuesday on the New Veterans Charter enacted in 2006, which was compared to the old system of compensating veterans under the Pension Act.

Parent said his analysis of the benefits and programs available to veterans shows a number of “shortcomings.”

Related Stories
Ombudsman's report, critics pressure Conservatives to fix veterans charter Severely disabled vets take financial hit in old age under new system: report Photos
Canada’s veterans ombudsman Guy Parent releases his report on the New Veterans Charter in Ottawa, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013.
Master Corporal Jody Mitic walks, on his 'running legs' past a fellow soldier, as he prepares for a charity run in Toronto in this March 15, 2009 photo. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
His report found that hundreds of the most severely disabled veterans will take a financial hit after they turn 65 because they do not have military pensions and some of their charter benefits will end.

The report also found that government compensation for pain and suffering is inadequate.

The legislation needs improvement in three key areas: financial, vocational rehabilitation and family support, Parent said.

“We either deal with these issues now or we are going to have to deal with the cost later,” he said at a news conference in Ottawa.

Parent said he’s “encouraged” that Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino agreed to his recommendation for a comprehensive review of the New Veterans Charter.

The Conservative government overhauled the charter in 2011 to include more money for lost income replacements. Those changes will be reviewed by a parliamentary committee this fall.

More to come…



Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/canada-s-veterans-charter-failing-disabled-soldiers-ombudsman-1.1478144#ixzz2gTxXEtsN
 
And the Oscar for best public back peddling by a nonprofit agency trying to cover their ass goes to…

http://www.legion.ca/Home/WhatsNew_e.cfm

The Royal Canadian Legion NEVER fully or unconditionally supported the New Veterans Charter. When the NVC was introduced in 2006,
 
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