One week after telling a wounded veteran who lost a leg in Afghanistan that the Liberal government is fighting veterans in court over lifelong disability pensions because “they’re asking for more than we’re able to give right now”, Trudeau went into damage control mode, saying that “fixing the system that’s meant to help them & their families has been a priority since Day 1”.
“When a wounded young veteran tells me he’s not getting the services he needs, I know it’s no comfort that others are. All of Canada’s vets deserve the best of our care and respect. And fixing the system that’s meant to help them & their families has been a priority since Day 1. Our new plan – which includes a pension for life – is more generous than the previous one, especially for the most seriously wounded”, Trudeau tweeted on February 7, 2018.
However, according to Veterans Affairs, the benefits won’t come into force until April 2019, more than three years after the Liberals won the elections.
During the 2015 election campaign, Trudeau made a pledge to reinstate the lifelong pensions but, to date, has failed to keep that promise.
The 2015 Liberal platform, which is still posted on the Liberal Party’s website, says: “We will give veterans more compensation, more choice, and more support in planning their financial future. We will re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for our injured veterans, and increase the value of the disability award. We will ensure that every injured veteran has access to financial advice and support so that they can determine the form of compensation that works best for them and their families.”
On Tuesday, Leader of the Conservative Party Andrew Scheer hammered Trudeau during a question period when he told the House of Commons that Liberals looked veterans in the eyes and said “no” after saying “yes to just about everybody else. Scheer recited a list of payments Trudeau made, including $10.5 to convicted terrorist Omar Khadr, $100,000 to “somebody running a Minister’s Twitter account” and “yes to his pals when they want to take a vacation to the Caribbean”, alluding to the vacation Trudeau and several cabinet members and their spouses took to the private Bahamas island belonging to Agha Khan which cost Canadian taxpayers over $200,000 dollars, and for which Trudeau was found to be in violation of multiple conflict rules by the ethics commissioner.
“But they’re telling those who gave the country all they have that they’re asking for too much. That is shameful”, Scheer said to applause from the Conservatives.
Trudeau, who attempted to lay the blame on the previous Conservatives government, got shouted down the opposition.
One day after Trudeau told veterans that they are asking for more than the government can give, Global Affairs Canada announced that it is donating $59.5 million to Burkina Faso in order to improve public education in the West African country.