Canadian Veterans Advocacy > Bill C-55

Bill C-55 Likely to Pass in Senate, Veterans Advocate Says Changes Must Be Mad

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Canadian_Vet:
Bill C-55 Likely to Pass in Senate, Veterans Advocate Says Changes Must Be Made

http://communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/defencewatch/archive/2011/03/23/bill-c-55-likely-to-pass-in-senate-veterans-advocate-says-changes-must-be-made.aspx

This is from Sean Bruyea, an advocate for disabled veterans and their families. It is his analysis of what is likely to happen with Bill C-55, as well as a letter he wrote Senators:

 

 Yes, sadly C-55 will likely be passed in the Senate as is.  However, I understand that the Liberal Senators are strongly encouraging the Conservatives to make guarantees on the floor of the Senate on Thursday March 24, 2011 to change regulations on three extremely important items which would, if carried out, be more important than C-55 itself:


1) Earnings Loss Benefit be increased to match the current DND pay scale starting with the veteran's releasing rank,
2) Earnings Loss Benefit increase on an annual basis in keeping with normal career progression in the Forces; and,
3) The New Veterans Charter rehabilitation program immediately include CF veterans in the Pensioners Training Regulations
 
The Pensioners Training Regulations is the World War 2 Rehabilitation Training program which provided for full college and university including full degree support in undergraduate and post graduate programs...for all CF veterans, not just disabled veterans. It was similar to the US GI Bill. Changing the regulations does not require approval by Parliament but by Cabinet.
 
This would be the start of making one standard for all veterans...that all veterans finally be treated equally instead of the four classes and multiple subclasses of veterans we now have. I imagine those pesky Canadian rights and values of equality and fairness just haven't applied to veterans, those most willing to die to defend and protect such values.

All three of these regulatory changes would provide the fundamental dignity which has been completely lacking in VAC programs for CF veterans, dignity which was readily provided to World War 2 and Korean War veterans.
 
I am sure a bit of support to the Liberals and convincing for the Conservative senators may help (see info below)
 
Good Luck to us all
Sean Bruyea
 
 
Rom?o Dallaire          613-995-4191 dallar@sen.parl.gc.ca <mailto:dallar@sen.parl.gc.ca>
Grant Mitchell            613-995-4254 mitchg@sen.parl.gc.ca <mailto:mitchg@sen.parl.gc.ca>           
Lucie P?pin                 613-996-1726 pepinl@sen.parl.gc.ca <mailto:pepinl@sen.parl.gc.ca>
Robert Peterson         613-995-4220 russem@sen.parl.gc.ca <mailto:russem@sen.parl.gc.ca>
Tommy Banks            613-995-1889 gautht@sen.parl.gc.ca <mailto:gautht@sen.parl.gc.ca>

Senator Day               613-992-0833     dayja@sen.parl.gc.ca <mailto:dayja@sen.parl.gc.ca>
 
Leader of the Senate Opposition:
James Cowan             613-995-4268 cowanj@sen.parl.gc.ca <mailto:cowanj@sen.parl.gc.ca>
 
Conservative Lead
Pamela Wallin            613-947-4097  wallinp@sen.parl.gc.ca <mailto:wallinp@sen.parl.gc.ca>

 

 

Dear Senators,

 

I urge you to consider one small very important amendment today before approving Bill C-55. I also urge you to put on the record three important

additions to any subsequent regulations.

 

Veterans have become increasingly aware that today, Bill C-55 will be rushed through a single committee hearing and then approved on a clause by clause

basis. The rush is due to an anticipated election.

 

This process is a carbon copy repeat of the process which rammed through the New Veterans Charter on May 11, 2005. Perhaps some dignity for our CF

members and veterans can be salvaged at the last minute.

 

If the Senate refuses to grant full due process once again, I urge the Senate to amend Bill C-55 to implement amendments to Sections 19 (1) and 23

(1) of the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment Act  and replace 75% with 100%. This change to the Earnings Loss Benefit is in

lockstep with the recommendations of the New Veterans Charter Advisory Group

and the Special Needs Advisory Group.

 

As it stands now, C-55 does not reflect completely a single recommendation of the more than 380 proposed by these two hard-working groups.

 

You can change that dismal track record.

 

Furthermore, I urge you to put on the record that, for the purposes of the regulations,

 

1)  Earnings Loss Benefit be calculated to match current DND pay scales.

 

2)  Earnings Loss Benefit be calculated to increase with normal career

progression for each veteran who is unable to work.

 

3) The Pensioners Training Regulations be amended to include all CF veterans

and amounts of benefits be updated to reflect modern costs.

 

None of the three changes above require legislative change.

 

Just like our World War 2 Veterans and the 22 million American recipients of the US GI Bill, our CF veterans require full access to full college and

university undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Why is Canada denying them this benefit which our CF veterans so truly deserve?

 

In fact, CF veterans have been denied every benefit of the original World War 2 Veterans Charter for no justifiable reason. Please make this one small

addition to C-55 and please put on the record the requirement for regulations to reflect the three suggestions above.

 

It is of course an extremely sad legacy that Canadian Forces members and veterans are constantly and repeatedly denied full Parliamentary due process. They fought, died and/or became injured so that Canada could live

in dignity at the orders of Parliament. Let us finally make these three small steps to ensure our CF veterans can live in dignity and show them that Parliament will defend our CF veterans.

 

Respectfully

 

Sean Bruyea

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