When Justin Trudeau introduced the Liberals much touted ‘pension for life’ plan to veterans, they promised that it would lead to an increase of $3.6 billion in “additional” funding for Canadian Veterans. A new report by the Globe & Mail interestingly shows that the Liberals have failed this key campaign promise by creating a pension system which would result in almost $500 million less being spent on Veterans over the next five years. Here’s what was reported by the Globe & Mail:
“When the pensions were unveiled four days before Christmas last year, the government said they “represent an additional investment of close to $3.6-billion to support Canada’s Veterans.” And on Jan. 31, Seamus O’Regan, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, told the House of Commons: “With our recent announcement of a Pension for Life, this government’s total investment in veterans in 2½ years is $10-billion” – a figure that includes the $3.6-billion for the pensions. But the “additional” money for Pensions For Life, which come into effect in April, 2019, will be not be spent any time soon. In fact, the government predicts in its most recent budget it will save $84-million in the next fiscal year and more than $100-million in each of the next four years as a result of the pensions program. The savings are emphasized in the accompanying regulations, which were published in August.”
The dual standard displayed by the Liberals is not surprising, given the terrible track record previous governments have also had when it comes to treating our armed forces and those who retire from them with real respect. It is a new low though from a government which already argued that our veterans asked for too much while continuing to further Canada's deficit by sending hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid to dictators in third world countries. While this incompetence is worrying and worth mentioning, the Trudeau governments use of morality based politics when it comes to these kinds of crucial issues as a mechanism to silence criticism is the area of most importance. For example, when the opposition questioned the Liberals on the massive business exemptions they provided to coal plants, they mostly refused to answer and began to demonize their questioners. When Conservatives questioned the government on the continued placement of Terri-Lynne McClintic in a minimum security healing lodge, where she could have access to kids or even worse escape, the government responded by branding their opposition as "ambulance chasers."
While obvious that both sides of the aisle are engaging in partisan politics, the problem here is that the governing party which makes the final choice on how our lives move forward refuses to see the problems with the programs they put forward. As a result, while the parties individual bases remain competitive and further apart than ever, ordinary Canadians remain seated with far worse government programs than what we would have received if parties across the aisle listened to each other. With the Liberals increasing government programs almost by the day, this kind of tone-deaf governing is extremely worrying. Perhaps if they were more willing to listen, the budget would not be balanced off the backs of our veterans. What do you think? Join the conversation by commenting below!