Gov't was "deliberately obstructive and deceptive," says veterans ombudsman -

Gov’t was “deliberately obstructive and deceptive,” says veterans ombudsman

Watchdog had been critical of Ottawa’s treatment of injured soldiers


Pat Stogran, Canada’s outgoing ombudsman for veterans, charged at a Tuesday press conference he was “impeded by a bureaucracy that was deliberately obstructive and deceptive” during his time on the job. Stogran’s public statements were his first since Ottawa announced it wouldn’t be renewing his appointment for a second three-year term. The former commander of Canadian Forces in Afghanistan has criticized the government in the past for what he called its “penny-pinching, insurance-company mentality,” especially when it comes to the treatment of injured soldiers. Topping the list of Stogran’s complaints is Ottawa’s decision to replace pensions for injured soldiers with lump-sum payments and disability stipends. Liberal MP Marc Garneau said Tuesday Stogran is the latest addition to a growing list of government watchdogs who were “sacked becauase they are telling the government the truth.”

CBC News

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Gov’t was “deliberately obstructive and deceptive,” says veterans ombudsman

  1. This government makes a point of standing behind the soldiers!

    What better place to stab them in the back?

  2. He might not like the lump-sum payment but according to a survey reported in the G&M 79% of veterans like the change.

    • Makes sense. Why would you want to wait for a pension when you can get the money upfront, and use that to finance your own pension?

      • Because it is completely inadequate, and does not include any money for spouses as the pension did?

        "…The real choice unanimously and loudly voiced by the Royal Canadian Legion, the Veterans Ombudsman, opposition parties and every independent expert witness who testified to Parliament: Would veterans prefer the lump sum which pays a maximum of $276,000 or a lifelong monthly tax free disability pension of approximately $29,000 per year plus amounts for spouses and children and fully indexed to public service salaries?…"

  3. Mr. Stogran now joins Governor General Michaelle Jean as yet another representative of the growing number of high profile Canadians in government (or related) that are either critical of or not co-operative with the Harperites. People, what don't you understand? There's only one way to play the game and it's Mr. Harper's way or the highway.

  4. I'm trying to decide how Ignatieff will squander this opportunity.

    • Between this, the gun registry etc it would be pretty hard to squander. Ignatieff has been following the right strategy lately namely when your ennemy is destroying himself get out ot the way and let him. He has succeded in avoiding providing a target and his bus tour has received largely positive comment and reporting. He is obviously intelligent and well educated but he seems to be receiving a long overdue education in the finer points of practical politics.

  5. What's wrong with the lump sum?

    "…How did Veterans Affairs respond to the outcry from the veteran community? By gathering its own statistics through a survey. According to Minister of Veterans Affairs, Jean-Pierre Blackburn, the result of the survey apparently revealed that a lump sum is the “preferred option for the majority of veteran[s]”.

    Academics and the veteran community were shocked. How could an injured soldier, many in their 20's and 30's, prefer a lump sum which equaled what would have been paid out in as little as 7 years or so by the previous lifelong disability pension?

    The answer lies in the fact that Statistics Canada did not carry out the survey, Veterans Affairs bureaucrats did. As such, the quality of the survey and its methodology, and therefore the statistics are not of the highest standard which a survey conducted by Statistics Canada would have otherwise provided…"

  6. It should now be clear to all that when the Conservatives say they stand behind our soldiers they are telling the gospel truth. Harper and his gang are far to cowardly to lead from the front and of course standing behind them facilitates the innevitable treachery and stabs in the back which are conservative stock in trade.

  7. Lump sum payments are a bad idea for lots of reasons – e.g. some the long term effects of some injuries cannot be predetermined, mental health issues such as PTSD need long term care, etc. etc. . It's evident that this government, the government that attacks other parties for not "supporting the troops" has no intention of providing the ongoing support that injured veterans and their families need. It's the worst kind of hypocrasy and it insults our veterans and those who will become veterans. They deserve better.

    I applaud the Ombudsman, he has real guts.