Mar 30, 2015
By Michael Kramer
A new lump-sum payment to Canada’s most critically wounded soldiers has been introduced by the Harper government – as it tries to silence complaints that the existing pain and suffering awards are too mean.
The Critical Injury Benefit unveiled today by Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole would provide a $70,000 tax-free award to injured soldiers and veterans.
The move still has to be approved by parliament.
It’s a one-time payment meant to compliment the existing lump-sum awards system – which has been constantly criticized since being introduced in 2006 – as part of the federal government’s overhaul of veterans benefits and entitlements.
The proposed scheme is separate from the Disability Awards system.
A Commons committee has said that system is less generous to soldiers wounded on the battlefield – than the courts are to civilians – hurt in workplace accidents.
O’Toole says the new benefit is retroactive – and troops injured since 2006 can apply.