OTTAWA – The NDP are criticizing the Conservative government for what the party states is “Its shameful practice of discharging injured soldiers from the military before they reach ten years of service and qualify for a pension”. Thunder Bay – Rainy River Member of Parliament John Rafferty said he was horrified to hear of these discharges. “It’s deplorable. These men and women risked their lives and are now being abandoned by their own government – our government. This mistreatment of Canada’s veterans has to stop.”
“The actions of this Conservative government are shameful,” said the Official Opposition Veterans critic, Peter Stoffer (Sackville-Eastern Shore). “Contrary to what the government says, many injured soldiers are being released when they are not ready and fall short of qualifying for a military pension.”
New Democrats pointed to an increase in medical discharges since the Conservatives have taken office. The percentage of soldiers who are medically released with less than 10 years of service has grown from 10% in 2001 to 16% in 2011.
“Over 200 injured military personnel a year are being discharged before pension eligibility,” said Jack Harris (St. John’s East). “They risked their lives, were injured, and are now being abandoned to an uncertain future. This has to stop.”