Cullen represents Layton at veterans protest in Ottawa tomorrow

MP Nathan Cullen will join thousands of Canadian veterans expected to turn out to events across the country tomorrow to oppose recent changes to soldiers’ injury compensation and pension plans.

“Those who served have the ultimate liability contract with Canada and deserve to be treated with dignity, respect and financial security,” said Cullen, who is representing NDP Leader Jack Layton and party veteran affairs’ critic Peter Stoffer at Ottawa events for the Canadian Veterans National Day of Protest

“Every day for service personnel and their families is Remembrance Day,” Cullen said.  “It’s not enough for government and Canadians to pin on a poppy once a year and call that respect for our veterans.” 

Cullen said the current 2-6 year timeframe to process veterans’ claims is “offensive and ridiculous” and is poor payment for the debt Canadians owe to the sacrifices of their soldiers and peacekeepers.

Veterans are demanding changes in the New Veterans Charter that was enacted in 2006 and replaced disability pension payments with a lump-sum payment.  This move led to criticisms from outgoing veterans’ ombudsman Pat Stogran and even Gen. Walter Natynczyk, the chief of the defence staff.