Editorial

Achievement…and lost potential
Editorial

Achievement…and lost potential

As Remembrance Day approaches and we recall and commemorate the sacrifices of those who died while serving, we should also be reminded that one of the costs of war is the loss of what those ill-fated men and women—more than 100,000 in the two world wars—could have accomplished if they had lived on in peacetime. The article “Last soldier standing” on page 18 profiles the last surviving veteran of each war in which Canada fought—from the War of 1812 to the First World War. One lived to the age of 100 and had a lengthy postwar career as an admiral. Another ran an oil business, got his pilot’s licence at 65 and high-school diploma at 95, and wrote his autobiography at 100. Thousands of Second World War and Korean War veterans live on. Many have had postwar lives that, one way or another, e...
Standards for service dogs are overdue
Editorial

Standards for service dogs are overdue

The use of service dogs to help veterans with mental-health issues is stalled with a lack of recognized standards for training both the dogs and the veterans who receive them. Originally the federal government had approached the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB)—an arm of Public Services and Procurement Canada—to develop standards for service dogs. After consulting widely with economic, regulatory, procurement, health, safety and environmental experts, the board released draft standards in a 60-page document for further consultation. This generated an estimated 1,000 pages of comments, many of which were negative. As a result, CGSB decided in April 2018 not to proceed further. Veterans Affairs Canada then suggested standards could be developed by the department. There already was...
Counting veterans
Editorial

Counting veterans

We know that some 7,000 Canadians served in the South African War, approximately 650,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders enlisted during the First World War, more than one million served in the Second World War, more than 26,000 served in the Korean War, and several hundred thousand have served in the Canadian Armed Forces since then. But knowing how many veterans Canada has today is critical to knowing whether “they’re asking for more than we are able to give right now,” as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau so inelegantly put it during a town hall meeting in February 2018. To be fair, he also said “I will continue to pledge that I will do right by you.” One way the federal government can do right by our veterans is to know how many there are. It has been almost a half century since the 19...
Fix it and fast
Editorial

Fix it and fast

None of this should have happened, and it should have been fixed years ago. Late last year, Veterans Affairs Canada revealed that some veterans received lower disability pension payments than they should have, owing to an accounting error made by VAC between 2003 and 2010. The error affected some 270,000 veterans, RCMP members and their survivors. Under the Pension Act, annual increases in disability pension amounts are driven either by change in the consumer price index or change in the average composite wage—whichever results in the greatest benefit to the veteran. One factor in the wage calculation is the personal tax exemption amount under the Income Tax Act. In the early 2000s, the federal government changed the personal tax exemption. In 2002, the greatest benefit to the vetera...
HomeEquity Bank proudly announces a partnership to empower Royal Canadian Legion members
Editorial

HomeEquity Bank proudly announces a partnership to empower Royal Canadian Legion members

HomeEquity Bank has joined The Royal Canadian Legion Member Benefits Package (MBP), which means more variety and choice for members and their families. HomeEquity Bank, provider of the CHIP Reverse Mortgage, is a federally regulated Canadian bank that allows Canadian homeowners who are 55 or over to access up to 55 percent of the value of their home tax-free by tapping into that equity while still owning the home and living there. Through this partnership, HomeEquity Bank provides special benefits to Legion members and their families. Like many Canadians, you may be concerned about carrying debt into your retirement years, or wondering whether your savings will stretch far enough. HomeEquity Bank empowers Canadians 55-plus by offering an option that allows them to finance their retire...
Schooling soldiers
Editorial

Schooling soldiers

Canada, military service and education go hand-in-hand. Every phase of a soldier’s training represents some form of education, of course. But that training is designed to build a successful army. What about preparing soldiers to succeed as civilians? In 1916, Canadian soldiers fighting at the front and training in England began to ask for educational support in anticipation of postwar life. As demand grew, a government-funded initiative, called the Khaki University of Canada, was started (see page 28). By the end, tens of thousands of Canadian veterans came home with newfound skills and knowledge, in addition to what they learned about warfare. Following the Second World War, with financial aid from the Veterans Rehabilitation Act, 54,000 veterans went to university. In the 1970s, the ...