Veterans' care disagreement leads to legislature spat

The New Brunswick legislature broke out into a heated exchange earlier this week as the government and Opposition argued that they care more about military veterans than the others.

Liberal bill on veterans' pensions defeated

The New Brunswick legislature broke out into a heated exchange earlier this week as the government and Opposition argued that they care more about military veterans than the others.

The opposition Liberals tried this week to get the legislature to issue a unanimous call for better veteran pensions. That had both sides lobbing accusations at each other.

Just before Remembrance Day last month, Fredericton-Silverwood PC MLA Brian MacDonald stood in the Legislature to proudly list a variety of initiatives for veterans.

“Minister Robichaud extended the [Family and Youth Capital Assistance] to legions. Minister Coulombe passed reservist job protection legislation. Minister Carr created high school credits for reservists,” he said.

"The Alward team cares about our military veterans, and we show this through our words and our actions.”

But this week MacDonald and his Tory colleagues defeated a Liberal Opposition motion calling on the federal government to make it easier for injured soldiers to stay in the military to qualify for pensions.

MacDonald argued the motion misunderstood how military pensions work.

Liberal MLA Rick Doucet criticized the Tories on Friday for defeating it.

“This motion wasn't about politics. It was about doing the right thing and standing up in this legislature for our soldiers,” he said.

MacDonald, a former soldier himself, said rather than lobby Ottawa on federal policies, the Liberals should focus on provincal initiatives to help the military.

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