Maritimers call veterans' treatment a 'disservice'
Since 2006 veterans receive a lump-sum compensation instead of monthly payments
Thousands of people in the Maritimes marked Remembrance Day by visiting cenotaph services or watching them on television, but many in the region say we should be doing a lot more to honour Canada's war veterans
On Sunday's CBC radio phone-in show, Maritime Connection, callers shared their feelings about what should be done for vets.
Fred Smeltzer, of Halifax, said the federal government did a disservice to veterans by creating the New Veterans Charter. It overhauled the way ex-soldiers are compensated and moved away from a pension-for-life system into a workers compensation-style lump-sum payment.
"This cash settlement stuff is not right, it's just not right. And I think they got to go back to the monthly payments regardless of how old they are."
Joan Hicks agreed and said taking care of injured and financially strapped vets means more to them than the annual visit to the local cenotaph.
"We don't honour them with big words and ceremonies. We honour them with actually providing the services they need."
Garland Carmichael of Halifax said he was annoyed to see so many businesses open on Remembrance Day. He said all businesses should be closed in honour of those who died for our freedom.
"This should be a national holiday and everybody should be off celebrating and remembering," he said.
Claude Brothers of P.E.I. said veterans deserve a living monument like an Arboretum.
"This could take 100 years in the making, but I think it could be something that we could grow and generations could care for it and it could all be done for our veterans."