There is a great deal of stress and anxiety among the Canadian Veterans’ Community right now due to the roll out of the Pension For Life (PFL) by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). All the changes to benefits, names, taxation status, and the discontinuing of some benefits are making many of us very nervous because none of us know what our financial situation will look like at the end of April 2019, as compared to today. Social Media is very busy with concerned veterans weighing in. We have no idea what to expect despite VAC’s pitiful attempts at educating us. We received phone calls from staff who could not answer even the most basic of questions, a cookie cutter approach, if you will, and letters that did nothing further to explain anything. We (Canadian Veterans) have no idea what will be deposited into our bank accounts next month. We have no new financial benefits calculations sheets yet showing our new numbers (income) starting next month.
This is really feeling like government-inflicted harm to me. VAC has done nothing to alleviate my bewilderment, confusion, doubts, and anxiety about my and my families’ financial well-being. Talk about a stress grenade lobbed into the lives of disabled veterans. Many of us suffer from PTSD, depression and anxiety. Of note, our caregivers and spouses are also directly impacted by this callus and insensitive rollout; possibly more so, as they have to watch us veterans try to cope with this mess while managing their own feelings and concerns.
Section 7 – Life, liberty and security of person
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.
“ …There is the right to security of the person, which consists of rights to privacy of the body and its health and of the right protecting the “psychological integrity” of an individual. That is, the right protects against significant government-inflicted harm (stress) to the mental state of the individual. (Blencoe v British Columbia (Human Rights Commission), 2000) “
This PFL fiasco makes the roll out of the New Veterans Charter in 2006 look like a walk in the park. In my opinion, VAC has compromised my psychological integrity and breached my charter-protected rights. I hope to we don’t lose people to suicide over this PFL rollout and the stress it has caused many of us.
Disabled Canadian Forces Veteran (Former Yugoslavia)
Representative Plaintiff, Manuge Vs Her Majesty The Queen x2
Musquodoboit Harbour, NS
1. Government of Canada; guide to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms