KAMLOOPS — A former UN peacekeeper is preparing to travel to Ottawa next week with other local veterans in an effort to push the government to better support veterans across the country.
Scott Casey, who served as a peacekeeper in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, says there will be townhall meetings with veterans from all of Canada as well as politicians.
Among the topics will be the alarming suicide rates that he says are 15 to 3, veterans to civilians. There's also a lawsuit to reinstate the lifetime pension for veterans while scrapping the controversial lumpsum payment.
"The new Veterans' Charter kiboshed that whole set up with vets having long-terms pensions, so the case is designed to reinstate that," said Casey. "The Liberal government stated as part of their platform for the election they would reinstate the lifetime pension, and we haven't seen that still a couple years in. It doesn't look like there's much on the table."
Casey says he won't be lobbying directly. He sees the trip as an opportunity to find out exactly what is happening in Ottawa.
"We're hoping to actually sit down with the Minister of National Defense Harjit Sajan as well as hopefully get a sitdown with Prime Minister Trudeau," he noted. "These are important issues, and it's not just a veterans issue; it's for all Canadians. If we don't take care of our veterans, who's going to join the military to take care of us?"
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