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$37-million spent on veteran legal costs a ‘broken promise’: critics

By Samantha Wright Allen      

Despite ongoing court action, Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan says the government 'does not take veterans to court,' with most of the disclosed expenses going to support legal fees and a review board to support redress programs to keep vets out of the courts.

Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan is defending the more than $37-million shelled out by the Liberal government since 2016, of which more than $1.3-million covers legal fees fighting court cases launched by veterans. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

The Liberals have spent at least $37-million since January 2016 on legal proceedings with veterans in a move opposition MPs and the veterans they’re fighting in court say represents a broken platform promise. The vast majority—$36.3-million—makes up two years' worth of budgets for two programs: $18.4-million for the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, a body for veterans to dispute benefit and pension problems, and $17.9-million for the Bureau of Pension Advocates, which offers free legal advice for veterans

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