Sajjan 'looking into' allowance cut for ill, injured soldiers after 180 days
Published Saturday, November 11, 2017 7:47PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, November 11, 2017 8:53PM EST
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says he is looking into a change in policy that sees a special monthly allowance cut for some soldiers if illness or injury keeps them off the job for roughly six months.
As of Sept. 1, the Department of National Defence has stopped paying a special monthly allowance for those in high-risk and high-readiness operations, after they have spent 180 days off the job due to illness or injury.
The policy is retroactive, so allowances already paid are being clawed back.
Sajjan told CTV’s Omar Sachedina on Remembrance Day in Ottawa that he’s “looking into it.”
“As I get more information on it, we’re going to make sure that our people are looked after here,” Sajjan said.
Sajjan added that his department’s “number one priority” is its people.
“We’ll always look at any one-off situations that might inadvertently create a negative or stress on a family and we’ll make sure we rectify things,” he said.
Critics say that cut in compensation -- which could amount to more than $23,000 over six months for Canada’s most elite commandos -- would force some veterans to return to work before their injuries are properly healed.
The new rules affect personnel with the Canadian Special Operations Forces, paratroopers, submarine crews, pilots and air crews, rescue technicians and ships’ crews.
Earlier this week, Lieutenant-General Charles Lamarre with the Canadian Forces said the pay was linked to certain duties that soldiers must be able to perform to qualify.
With reports from CTV’s Mercedes Stephenson