OTTAWA - New Democrats have introduced a private member's bill to scrap an oft-maligned board where ex-soldiers can appeal the denial of benefits by the federal government.
MP Peter Stoffer, the party's veterans critic, says the review agency is the No. 1 problem facing individual veterans — and is seen as a place where they have to "beg" for what is rightfully theirs.
One ex-soldier, George Villeneuve, says two of his friends committed suicide after being turned down for help.
Villeneuve, who appeared with Stoffer on Parliament Hill, says his claim of post-traumatic stress was turned down at the first stage of the board's review process, even though he says he had all of the appropriate letters from doctors.
He was forced to bring his doctor to the appeal hearing in order to win his case.
The Veterans Review and Appeal Board has been at the centre of complaints — even from one of its own members — that it disrespects and sometimes belittles veterans who appear before it.