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Harper Conservatives promise improved benefits for veterans

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces new anti-terrorism bill in Ottawa on Jan. 30, 2015. HANDOUT/PMO

OTTAWA – The Harper Conservatives are making a promise on veterans benefits, a topic that has been very politically sensitive for them.

Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole says if the Tories are re-elected, they’ll improve the earnings loss benefit for veterans with service-related disabilities or injuries.

That will allow vets who get the benefit to earn up to 10-thousand dollars in outside work, without losing any government funding.

Over the past few years, the Conservatives have been bruised politically over how they handle Canada’s veterans.

In 2013, Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent concluded that some of Canada’s most severely disabled soldier faced the sad prospect of living their final years in poverty.

That prompted the government to improve veterans’ benefits earlier this year.