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Canada  

Behind Invictus spotlight

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will join hundreds of disabled veterans from across Canada and more than a dozen other countries in Toronto on Saturday to help kick off this year's edition of the Invictus Games.

Yet even as those veterans prepare for a week of intense athletic competition, many others are anxiously waiting for Trudeau to make good on a major promise to them: reinstating lifelong disability pensions.

The Invictus Games were started by Prince Harry in 2014 and involve wounded or sick military personnel or veterans from different countries competing in a variety of sporting events.

During a preview event with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Ottawa earlier this week, Trudeau spoke of the importance of the Games and supporting Canada's "wounded warriors."

The Games, Trudeau said following a demonstration by Canada's wheelchair basketball team, are a way "to remember, to respect and to celebrate everyday folks who have served with everything they have."

But some disabled veterans say Trudeau's government has not lived up to such ideals, particularly when it comes to a still-unfulfilled election promise to bring back disability pensions.

The Liberals were the only party in the election to promise to re-introduce the pensions, which were replaced by a lump-sum payment, career training and targeted income-replacement programs in 2006.

Many veterans have since grown frustrated as the government has dragged its feet on the issue; the most recent commitment in March was that it would provide more details by the end of the year.

Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan told The Canadian Press that remains the case, but he otherwise wouldn't provide any further insight into the government's thinking.



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