Former army officer, Afghan veteran tapped as new ombudsman


OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is tapping a former army officer, who served in Afghanistan and commanded Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick, as Canada’s new veterans’ ombudsman.

Craig Dalton takes over from Guy Parent, who spent the past eight years in the arm’s-length position that was first created in 2007 as a watchdog and advocate for those who have served in uniform.

Dalton spent 25 years in the Canadian Forces and, in addition to commanding CFB Gagetown and the provincial reconstruction team in Kandahar, was commander of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery.

He most recently served in senior departmental positions with the provincial governments in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. His term as veterans’ ombudsman is for five years.

Dalton takes over at a key time when many disabled veterans are angry at the Trudeau government for not bringing back a lifelong pension that was replaced with a different suite of financial supports in 2006.

There have also been concerns about the amount of time that veterans are being forced to wait to find out if they qualify for benefits and services, which Parent flagged earlier this year as a serious concern.

The Canadian Press