Dallaire says Conservatives are 'second-guessing' the cost of veterans

OTTAWA - Sen. Romeo Dallaire, a former Canadian Forces lieutenant-general, says some Conservative MPs have been grousing about what it costs to take care of Canada's veterans.

Dallaire, best known as the former commander of the ill-fated peacekeeping mission in Rwanda, says he's been hearing complaints about the roughly $3.8 billion the government spends each year on Veterans Affairs.

He made the comments in an interview with The Canadian Press before testifying today at the House of Commons veterans committee.

Dallaire, who did not name names, says the attitude about the price tag is one that he says "has been sniffing its way around the Conservative hallways."

The rumblings stand in stark contrast to the Harper government's political message, which has been to insist that the Conservatives bend over backwards for veterans and will continue to do so.

As well, in a class-action lawsuit brought by Afghanistan veterans in B.C., the government is arguing there is no "social contract" between the country and its soldiers, and that it is not bound by the promises of past governments.

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