The federal Liberals are trying to plant their flag squarely on Conservative territory with a promise to spend $300 million more per year to comprehensively reform veterans benefits and the delivery of services.
Justin Trudeau accuses the Harper government of betraying the generation of soldiers who fought in Afghanistan, promising the Liberals would get right what the Conservatives got "so very, very wrong."
He says the commitments, which include new money for compensating the wounded and expanded benefits for families, would be implemented immediately after taking office.
The announcement, made in the shadow of the country's largest military air base in Trenton, Ont., was cheered by some of Harper's harshest critics, who say they'll hold the Liberals to account if elected.
Trudeau was circumspect on how he would pay for the promise, noting that the Liberals would release a fully costed platform soon.
Mike Blais of Canadian Veterans Advocacy says the Liberal promise would address every issue wounded soldiers have been fighting for, and would allow a group of Afghan veterans to drop their ongoing class-action lawsuit against Ottawa.