Vets ombudsman, appeal panels members quietly reappointed by Tories

The Harper government quietly extended the term of the country’s veterans ombudsman on the eve of the federal election and handed out a series of appointments for an important — if often criticized — review agency.

OTTAWA — The Harper government quietly extended the term of the country’s veterans ombudsman on the eve of the federal election and handed out a series of appointments for an important — if often criticized — review agency.

Guy Parent, whose served as an advocate for ex-soldiers and an adviser to the veterans minister, was given a three-year extension to his mandate in a cabinet order dated July 28.

He was chosen to replace outspoken retired army colonel Pat Stogran in 2010 and given a five-year term, which is set to expire in November.

Lucille Hodgins, a spokeswoman for Parent, says the new, shorter appointment represents a return to the original three-year mandate of the ombudsman and will give him time to complete additional reforms under the new veterans charter.

The Veterans Review and Appeal Board saw three appointments on the Friday before the election, including a one-year term extension for a P.E.I. woman whose husband once lobbied embattled senator Mike Duffy on her behalf.