Liberal Budget 2016 – Veterans Support?

The Canadian Values Party will do everything possible to support the active and past serving military and RCMP members.
Unlike every past party that has been in power.


The following is a letter sent to PM Trudeau by the Veterans Annuity Campaign
===========
Dear Sir,
First of all let us thank you for the Military/RCMP Veterans improvements listed in your Budget. Our biggest concern is that this letter will not be given to you or you will not find time to read and reply to our major Veterans concerns that have been ongoing for far too many years.
While Veterans appreciate your kind words: ” Veterans and their Families have earned our respect and gratitude “. Let us remind you that Veterans should not have to fight their own Government for the support and compensation they have earned and paid for in so many different ways. Your budget falls very short of the commitments you made in the attached letter to the Minister of Veterans Affairs. Let us address a few of the important issues that continue to affect Canada’s Veterans and their Families.
Re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for our injured Veterans, and increase the value of disability award…
While your Government can be praised for raising the lump-sump disability award to a maximum life time award to $360,000 from the current $310,000 It is far lower than what Britain gives its Veterans. Since the introduction of the New Veterans Charter, Veterans across the country have voiced their opinions they want the return of the pension act provision that provided them with the security of a monthly income for them and their family. It is a fact that disabled Veterans under the old pension act plan will receive far more financial benefits to protect their families. Further more the Liberal Government promised to re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for our injured Veterans.
Increase the Veteran survivor’s pension amount from 50 percent to 70 percent.
Prime Minister Trudeau, this is an easy promise to solve. It will cost the tax payers nothing. You can use the surplus billions of dollars available in the Veterans pension plan. You can resolve this Liberal promise by the stroke of a pen. Let`s get it done Sir !
Eliminating the “marriage after 60″ clawback clause.
This is another easy promise that can be solved quickly. It will cost the tax payers nothing. Billions of surplus dollars are available in our pension plan.
Eliminating the CPP pension claw back to our Military/RCMP Veterans pensioners and disabled CPP Veterans Annuity.
The Liberals have voted yes on 5 separate occasions in favour to terminate this deplorable issue that has affected the welfare of Military/RCMP Veterans and their Families for far too long. Again an issue that can be resolved by spending some of the surplus in our Annuity plan.
Conclusion:
Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s plan to deliver 3.7% billion in the current fiscal year is most appreciated. We must also consider that the Liberal Government had 5 years to develop the 15 mentioned issues in your attached letter. We have commented on 5 of the most significant/critical/urgent issues that can be resolved quickly but they failed to be mentioned in your budget.
Military/RCMP Veterans and their family have given their all towards the protection and Security of Canada. Their spouses have faced the loss of their income/employment opportunities as a result of numerous operational moves, leading to their loss of spousal CPP benefits. Spouses often faced extended family separations with elevated level of stress while maintaining a family on their own. The Military spouse was often unavailable to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and many other family gatherings. Veterans have served on numerous 24/7, 16 hour days without overtime compensation. Veterans often faced dangerous conditions, health hazards and they were committed to an unlimited liability.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau far too many years have passed us by. Today an average of 130 War Veterans die daily. There is only one class of Veterans. You are requested to take immediate action to resolve our listed Veterans issues at the attached reference.
We live in a free Country today because over 100,000 Canadian forces personnel died on the field of battles since 1914. Some Veterans shed some blood, some did not return, all were prepared to give the ultimate sacrifice and some families gave it their all. The sacred trust obligation to Veterans and their Families must be restored in their Golden years. Remember that benefits delayed are benefits denied!
” Honour, Dignity, Justice, Equality ! ”

Sincerely,
John Labelle
Veterans Annuity Campaign
Coordinator

===========================
Extract from the Letter sent by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
to Minister of Veterans Affairs Kent Herh
source – article by David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen, 13 November 2015
Veterans and their families have earned our respect and gratitude. Veterans should not
have to fight their own government for the support and compensation they have earned.
As Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, your
overarching goal will be to ensure that our government lives up to our sacred obligation
to veterans and their families. I expect you to ensure that veterans receive the respect,
support, care, and economic opportunities they deserve. You will ensure that we honour
the service of our veterans and provide new career opportunities, make it easier for
veterans to access services – including mental health services – and do more to support
the families of Canada’s veterans. I ask you to work closely with your colleague the
Minister of National Defence to ensure a seamless transition for Canadian Forces
members to the programs and services of your department.
In particular, I will expect you to work with your colleagues and through established
legislative, regulatory, and Cabinet processes, including our first Budget, to deliver on
your top priorities:
? Work with the Minister of National Defence to reduce complexity, overhaul
service delivery, and strengthen partnerships between Veterans Affairs and
National Defence.
? Re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for our injured veterans, and increase
the value of the disability award, while ensuring that every injured veteran has
access to financial advice and support so that they can determine the form of
compensation that works best for them and their families.
? Expand access to the Permanent Impairment Allowance to better support veterans
who have had their career options limited by a service-related illness or injury.
? Provide injured veterans with 90 percent of their pre-release salary, and index this
benefit so that it keeps pace with inflation.
? Create a new Veterans Education Benefit that will provide full support for the
costs of up to four years of college, university, or technical education for
Canadian Forces veterans after completion of service.
? Improve career and vocational assistance for veterans through ensuring that job
opportunities for returning veterans are included in Community Benefits
Agreements for new federally-funded infrastructure projects.
? Deliver a higher standard of service and care, and ensure that a “one veteran, one
standard” approach is upheld.
? Re-open the nine Veterans Affairs service offices recently closed, hire more
service delivery staff, and fully implement all of the Auditor General’s
recommendations on enhancing mental health service delivery to veterans.
? Create two new centres of excellence in veterans’ care, including one with a
specialization in mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder and related issues
for both veterans and first responders.
? Provide greater education, counselling, and training for families who are
providing care and support to veterans living with physical and/or mental health
issues as a result of their service.
? End the time limit for surviving spouses to apply for vocational rehabilitation and
assistance services.
? Increase the veteran survivor’s pension amount from 50 percent to 70 percent.
? Eliminate the “marriage after 60” clawback clause, so that surviving spouses of
veterans receive appropriate pension and health benefits.
? Double funding to the Last Post Fund to ensure that all veterans receive a
dignified burial.
? Work with the Minister of National Defence to develop a suicide prevention
strategy for Canadian Armed Forces personnel and veterans.

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