Legion Welcomes New Minister of Veterans Affairs
The Royal Canadian Legion welcomes he announcement of a new Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada, and hopes this move will bring better action from the current government to the issues facing Veterans and their families.
"This is a political move and we will not concern ourselves with the reasons behind it," says Tom Eagles, Dominion President of The Royal Canadian Legion. "Regardless of whom the Minister is at any given time, the Legion will continue its advocacy to ensure Veterans and their families are cared for. This is always the number one concern of the Legion," adds Eagles.
The Royal Canadian Legion will look forward to meeting with Mr. Erin O'Toole, the new Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada, to discuss the long list of items it has been pushing this government for action on in 2014. Most immediately, the government is to respond to the ACVA report and the actions it has taken to date by 30 January. The Legion is looking for direction from the government on what steps it will take to ensure all of the recommendations from this report are carried out.
The Legion has been strident in its efforts to push three specific areas of concern to Veterans: 1. The Earning Loss Benefit (ELB) must be improved to provide 100% of pre-release income, continue for life, and include increases for projected career earnings for a Canadian Armed Forces member;
2. The maximum disability award must be increased consistent with what is provided to injured civilian workers who received general damages in law court; and
3. The current inequity with regards to ELB for Class A and Class B (less than 180 days) Reservists for service attributed injuries must cease.
"The Legion has great expectations that this government and all political parties will put the past behind, and move forward to create an environment where Veterans know that this country's obligation to care for them when they need it will be met," says Eagles. "Given the outpouring of support Veterans saw this past Remembrance Day, the Legion expects all Canadians will want their government to embrace whatever needs to be done to care for our Veterans now and in the future."