Stand­ing up for Canada’s veter­ans

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION -

Our Con­ser­va­tive government has made his­toric in­vest­ments to im­prove the care and ser­vices avail­able to Canada’s veter­ans. We are work­ing to cut red tape, and mod­ern­iz­ing the de­part­ment to re­duce spend­ing on ad­min­is­tra­tion and to de­liver the high­est qual­ity and amount of ser­vices and ben­e­fits to veter­ans.

Canada’s Funeral and Burial Pro­gram, as ad­min­is­tered by the Last Post Fund, is de­signed to as­sist the fam­i­lies of veter­ans with the cost of a funeral, and since 2006, the fam­i­lies of ap­prox­i­mately 10,000 veter­ans have ben­e­fited from it. As a stan­dalone, Canada’s pro­gram cov­ers the full cost of a burial for a veteran and helps with the cost of the funeral. To­gether, th­ese amounts pro­vide an av­er­age of $7,000 to $10,000 for the fam­i­lies of veter­ans who could not oth­er­wise af­ford it.

Canada’s pro­gram is among the best in the world and we con­tinue to look for ways to im­prove all of our pro­grams and ser­vices, in­clud­ing the funeral and burial pro­gram, in a chal- leng­ing fis­cal cli­mate.

It is worth not­ing that it was our government that ex­panded the Veter­ans In­de­pen­dence Pro­gram to help the wid­ows of more than 38,000 veter­ans.

It was also our government that set the min­i­mum an­nual in­come for se­ri­ously in­jured veter­ans to $58,000, well above any­thing that was pro­vided be­fore.

In fact, since form­ing the government and guid­ing the coun­try through a pe­riod of fis­cal and eco­nomic re­straint, we have in­creased the bud­get of the de­part­ment by over 25 per cent.

Of our cur­rent bud­get, which ex­ceeds $3.5 bil­lion, over 90 per cent is spent in di­rect ben­e­fits and ser­vices for Canada’s veter­ans and their fam­i­lies.

Cana­di­ans can be con­fi­dent that our government is work­ing for and stand­ing up for veter­ans.

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