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MP's Report: Harper government has increased support for Canada's veterans

MP says Tories are commited to brave men and women who have served
kerry-lynne findlay
Delta-Richmond East MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay

As Nov. 11 quickly approaches and Canadians from coast to coast to coast come together to remember the service and the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some of the work our government has done to support these brave men and women and to correct the record on some misinformation circulating in the media.

Since 2006, our government has increased the Veterans Affairs Canada budget by 25 per cent over its 2005 level, the last year of the previous Liberal government. The total new investment in rehabilitation, re-training, and medical and financial benefits is almost

$5 billion.

This substantial investment is part of our commitment to ensuring that our veterans receive the very best care and attention in the years following their service to our country.

Part of this investment also means improving the way front-line services such as case management and medical services are delivered. Through our government's programs, case managers and registered nurses visit veterans in their homes, saving them the time and expense of travelling to their closest district office. Case-managed veterans will continue to receive the same high level of care they are accustomed to and this will not change.

Beyond the many channels of support we make available, we have also made dramatic improvements - and will continue to strive for enhancements - to ensure the tools and assistance relied upon by Canada's veterans remain as effective, efficient and accessible as possible.

In fact, the veterans ombudsman himself noted that changes brought forward in 2011 by our government have had a "positive effect." We have incorporated nearly 160 recommendations that were the result of our government's wide consultation on how to improve the New Veterans Charter to best support Canadian veterans.

In particular, we have made it easier for veterans to qualify for monthly financial support such as the Permanent Impairment Allowance (PIA) and Personal Impairment Allowance Supplement, which together total a maximum amount of $2,700 per month.

Furthermore, the changes made by our government allow for veterans to have increased choice when it comes to the disability award: they can either receive a one-time payment, an annual installment over a number of years or a combination of these two payment options.

Our government believes veterans are remarkable individuals who have made important contributions to Canada. They have stood up in the face of tyranny, and stood firm in the defence of Canada. We understand the views of the veterans community, and our government will continue to do what is right by them.

We will continue to seek to fully pay homage to the depth and sacrifice of Canada's veterans, to provide them with the support they need to lead successful lives beyond their service in uniform and to preserve their memory for generations to come.