Standing up for our veterans

Dear Fin Donnelly,

I am a constituent of yours in your Coquitlam riding. I am a veteran and a member of the NATO Veterans Organization of Canada.

I am extremely disappointed with the present governments/PCO intentions regarding their own House of Commons Standing Committee report on the New Veterans Charter titled: The New Veterans Charter: Moving Forward. The report of the House Standing Committee on Veterans Affairscontained 14 recommendations. Recommendations which had the backing of all members of three parties on the committee. 

The intention to not implement the recommendations as stated in the October 1 report tabled to the House of Commons by the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Julian Fantino, grieves me. The government has to demonstrate leadership and caring and the only way to do this is to act on these recommendations now.

The introduction of the New Veterans Charter in 2006 has created more studies, produced more paper and caused more anger and outrage within the veterans’ community than any other piece of legislation in the history of the Canadian Military. The long awaited announcement in parliament prepared by the Government/PCO on October 1st did nothing more than perpetuate and exacerbate this anger. 

I urge you to use your influence to have these recommendations addressed. It is time to choose between fiscal restraint and necessary changes for Canada’s veterans.

Sincerely,

Raymond B. Squirrell

October 21, 2014

===

Dear Mr. Squirrell,

First off let me express my sincere thanks for your service to our country. And thank you for writing to me with your concerns regarding the Federal government’s decision not to implement the recommendations for the New Veterans Charter.

With this response, the federal government is delaying and denying much needed improvements for injured veterans and their families. Recommendations which as you mentioned had the unanimous backing from all three parties on the Committee.

My colleague Veterans Affairs critic Peter Stoffer spoke out immediately after the Federal government’s decision was made on October 1st. Stoffer noted that the Committee’s recommendations would require an increase in financial and human resources, and it is simply not correct for the federal government to say changes can be met within existing budgets of Veterans Affairs and National Defense. The federal government has chosen not to prioritize the health and well-being of Canada’s veterans.

New Democrats would review, improve, and update the entire New Veterans Charter (NVC) from top to bottom including the issue of lump-sum payments, earnings loss, support for families, attendant allowance for caregivers, education assistance, career transition, death benefits, and benefits after age 65. You can read in greater detail the NDP’s policy paper on veterans which I have attached to this email.

I along with my colleagues in the NDP will continue to stand up for veterans in the House of Commons. I encourage you to email Minister Fantino at minister_ministre@vac-acc.gc.ca to call on the Federal government to immediately implement these much needed changes.

Sincerely,

Fin Donnelly, MP

October 29, 2014