AFTER a decade of neglect and disrespect from Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, Liberals are committed to delivering the future we owe our veterans, said federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in Belleville, Ontario, on Monday.
“For 10 years, Stephen Harper draped himself in the Canadian flag, then betrayed the men and women who fought for it,” said Trudeau. “Our servicemen and women, who have put their lives on the line for their country, stand for the very best of what it means to be Canadian. We have a social covenant with all veterans and their families – a sacred obligation we must meet with both respect and gratitude.”
A Liberal government will:
* re-establish lifelong pensions for our injured veterans, and increase the value of the disability award;
* invest $25 million to expand access to the Permanent Impairment Allowance;
* invest $40 million to increase the Earnings Loss Benefit to 90 percent of pre-release salary;
* invest $80 million per year to create a new Veterans Education Benefit that provides full support for the cost of up to four years of college, university, or technical education;
* invest $100 million per year to expand support for families of veterans;
* increase the veteran survivor’s pension amount from 50 percent to 70 percent;
* double funding to the Last Post Fund to ensure that veterans receive a dignified burial;
* re-open the nine Veterans Affairs service offices closed by the Harper Conservatives;
* fully implement all of the Auditor General’s recommendations on enhancing mental health service delivery to veterans;
* hire 400 new service delivery staff, including new case managers, at Veterans Affairs; and
budget $20 million to create two new centres of excellence in veterans’ care.
“A Liberal government will live up to our obligation to Canada’s veterans and their families,” said Trudeau. “We will demonstrate the respect and appreciation for our veterans that Canadians rightly expect, and ensure that no veteran has to fight the government for the support and compensation they have earned. Liberals will ensure that our veterans can look forward to the futures they rightly deserve.”