|Supporting Veterans and their Families|
September 19, 2010 -- The Government of Canada will take concrete action to deliver improvements in support and care for our Veterans and their families.
The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackbun, Minister of Veterans Affairs and the Honourable Peter Mackay, Minister of National Defence, today announced that announced increased financial support for seriously injured Veterans, enhanced monthly income for severely injured Veterans who are unable to return to work, and a boost to the minimum annual income for Veterans released at lower salary levels. Minister Blackburn announced his intention to propose amendments to improve the Veterans Charter this fall.
"We have been listening to our Veterans and their families, and we are determined to do whatever it takes to serve them as they have served Canada and all Canadians with courage and distinction," said Minister Blackburn. "While we have already made sweeping changes to our programs, our services and our benefits, we recognize that more needs to be done. These new measures will make a real difference in the lives of our nation's heroes."
"Our men and women in uniform need to know that their government is dedicated to supporting them during and following their service to Canada," said Minister MacKay. "This government is listening to their concerns and taking the steps necessary to address the changing needs of Canadian Forces personnel, Veterans and their families. These new measures will help us reach that goal."
"Canadians feel strongly that we have a duty to care for our veterans who have served our country so admirably," said MP David Sweet, who attended the announcement in Ottawa on Sunday afternoon. "I'm pleased that the government has acted on the recommendations that we on the House of Commons Veterans Affairs Committee made in June," said Sweet, referring to the report of the parliamentary committee he chairs which heard testimony from veterans, the veterans’ ombudsman and experts to form the basis of a report with 18 recommendations.
The new measures will remove eligibility barriers and increase the monthly financial support already available to severely injured Veterans that cannot return to work. As well, they will increase income support for those released from lower salaries. The new measures are expected to benefit more than 4,000 Veterans over the course of the next five years and will very much improve their quality of life.
Today's announcement would provide a total of $ 2 billion to ensure that Veterans who have been seriously injured in the service of Canada have access to the support they deserve. The proposed improvements are as follows:
Details of the proposed changes can be found in the attached backgrounder. For more information on Veterans Affairs Canada's programs and services visit www.vac-acc.gc.ca.
For information on Veterans' Week 2010, please visit www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=feature/week2010.