MP REPORT: Veteran support grows

Colin Mayes provides details on programs available for veterans

The throne speech once again echoed our government’s commitment to stand by our men and women in the Canadian Forces.

Since becoming government in 2006, we have invested in the equipment needed by the Canadian Forces so that they can do their job to protect our security and freedom domestically, as well as on the international stage.

Our government has also dramatically increased direct support to our veterans.  Since 2006, new investments include almost $4.7 billion in new funding to enhance benefits, programs and services for veterans and their families.

While 90 per cent of veterans come home without any need from Veterans Affairs, not all veterans make a smooth transition and some become at-risk or homeless. Our government is dedicated to helping ensure that all of our veterans get the assistance they need to make a smooth transition to civilian life.

The Helmets to Hard Hats program assists veterans in finding jobs and in receiving the training they need for the jobs of today.

Veterans that have incurred injuries in the line of duty have also seen their support increased. One of the benefits include income replacement that ensures their annual income does not fall below 75 per cent of their pre-release military income with the minimum pre-tax salary set at $42,426.

There is also an additional monthly financial benefit of up to $1,709.27 for those that have lost job opportunities because of severe injuries.  There is also a one-time tax-free award for injuries up to a maximum of $298,587.97.

Our government understands that dollars simply are not enough. The programs and services available to veterans and their families need to be easy to access, which is why we have made cutting red tape and streamlining access to these important programs a priority. We have also streamlined reimbursements and payment procedures so veterans do receive the support they need in a timely fashion.

Remembering our veterans is, to our government, not a one day event; it is an everyday commitment to honour those that serve our nation and we will never forget.