OTTAWA – Cathy McLeod, Member of Parliament for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo rose in the House of Commons on Friday to congratulate all members from the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs regarding their recent unanimous report on the review of the New Veterans Charter.
“This was a bi-partisan, very rare unanimous report on the issues facing Canadian Veterans and their families,” said McLeod. “This report is the first step to ensuring that the New Veterans Charter continues to evolve in meeting veterans’ needs.”
The report entitled the New Veterans Charter: Moving Forward provided 14 recommendations for the federal government.
These included calling on the government to review the medical release process in the Canadian Armed Forces so veterans will have a smooth transition when they arrive at Veterans Affairs; enshrine the Veterans Bill of Rights into legislation, giving it the full force of law; to streamline programs; review the Disability Award and expand programs for veterans’ families.
In the words of the committee members, they recognized that the majority of Canadian veterans and their families are well served under the New Veterans Charter. However, as a government and as a country we must remain focused to help those who fall through the cracks.
There are approximately 700,000 veterans living in Canada of which approximately 140,000 are in receipt of a benefit. The New Veterans Charter is a living document, meaning it is continually being updated and revised.
“I believe that this bi-partisan committee report will help move things forward, so we are confident we are doing the best we can for our injured veterans and their families. I personally will be pushing our government to act as soon as possible to implement the recommendations as fully as possible,” concluded McLeod.