After a decade of neglect under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, the Liberal Party of Canada will give Canadian veterans the respect and the support that they have earned.
Our veterans are an example of the best of what it means to be Canadian. They freely chose to serve our country, sometimes at a high personal cost. Canadians understand and respect this, though for many of us it is something we see from a distance. Many Canadians don’t personally know anyone who is in the Armed Forces.
But for those who do serve, and for their families, military service is a source of pride. For some, service is a family tradition. This is how it is for my husband. He is a veteran, and the son and grandson of veterans. And recently our son has joined the Canadian Armed Forces, becoming the fourth generation to serve Canada in uniform. In addition to his father, grandfather, and great-grandfathers, he looks back on a family tree filled with uncles, great-uncles, cousins, and more who served this country, in peacetime and at war, in the Armed Forces.
Those who serve, who put their lives on the line for their country, deserve our respect and our appreciation. And when they need it, they deserve our help. The Harper government has not given veterans the respect, the appreciation, or the help they deserve. Stephen Harper is happy to conduct photo ops with soldiers, but when they return home, he turns his back on them. Under the Conservatives, support services for veterans have been reduced and are harder to access.
We have a social covenant with Canadian veterans – an obligation that absolutely must be met. A Liberal government will meet this obligation.
We will re-establish the option of a lifelong pension for veterans who have been injured while serving their country. We will expand access to income support for veterans with injuries that limit their career options. We will ensure a higher standard of service, with 400 new service delivery staff, re-opening the nine service offices the Conservatives closed. We will create two new centres of excellence in veteran’s care. We will implement the Auditor General’s recommendations on mental health services.
A Liberal government will fund up to four years of college, university or technical education for veterans after the completion of their service. We will invest $100 million to expand support for the families of veterans. And we will double funding for the Last Post Fund to ensure that every veteran receives a dignified burial, regardless of their financial means.
Veterans have spent too long fighting the Harper Conservatives for the support and compensation that they have earned. A Liberal government led by Justin Trudeau will ensure that veterans can look forward to the future they are owed by a grateful nation.
To learn more, read about The Future We Owe Our Veterans.