November 17, 2011: Remembering the Sacrifices of our Veterans.
Remembering the Sacrifices of our Veterans.
By Paul Dewar, MP, Ottawa Centre.
During November, we reflect on and commemorate the contributions made by our men and women in uniform. Their stories, experiences and sacrifices continue to serve as poignant reminders to us all of the human costs of armed conflict.
It’s imperative that our veterans are properly cared for and receive the community services that they need.
Last year on November 6, veterans across the country organized a National Day of Action to demand that the Conservative government take their concerns seriously. It’s the federal government’s responsibility to care for our veterans and it’s a sad day when they are forced to take to the streets to have their voices heard.
My New Democrat colleagues and I continue to demand a full public enquiry into the operations of Veterans Affairs Canada to understand why the department has failed to make improvements in the services and programs that veterans have been calling for.
We have also called for a review of all the files of veterans who have been denied disability benefits by the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB). So far, the government has failed to take any action on reforming this board, which they promised during the 2006 election. Many veterans lack confidence in this appeal body because numerous VRAB members are appointed through political connections and have little medical or military experience.
The Conservative government must take the care of our veterans seriously, and invest in transitional and supportive housing so that veterans’ transition back into civilian life is made easier.