You won’t find our hard-working MP for Sackville-Eastern Shore, Peter Stoffer, the NDP Veteran Affairs Critic on social media but if you are a veteran with a problem and contact him, don’t be surprised if he calls you back. He has never forgotten Canadian veterans who liberated his family during the Second World War, and has made their well-being his personal cause.
In the last few weeks there has been a flurry of announcements of the government’s intention to partially deal with 2 of 14 recommendations made by an all-party Commons committee last year to overhaul the Conservatives new Veterans Charter. When the Harper government finally table their next budget, let’s see if they make good on their promises.
The Veterans Charter short-changes recent veterans replacing their pensions with a lump sum payment. The Harper Government wants to transfer responsibility for veterans to the already overburdened provincial healthcare system. Our particular concerns are the veterans need for income support, help for their families, and injured and disabled veterans continuing need for specialized care.
The NDP wants one standard of treatment for all veterans: based on their illness, injury or disability, not when, where and how they served. We want equal treatment for injured reservists. The NDP will replace the politically appointed Veteran Review and Appeal Board with a medically qualified panel. We will end the claw backs of disability pensions, and won’t phase out the veterans long term care program. The NDP will also support the transition of medically released personnel to civilian life.
The NDP plan, Fair Treatment for Canada’s Canadian Forces and RCMP Veterans and their Families is our commitment to honour our serving men and women and to ensure they are never forgotten.