Denial of Funeral Help for Veterans a National Disgrace

As Veterans’ Week begins, Conservatives continue to fail low-income veterans, their families

LONDON – At the beginning of Veterans’ Week, MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) is joining with fellow New Democrat MPs to denounce the cavalier manner in which the Conservative government treats those who have bravely served our country .

Last weekend, it was revealed that nearly 70 percent of applications for financial help to bury homeless or low-income veterans are rejected by the Conservative government.

“As a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, as one of the MPs who represented Canada at Vimy Ridge earlier this year, as a recently inducted member of the Royal Canadian Legion, and most importantly as a proud and grateful Canadian, this revelation shocked and disgusted me,” said Mathyssen. “It is a national disgrace; there is simply no other way to describe it. This Conservative government is quick to wrap itself in the flag, but fails our veterans regularly. I have worked with local veterans groups pretty well since the first day I was elected. They ask for very little in return for what they have given, but apparently even the dignity of a respectful funeral is too much to ask of this government”.

This latest report just adds to the many embarrassing failures from the Conservatives on the Veterans Affairs file, from debilitating red tape, to failing to transition ill and injured personnel to civilian life, to denying post Korean War veterans long term care beds, to harmful budget cuts.

 “When it comes to veterans, the Conservatives promise them so much and deliver so little,” said NDP Veterans critic Peter Stoffer (Sackville—Eastern Shore). “Military and RCMP personnel have the unlimited liability and we in Parliament have the ultimate responsibility to them and their families’ needs, all the way to and including the headstone.”

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