Minister of Veterans Affairs lets $136 Million in Veterans Funding Lapse


Mr. Sylvain Chicoine (Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, NDP):  

    Mr. Speaker, what a lack of class and transparency.

    When we ask the Minister of Veterans Affairs what is taking him so long to implement the committee's 14 recommendations on the new veterans charter, he vaguely says he is working on it.

    The report was tabled in the House six months ago, and all the parties agreed on the aspects of the charter that need to be improved. Veterans and their families cannot wait any longer.

    When will the minister implement the committee's recommendations?

  Mr. Parm Gill (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, CPC):  

    Mr. Speaker, we have been perfectly clear that our government agrees with the spirit and the intent of the vast majority of the committee's recommendations. Our response was positive. In fact, we implemented several recommendations right away. We are getting down to work by removing the red tape identified by the committee, making things better for Canada's veterans. We will continue working hard on behalf of Canada's veterans and their families.

  Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):  

    Actually, Mr. Speaker, we learned from yesterday's departmental performance report that the Minister of Veterans Affairs let $136 million in funding lapse last year. This is entirely due to the minister's failure to act on behalf of our veterans. We also saw the poor response from the minister to the all-party report on Veterans Affairs and the veterans charter.

    We ask again. When will these unanimous recommendations be fully implemented?