Ottawa — Today, New Democrat Veterans critic Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) introduced two bills supporting Canadian Forces (CF) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) veterans and their families.   The bills, if passed, will provide much needed financial supports.

“We ask our men and women in uniform to put their lives on the line to protect citizens here in Canada and around the world” said Mathyssen.  “They made a commitment to Canada and when they retire we owe them a debt of gratitude.  It is only right that we ensure veterans and their families are financially supported.”

The first bill will ensure that any disability pensions received by an RCMP or CF veteran would not be clawed back once the veteran reaches the age of 65 and starts collecting CPP or similar provincial plan.

“It is so important that our veterans get the financial support they need,” said Mathyssen. “Clawing back disability benefits once a veteran starts collecting CPP is an outrage. These men and women are injured and disabled due to their service and that disability continues when they start collecting CPP.  The financial and other impacts still exist and they should continue to receive that support.”

Veterans’ families receive an allowance after the veteran passes away.   The veterans spouse (or survivor) or dependent children are provided an allowance, the second bill raises the amount of money received to 70% of the veteran’s allowance or annuity.

“Many veterans’ families are forced to give up their own carriers to support the veteran” said Mathyssen.  “It can be during the veteran’s service when they are moved from city to city making it difficult for spouses to establish themselves in a career.  Or a spouse may give up work to care for an injured veteran.  It is important that supports remain in place for the spouse and family after the veteran passes away.  This bill provides much needed additional financial support to families of veterans.”