Victory for veterans: Commons votes for NDP motion

OTTAWA – On Tuesday, the NDP motion calling on the Liberal government to reallocate the hundreds of millions of dollars in lapsed funding to improve services and benefits for Canadian veterans, passed the House of Commons with all-party support. 
 
“Today is a victory for veterans across Canada who have risked everything for us but have not been getting the respect or the services they deserve,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. “As we remember their sacrifices, New Democrats will continue to push this government to deliver the services and benefits veterans deserve.”

Stephen Harper's Conservative government made massive cuts in veterans' services and benefits. The Liberal government has been unable to spend the budgeted amounts for veterans while at the same time their own reporting shows they are failing to meet half of the 24 service standards for veterans. In the 2016 budget year Liberals underspent $80.9 million for Veterans Affairs, in 2017 they left $143 million on the table, and in 2018 budget year they let $148.6 million in spending lapse.
 
“Now that this NDP motion has passed with overwhelming support, we’ve forced the government to commit to spend all allocated funds for veterans to improve much-needed services,” said NDP Veterans Critic, Gord Johns. “But there’s more to do. Just this week we’ve seen that veterans were denied benefits because of an accounting error, and the Liberals will make them wait two more years before they fix it. This, on top of the fact that Liberals are trying to reduce pension benefits to some veterans. Canada’s Veterans deserve better.”

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