New Veterans Charter

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I Want To Hear From All Veterans, Even If They're Mad At Me

I want to thank Bruce Moncur for his piece, "Trudeau's Liberals Anything But Sunny Ways For Veterans," and for attending Veterans Affairs Canada's (VAC) stakeholder summit on May 9 to 10. To date, it was the department's largest and best-attended, and he made some invaluable contributions both as a member of the greater assembly and individually when we had an opportunity to speak one-on-one during a lunch break. Bruce points out in his piece that Budget 2016 did not include all of the items in the mandate letter I received from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when I took office as minister of veterans affairs in November 2015. He's right.
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Stephen Harper's Conservatives Have Made Veterans a Priority

Most veterans joined the Forces between the ages of 18 and 22 and serve a large portion of their adult lives in uniform. When they leave the military, they are leaving behind comrades who continue to serve Canada, so it is a priority for them to see that the military has the equipment and support it needs. Probably the largest reason why many veterans support the Conservative Party is because they have seen both the equipment and morale improve dramatically under Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The last Liberal government hollowed out the military during the "Decade of Darkness." From used submarines to the dated green uniforms for Afghanistan, the Liberals did not make a properly equipped military a priority.
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Soldiers Commit Suicide Because of Invisible Wounds

In seven days, Canada lost four soldiers to suicide. They died of despair. Suffering mental wounds from their service, able to foresee the end of their careers but unable to see how they could survive after, they succumbed to their injuries and took their own lives. We might give it fancy clinical names, like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or Operational Stress Injury, but that doesn't change the condition: broken mind.
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A Veteran Responds to the Minister's "Facts"

I hadn't planned on posting any sort of response to the Minister, as I've found it's best not to favour such accusations with comment. However, one of those individuals I referenced in my article wants to respond to the Minister's "corrections and clarifications" regarding how the Conservatives are supporting veterans.
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How the Throne Speech Buried Veterans

For Canada's veterans the Throne Speech was a big flop. It devoted a total of 10 sentences to vets, and only two of them said anything about Harper's plans. The other six were self-congratulatory backslapping: meaningless rhetoric from a government which appears to think supporting veterans is as simple as saying those words over and over.
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Disabled Vets Left In Poverty: Report

OTTAWA - The federal government must be prodded to continue making improvements to its so-called veterans charter to ensure vulnerable former soldiers aren't left living in poverty, Canada's veterans...
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Disabled Vets Could Be Out In The Cold

OTTAWA - Some of the country's most severely disabled soldiers will take a major financial hit once they arrive at old age and risk living out their final years in near-poverty, Canada's veterans ombu...
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Afghanistan War Vets Sue Feds

VANCOUVER - A group of Afghanistan war veterans has filed a class-action lawsuit against the federal government, saying the disability payment regime under the New Veterans Charter violates their huma...