Author Topic: Media Release - Last Post Fund Improvements Welcome, But Veterans Still Deserve  (Read 1219 times)

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Mike Blais

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Dear Mr. Blais,

Please see the release below from MP Judy on how veterans deserve more than Budget 2014.


Re: Media Release - Last Post Fund Improvements Welcome, But Veterans Still Deserve More

> From: Foote, Judy - M.P.
> Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 06:35 PM
> To: Foote, Judy - M.P.
> Subject: Media Release - Last Post Fund Improvements Welcome, But Veterans Still Deserve More

> Good evening,

> Attached and below please find a media release on behalf of MP Judy Foote, discussing recent improvements to the Last Post Fund, and the need for the Harper government to do more to assist veterans.

> Take care,

> Gregory Kolz
> Executive Assistant
> Office of Judy M. Foote, M.P.
> Random-Burin-St. George's
> Phone: (613) 992-8655
> Fax: (613) 992-5324

> <image003.png>
> Judy Foote, M.P.
> Random-Burin-St. George’s


> February 12, 2014

>                 Prior to Budget 2013, Judy Foote, Member of Parliament for Random-Burin-St. George’s, introduced a private member’s motion (M-422) which called on the Harper government to improve the Last Post Fund.  While the government chose to vote against the motion at that time, Foote is pleased the pressure that has been put on the government to do the right thing for veterans has resulted in improvements to the Last Post Fund.  The recent federal budget included expanded eligibility for Veterans Affairs Canada’s Funeral and Burial Program to ensure modern-day veterans of modest means have access to a dignified funeral and burial.

> “When I introduced my motion, with the support of the Royal Canadian Legion, the goal was to encourage the government to not only increase funding, but also broaden eligibility requirements for the Last Post Fund, so that families of veterans receive the assistance they require to provide a proper funeral and burial when their loved one passes away,” said Foote.  “In Budget 2013, the government did increase the amount available to families for the funeral of a veteran, but didn’t expand on the eligibility requirements.  In Budget 2014, they have committed to improving accessibility to the program which was another request in my private member’s motion.  Needless to say, I am pleased for our modern day veterans and their families at this outcome.”

> According to Foote, “From 2006-2012, over 66 percent of applications to the Last Post Fund were rejected.  This meant 20,147 veterans’ families were denied financial support for funeral and burial costs, which is completely unacceptable.  The Harper government had an opportunity to address this atrocity nearly a year ago when I introduced M-422 in the House of Commons, but chose not to.  If they had supported my motion, more veterans and their families would have received help during a difficult time.  The Conservatives were the only members of Parliament to vote against my motion.  M-422 also called on the government to review and modernize the means-tested standard applied to the Last Post Fund that currently excludes many veterans.  The goal was to adjust the qualification standard so that more veterans and their families could access the Last Post Fund, which is something the Harper government still has not committed to do.”

> Foote says there is still work to be done and the fact the past two budgets included improvements to the Last Post Fund proves the pressure being brought to bear on the Harper government has been effective, and must be sustained.

> “Despite the improvements to the Last Post Fund, in addition to closing nine regional Veterans Affairs offices, including one in Corner Brook, NL, the Harper government also plans to cut 781 employees by 2014-2015, which amounts to 22% of the Veterans Affairs Canada workforce,” said Foote.  “Liberals firmly oppose these cuts, and will continue to press the Conservatives to reverse these harmful decisions.  While the Harper government continues to callously cut services from our veterans, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has committed a Liberal government will reopen these nine regional offices.”

> - 30 -
> For more information, please contact:

> Judy Foote, M.P.
> (709) 832-1383
> <Media Release - VAC Funeral and Burial Program - 02 12 14 FINAL.docx>