Motion for veterans passes unanimously in House of Commons

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns says motion could mean up to $124 million per year

Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP Gord Johns speaks up in the federal House of Commons in Ottawa. PHOTO COURTESY GORD JOHNS

A motion to reallocate unspent funding for Canada’s veterans passed unanimously in the House of Commons today.

Courtenay-Alberni MP and NDP Veterans Affairs Critic Gord Johns tabled a motion on Monday to reallocate the federal government’s lapsed funding to improve services and benefits for Canadian veterans. Johns stood before the House of Commons and asked the federal government to “make use of this lapsed spending so that veterans get the services they need.”

While backlogs have been growing for veterans seeking disability, he said, $372 million has been left unspent in Veterans Affairs.

“This government is failing our veterans, meeting just 12 of its 24 self-identified service standards, and have not hired the caseworkers they promised,” he added.

The NDP’s motion says that the government must automatically carry forward all annual lapsed spending to the next fiscal year in order to improve services for Canadian veterans until the department meets these 24 service standards. The measure could mean up to $124 million per year to improve services at Veterans Affairs Canada, said Johns.

The motion received unanimous support, but John says there is still 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,” said Johns in a later release. “This, on top of the fact that Liberals are trying to reduce pension benefits to some veterans. Canada’s veterans deserve better.”

READ: Feds promise $165 million in compensation after shortchanging 270,000 veterans

Since Johns was appointed the NDP Veteran Affairs critic in February of this year, he has travelled to different communities in his riding to speak to and hear personally from Canadian veterans.

READ: Gord Johns hears veterans issues in Courtenay-Alberni riding

“Passing this motion today is a victory for veterans,” Johns said on Tuesday. “But any lapsed spending is only the tip of the iceberg.”

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Helping with Christmas bird count is ‘citizen science’

Port Alberni’s bird count will be Dec. 28, 2019; volunteers are needed

BUDGET 2020: Port Alberni Fire Department needs new equipment

Police services ask for funding for community policing office

Child care sector feels the squeeze in Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District

There are five children for every licensed child care space in the ACRD

Alberni Valley Community Forest manager hosts open house

More trails registered in community forest

EDITORIAL: We all have a say in Port Alberni’s annual budget

The City of Port Alberni released its proposed five-year financial plan for 2020-2024…

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

Most Read