Veterans deserve better from Veterans Affairs

News that veterans of today and yesteryear are being shortchanged when it comes to benefits and funeral expenses by the department that’s supposed to care for them has to be infuriating to most Canadians.

News that veterans of today and yesteryear are being shortchanged when it comes to benefits and funeral expenses by the department that’s supposed to care for them has to be infuriating to most Canadians. Why is it then there hasn’t been so much as a whimper?

In a news release late last week, the Royal Canadian Legion said Veterans Affairs is being too stingy when it comes to funeral benefits.

It says that members of the Canadian Forces killed in active duty receive about $12,500 from National Defence to cover funeral costs, but veterans of the Second World War and Korea only get about $3,600 from Veterans Affairs while most won’t receive this amount because what’s provided is based on need.

On Friday, longtime veterans’ advocate and Nova Scotia NDP MP Peter Stoffer again called for an inquiry into VAC saying he is hearing more stories about the behaviour of the department and the government itself.

An inquiry would determine why the department is not improving services and programs for veterans and why confidential medical information was shared by bureaucrats, cabinet ministers and staff.

We are quickly coming to the time of year when all Canadians pause to remember those who laid down their lives and served their country so we might be free.

Each November veterans go into the classrooms of Canada to urge young Canadians to remember their sacrifice. These veterans are all too cognizant they are losing the battle against time and they know that time is coming when there will be none of them left to tell the story.

Unfortunately, those who have the power to make sure they live out their lives in dignity and with respect are not listening. Why is it that those who have the ability to do something to improve the life of these brave men and women seem to have forgotten the past? Maybe it’s them who need the history lesson.

From the Amherst Daily News