Committees of the House

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for the question. I know of her passion for our veterans and on these issues.

As I said in my remarks, the report that came before the last session of Parliament ended, in the spring, produced 14 unanimous recommendations. Many of them are good ones. Many came from the more than 50 witnesses who appeared from across the country at the veterans affairs committee.

We have already moved on four of them. I spoke about the most important one, which is to make sure that a medical condition is stabilized and some basic veteran case management setup is done before someone is transitioned out of uniform.

However, there are other important ones. We have already indicated that we will move forward on adding a construction clause and bill of rights into the new veterans charter, in terms of a veterans bill of rights. We are already looking to harmonize the new veterans charter and SISIP and to do that better. That would eliminate some duplication and probably provide more benefits to more veterans.

Another important thing is that we will provide more direct financial support and training for home-based caregivers. These are usually the partners of the veterans. I have seen them first-hand, become the primary support both mentally and physically for veterans who are recovering. There will be more financial support for the families in that regard.

We have said, clearly, that we will review the disability award process to make sure it is robust and provides what is needed. The one thing that is often overlooked in terms of the disability award upfront is the fact that a lot of people do not talk about the suites of benefits that also follow, in some cases, for life. We have to look at the care of veterans over their lifetime. This is not comparing someone’s situation to a workplace accident or a car accident. There is a suite of care for our veterans, so there is an upfront payment to help with that transition, but we have to look at the totality.

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