OTTAWA, ON – The Hon. Erin O'Toole, Leader of Canada's Conservatives and of the Official Opposition, today released the following statement recognizing the sacrifice of all who served and those who continue to serve Canada:
"This year, Remembrance Day may look a little different from what we're used to. COVID-19 has majorly impacted our country, but our ability and our commitment to remember the service and sacrifice of our fellow Canadians remain strong.
"Reflection, remembrance, and respect – these are not actions that can only happen during parades or at cenotaphs. They are emotional acts we will uphold during a year when Canadians have dedicated themselves to adapting and persevering through these challenging times.
"It is our duty and privilege to remember and honour the fallen sons and daughters of Canada.
"For those in the military, these are the friends that you trust your life with, the comrades you laugh loudest with, and the brothers and sisters you love and hope desperately to safely return home with.
"I know there are Veterans across Canada who have made it home with invisible wounds of service – know you are not alone. To the families missing someone around the table – know their sacrifice will never be forgotten.
"Today, my family and I are grateful as we commemorate the brave women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces who fought for our freedom and our great nation.
"Lest we forget their sacrifice."
New Military Covenant will clear backlog for Veterans’ benefits within 24 months
Canadian Veterans struggling with months-long waits for pensions and benefits can count on a new Conservative government to take immediate action to get them the support they deserve.
Andrew Scheer, leader of Canada’s Conservatives, announced a comprehensive plan today to deliver more help to Canada’s Veterans in a timely and respectful manner.
“To every Veteran who has struggled and who continues to struggle without the support and benefits you have earned through your service, my message is this: You deserve better. After October 21, we are going to make things better,” Scheer said. “Instead of forcing Veterans to work harder for government benefits, it’s time the government worked harder for our Veterans’ benefit. It’s time for a government that works harder for you; it’s time for you to get ahead.”
Scheer highlighted that a new Conservative government will:
- Enshrine, in legislation, a Military Covenant between the Government of Canada and all Canada’s Veterans. This will guarantee that every Veteran is treated with respect and is provided services in a timely manner.
- Clear the current backlog of Veterans’ benefit applications within 24 months.
- Create a reliable, dependable pension system that, unlike the Liberal status quo, is fair to Canada’s most disabled Veterans.
- Strengthen transition services to support discharged or retired Canadian Armed Forces members.
- Strike an independent inquiry to provide answers about Canadian Armed Forces members who were administered mefloquine.
- Provide more service dogs to Canadian Veterans in their communities.
- Put vital commemoration projects, like the National Memorial for Canada’s War in Afghanistan, back on track.
“These actions are simple, straightforward, and practical,” said Scheer. “They require new investment from a new government, but even more importantly, they require new priorities. Our military heroes are deserving. Our military heroes are worth it.”
In 2015, Justin Trudeau promised that no Veteran would have to “fight the government for the support and compensation they have earned.” Yet under the Trudeau Liberals the number of Veterans left stranded on government waitlists had ballooned to 40,000 – a growth of over 33 per cent. Worst of all, Trudeau continues to fight Veterans in court, and has dismissed their concerns saying, “They’re asking for more than we are able to give.”
“Justin Trudeau never turned back SNC-Lavalin’s lobbyists or claimed they were ‘asking for more than he was able give’,” said Scheer. “When corporate lobbyists get the red carpet while Veterans get left out in the cold, it’s proof that Justin Trudeau is not as advertised.”
“To our Veterans, whether you are among the vanishing generations of heroes who served in World War II and the Korean War, or whether you are one of the heroes of Afghanistan or conflict zones around the world, you deserve our gratitude,” said Scheer.
“When we look out for our Veterans, we are looking out for the people who dedicated their lives to looking out for us. It’s time for government that will stand up for our Veterans. It’s time for a Conservative government that will help you get ahead.”
Independent Parliamentary Budget Officer Costing: