North Island-Powell River MP, Rachel Blaney, continues to challenge the federal government on veterans’ funding.
Blaney, who is the NDP Critic for Veterans, recently pointed out that in 2018, an NDP motion received unanimous support to automatically carry forward unspent dollars for veterans to the next fiscal year.
During Question Period yesterday, Blaney drove her point home, that the government “short-changed veterans” to the tune of $381 million.
“While the department is facing staggering backlogs of disability claims and failing on more than half of their service standards, veterans are struggling to get their basic needs met.”
Blaney asked why the government is “breaking promises to our veterans.”
Minister of Veterans Affairs, Lawrence MacAulay, responded by saying that benefits are “demand-driven.”
“This means the money is always there for veterans,” he said. “We’re not leaving any money unspent. We are making sure the money is always available. In Veterans Affairs, our job is to improve our benefits and care for our veterans. I can assure my honourable colleague, that’s what we’re doing and that’s what we’ll continue to do.”
Blaney said the Liberals have allowed nearly $500 million to lapse at VAC since they came to power in 2015.