Re: “Legion presses for more funeral aid for vets,” Jan. 31.
Our Conservative government has made historic investments to improve the care and services available to Canada's veterans. We are working to cut red tape, and modernizing the department to reduce spending on administration and to deliver the highest quality and amount of services and benefits to veterans.
Canada's funeral and burial program, as administered by the Last Post Fund, is designed to assist the families of veterans with the cost of a funeral and since 2006, the families of about 10,000 veterans have benefited from it. As a standalone, Canada's program covers the full cost of a burial for a veteran and helps with the cost of the funeral. Together, these amounts provide an average of $7,000 to $10,000 for the families of veterans who could not otherwise afford it.
It is worth noting that it was our government that invested $282 million to expand the Veterans Independence Program to help veterans and surviving family members stay in their homes. It was also our government that invested $189 million to ensure a minimum annual income of $58,000 for seriously injured veterans.
In fact, since 2006 and through a period of fiscal and economic restraint, we have increased the budget of the department by more than 25 per cent. Of our current budget, which exceeds $3.5 billion, more than 90 per cent is spent in direct benefits and services for Canada’s Veterans and their families.
Minister of Veterans Affairs
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