The Prime Minister is not taking seriously the sacred obligation to our veterans. This Conservative government has repeatedly failed those who have served our country and their families. The facts are clear:
• Almost 1,000 Veterans Affairs staff cut by the Conservatives since 2008 – that’s nearly a quarter of the department’s workforce that is supposed to support our veterans.
• Nine veterans’ service centres closed, while the Conservatives continue to tell our veterans and Canadian Armed Forces that they are enhancing services.
• $1.13 billion unspent by Veterans Affairs since Mr. Harper took office – money that was supposed to fund services for our veterans and their families.
• Urgently needed funding for veterans’ mental health services stretched out over the next 50 years – not six, as veterans were told by Conservative Ministers.
• One in five veterans forced to wait more than eight months for help from this government, as the Auditor General revealed last week. He even concluded that Veterans Affairs is largely unconcerned with “how well veterans are being served and whether programs are making a difference in their lives.”
• Promising to hire 54 mental health professionals for our Canadian Armed Forces, but two years later, nearly half of the positions remain unfilled. The military had a solution, but the Conservatives said no.
We have a social covenant with those who serve and their families. Liberals’ priority is ensuring that our Canadian Armed Forces and veterans have nothing less than the best of care and support from a grateful nation.