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Minister Fantino Underlines Government's Commitment to Move Forward for Veterans

Veterans Affairs Minister addresses the Dominion Executive Council of the Royal Canadian Legion

KANATA, ON, Feb. 22, 2014 /CNW/ - Reference: N14015E

This evening, the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, delivered the keynote address before members of the Dominion Executive Council of the Royal Canadian Legion at their annual Legion President's Dinner.

Minister Fantino took the occasion to give members of the Council an update on the Government's efforts and commitment to streamline and simplify programs and services to better serve Veterans and their families. He seized the opportunity to present some of the recent initiatives taken by the Government, including the current parliamentary review of the New Veterans Charter, priority-hiring measures for Veterans and new commitments undertaken in Economic Action Plan 2014.

Minister Fantino also highlighted the ways that the Royal Canadian Legion works with Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) to support those who served. Collaborative work is done through the Legion's national network of trained volunteers who, through a contract agreement, reach out to Veterans in long-term facilities across Canada, and through the Legion Service Bureau, a national network of professional service officers which is empowered through legislation to assist Veterans and their families in getting access to VAC benefits and programs.

The Minister also spoke on the importance of remembering Veterans' achievements and highlighted the Government's commitment to commemorate many important anniversaries in our nation's military history in 2014, including the100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War.

Quick Facts

  • Since the New Veterans Charter was implemented in 2006, the Government has invested almost $4.7 billion in additional funding to further broaden and improve programs and services for Veterans.
  • Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government proposes $108.2 million over three years, starting in 2013-14, to expand eligibility for the Funeral and Burial Program to ensure that modern-day Veterans of modest means have access to a dignified funeral and burial.
  • The Government is proposing changes to the Public Service Employment Act to enhance employment opportunities in the federal public service for Veterans.
  • Through the Long-Term Care Outreach and Visitation Initiative, an arrangement with Veterans Affairs Canada, Royal Canadian Legion volunteers visit up to 1,630 facilities across the country to have conversations and make social visits with Veterans. By tapping into the Legion's national network of volunteers, the Government of Canada is able to ensure a broader reach in maintaining contact with Veterans.

Quotes
"Ensuring Canadian Veterans and their families have the support they need, when and where they need it, remains a top priority with the Government of Canada. I am proud to work with the Royal Canadian Legion, an organization that has been integral part of our national fabric for nearly nine decades. Together, we are moving forward to continue improving the support we give to Canada's Veterans."

The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs

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SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada

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