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View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you very much, and thank you to our witnesses.
I have not heard a single MP around this table or a single MP in the House of Commons limit future initiatives. I have just not heard anyone give any indication whatsoever that once this legislation is passed, that's it.
I've heard the exact opposite. I've heard it's a living document, and that these are great first steps. Some political football is being played, and just to give you an example, the opposition is asking what has taken so long. We even heard that tonight. The government, through the minister, picks some key initiatives, six, seven, eight of them, announces them, puts them into legislation. Some of them have already been delivered, for example, the better access to the PIA, the respect for reserves. So the minister takes some key initiatives and moves forward faster.
Why aren't you doing more? What's taking so long?
I want to remind everybody on this committee that there's very real legislation sitting in front of committee right now that's going to be back in the House with very real benefits and initiatives for veterans, and there are veterans who will benefit from them. I think we have to keep that first and foremost in our minds, especially if we're trying to put the veteran at the centre of everything, because we can play a little game and say if only it were different, then I would vote for it.
Yes, but what about the veteran who is eligible for one of these new benefits? When this passes into law, are you saying tough luck for him because it wasn't quite the way you wanted it. That's part of the political consideration that has to be, I think, swept aside, so we focus on what is in front of committee and what is in front of Parliament. That leads me to my question.
Mr. Blais, I'll open with you. I'd like to know what your advice is to MPs on this committee about this legislation, these measures that I consider to be very real benefits for very real veterans: to vote for them, to support this, to pass this quickly?
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