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View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you.
I want to thank our witnesses for being here this evening. I know some of you were there last evening. We've had some very good testimony from our witnesses. As I mentioned in my opening remarks yesterday, what we have in front of us as a committee, and what we will ultimately have in front of us in the House when the bill goes back to the House, are very concrete measures that are aimed at benefiting veterans. When they pass into law, veterans will benefit from these measures.
Your testimony is much appreciated. It is acknowledged that this is not the end of the work. In other words, this is not the end of the line. This is a beginning, in a sense, but the measures are very concrete in nature.
What I've heard most witnesses say is that they support the measures as they are presented. They might have suggested changes, but they support what is contained within the legislation moving forward so that veterans will actually benefit.
Perhaps I'll just ask Mr. Blackwolf. Would it be an accurate representation of your position that what is in front of us would be of benefit to veterans and should move forward?
View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you very much. Actually, Chair, I'd like to read the paragraph quickly, because I think there are people who might be listening to this committee but who don't have the legislation in front of them.
The purpose clause, as I read it in the legislation, is as follows:
The purpose of this Act is to recognize and fulfil the obligation of the people and Government of Canada to show just and due appreciation to members and veterans for their service to Canada. This obligation includes providing services, assistance and compensation to members and veterans who have been injured or have died as a result of military service and extends to their spouses or common-law partners or survivors and orphans. This Act shall be liberally interpreted so that the recognized obligation may be fulfilled.
Thank you for your indulgence. I just wanted to have that on the record. I think that supports the explanation we just received.
I would also like to ask a question about the caregiver amount. I think this is an important initiative for the spouses or family members of veterans who in fact care for them. Even though the veteran may be receiving home care through Veterans Affairs, this is an additional benefit to family members. I'm wondering if you could perhaps explain—I believe the amount is a little over $7,000, tax-free—who that amount is paid to. Is it paid to the veteran, or is it paid to a specific family member?
View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
Does a veteran have to apply for it? For example, if one of their family caregivers is planning some time away to recharge, do they need to fill out an application form to say they'd now like to apply for this caregiver amount?
View Pierre Lemieux Profile
CPC (ON)
Are there receipts that have to be submitted? For example, if the family member decides that plan A is best to recharge their energy and refresh them to come back into a situation of looking after their loved one, while someone else might decide it's plan B or plan C, is the department involved in any type of approval process, or is it entirely up to the veteran and their family caregivers how they use that money to rejuvenate?
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