Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Darrell Samson Profile
Lib. (NS)
Thank you, Minister, for being here with us today, and the deputy of course. I appreciate it.
I forget now exactly if it's two months or just a little over two months that you've been minister, and 25 years ago you were the secretary of state for Veterans Affairs, so the experience is there. Again, thank you for the work that you have done.
I'd like to ask a few quick questions. One is about service ID cards. I know that in my riding this was a big issue and many veterans were asking me to continue to advocate for them and the service card. I'd just like to know a little about how the service cards are being launched now and what the feedback is that we're getting around the new service cards that are coming out.
View Lawrence MacAulay Profile
Lib. (PE)
Thank you very much.
Yes, we have started the process and it will continue. The deputy might add to it, but it's something that we want to do.
The cards and recognizing veterans are something I want to look at down the road, too. There are many things that can be done in that area.
I'll let the deputy respond.
Walter Natynczyk
View Walter Natynczyk Profile
Walter Natynczyk
2019-06-12 16:15
Sir, for everyone who wears a uniform, having that ID card on them each and every day is part of our culture. It's always difficult the day you walk out of your unit, your ship, your squadron, that last day, and you hand in your ID card. Even that transition is pretty emotional. The Canadian Armed Forces, for a whole host of reasons, stopped issuing the ID cards to veterans about two years ago. What was terrific was that, when we were able to restart the issuance of the ID cards, not only were we able to backdate it to when that process was stopped, but we're now able to expand it to all those veterans out there who wish to have a card.
The reissuance will be happening three phases. The first phase goes back to the date when the ID cards were stopped. The second phase goes to all of those who are walking out of the military and transitioning. The third phase, which will begin in the fall, goes to all veterans out there, even those who released prior to when this whole practice started in 2002. Indeed, when we were doing the various town halls, regional summits and national summits over the past few years, we heard how important it is for all veterans, again, to have that ID card back in their hands for their own identity.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
No. I want to carry on.
Let's talk about Ste. Anne's Hospital.
I was able to visit with some wonderful people in eight Legions who came together in Moncton to speak with me at a round table. They are very concerned about their veterans health centre in New Brunswick, which is also, like Ste. Anne's, being handed over to the province. However, there is a memorandum of agreement between the federal government and the province that their care as veterans would be continued in those sites. They're very concerned about what's happening there.
I would like to know, with that memorandum of agreement, have you followed up? Are you making sure that the agreement is being met? How often is that happening?
View Lawrence MacAulay Profile
Lib. (PE)
With any memorandum of agreement, or any money that's spent by the Government of Canada under our government, it's certainly analyzed as to what.... It's always step by step and seeing what progress has been made. I can assure you that would be made here too.
We also would have—
View Lawrence MacAulay Profile
Lib. (PE)
I've asked my department to evaluate the situation and come up with the facts of what the situation is in Ste. Anne's—
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Will the veterans health centre be included in that as well? There's also a memorandum of agreement there and it's being handed over to New Brunswick.
View Lawrence MacAulay Profile
Lib. (PE)
We want to make sure, on the Ste. Anne's first—if you want me to answer—that they get the proper care, and we're going to make sure that happens. We have to have the facts first.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Will that be provided to the committee, please—the results of that report—and also in regard to the veterans health centre in Moncton, yes or no?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
I think if you create a memorandum of agreement and promise veterans that they are going to continue to have care in those places, the government should be making sure that the province and the health care system there are being accountable.
Again, we can talk about the pension program. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has made it clear that there are discrepancies between what has been promised and what has happened with the new pension for life.
Medric Cousineau, as well, has indicated that there are many, especially the most needy, who are ending up with less, losing an amount equivalent to $300,000. Sammy Sampson, with the Rwanda vets of Canada, has come up with a very amazing tool called a “pension disparity calculator”. It's based entirely on the government's data for computer use, and it's being shared with veterans across Canada.
You've heard about this disparity. Will this disparity be fixed quickly and what is the timeline?
View Lawrence MacAulay Profile
Lib. (PE)
First of all, the well-being and security of veterans is our major priority.
The fact is that the Prime Minister indicated in the House...and the department is reviewing this very carefully to make sure there is nobody who gets less. We will make sure that every veteran receives more than they did under the previous government. That is what will take place. We have to get the facts—
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