Thank you, Chair.
I look at this, and it concerns me deeply. I don't think we're advising our veterans on the best direction of action to take as they get older. If they choose to get married at 60.... Obviously things are different now from what they were many years ago, and this is a norm.
I am concerned that, since 1994, there have been nine private member's bills on this issue, a motion in 2006 and then a 2015 mandate letter from the Prime Minister that made it a top priority to eliminate the marriage after 60 clawback clause. Then, of course, in budget 2019 that was all gone, and we're into a veterans survivors fund approach.
Clearly, I don't think our government is in a position right now to look at what this would cost to make those changes that, on a personal level for these veterans, should really be there.
I have a question about that $150 million over five years, and that it hasn't been spent. The way I read it, it says, to better support the surviving spouses married after age 60, budget 2019 announced $150 million over five years starting in 2019 to create a veterans survivors fund. However, as you were saying, that needs to be created—$30 million a year. Why is there not far better research going into what this needs to be moving forward? It looks to me that it's not going to be set up well, if it is set up at all, and it needs to have proper research.
Dr. Li, what would you have liked to have available to you to do a more rounded approach to the particular study you did?