They fought for us and now the Harper government is denying them a decent burial. Many of our veterans families can't afford the cost of a proper funeral upon their passing. With the cost of burying a vet going as high as $6300, the Harper government only pays a max of $3600, this amount hasn't risen since 2001.
The Royal Canadian Legion, The Last Post fund, the Veterans ombudsman and the Funeral Service Association of Canada have all lobbied the Conservative government on this issue. Unfortunately their efforts have fallen on deaf ears.An internal audit of the program by Veteran Affairs Canada in 2009 also recommended the department amend its law to give “appropriate consideration of the cost of funerals.”
Veterans ombudsman Guy Parent said his office hadn’t heard anything from Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn since it called in 2009 for the funeral and burial amount to be increased to the national average of a funeral service — a figure pegged at $5,892. However Blackburn has made his feelings on the matter quite clear.
Blackburn told a Senate committee in November he was briefed on funeral costs but decided “now was not the time to talk about this matter” because injured veterans were coming back from Afghanistan.
“It seems to me that standing up publicly and stating, 'I am pleased to announce that, for your funeral costs, you will be receiving so much more,' that is really not what I wanted to see happen,” Blackburn told senators. “We are focusing on other priorities but at the same time we are trying to uncomplicate the issue of funeral costs because you can say that, at Veterans Affairs Canada, everything is always super complicated,” he added.
Let me uncomplicated the issue for you Mr.Blackburn. These men fought for this country many of them were wounded some physically some emotionally and many both. They are deserving of a decent funeral on our dime, they've earned it. Last year about 1500 vets received assistance It would have cost approx. 3.5 million more to have given them a decent send off.
Cut a damn cheque!