NDP Plan To Fix Veterans Affairs Will Help ?Veterans In Esquimalt-Juan De Fuca


With so many veterans living in the riding of Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, Randall Garrison says the community critically needs the improvements to veterans services put forward by NDP Leader Jack Layton.

Saturday, Jack Layton stood with former Veterans Ombudsman Pat Stogran to announce the NDP’s plan for restoring pensions and benefits for retired and disabled RCMP and Canadian Forces members.

“Veterans shouldn’t have to spend years appealing decisions from Veterans Affairs” says Garrison. “I have talked to vets here who say when they come back from duty, the government just washes their hands of them. It’s disgraceful and the stories are all too common.”

Jack Layton’s plan will:
• End unfair reductions for retired and disabled CF and RCMP veterans.
• Restore the Service Income Security Insurance Plan for retired and disabled veterans.
• Overhaul the Veterans Review and Appeal Board.
• Take action on a public inquiry into toxic chemical defoliation at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown.
• Introduce a “Helmets-to-Hardhats” program to help veterans transition to construction and shipbuilding trades.

Garrison says, “Jack Layton’s plan addresses the three things veterans in our community need most: disability and service pension reform, new jobs and respect.”

Garrison, who has worked with international human rights organizations supporting Canada’s peacekeeping missions in conflict zones says, “I’ve always argued that we need an appropriately equipped and well-supported military. But we also have to treat veterans fairly when they get back from war zones.”

“One of the biggest disappointments of the Harper government is the way they have treated veterans. They are more concerned with buying fighter jets than respecting the real needs of the people on the front line,” says Garrison.

Media Contact:?
Kim Lear ?
Communications Coordinator?
Randall Garrison, NDP Juan de Fuca?
(250) 590-7160 ?