February 11, 2013 BUSY START TO SESSION FOR VETERANS AFFAIRS CRITIC
NDP continues to ensure government respects veterans' rights OTTAWA — It was a busy start to the session in the House of Commons for NDP deputy critic for Veterans, Sylvain Chicoine (Châteauguay?St- Constant). The MP held the Conservative government's feet to the fire on several important issues for our veterans.
On January 31, Chicoine questioned Veterans Affairs Minister, Steven Blaney, on the government's unfair treatment of RCMP veterans. Recently, they launched a class action suit against the government to get their pensions and disability awards back. "The Federal Court has already ruled and the government didn't appeal the decision. This treatment is unfair."
This unfair behaviour from the Conservative government doesn't stop there. On February 4, Chicoine reacted quickly to the veterans' ombudsman's report saying the Conservative government is hiding important information from veterans who are trying to obtain the pensions and disability awards they are entitled to. "The government must be transparent; it's a matter of justice and fairness for all our veterans."
Following the tabling of the government's action plan in response to this report, Chicoine accused the Conservatives of settling for half-measures. "The veterans' ombudsman was clear: the government's action plan won't solve the problems. But the Conservatives refuse to listen to reason."
Finally, on February 7, the minister tabled in the House the report of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Depleted Uranium. Chicoine was disappointed and shocked by the results of the report. "Soldiers leave healthy and come back sick, for unknown reasons. The government must do everything it can to help those who defended Canadian values and stop blocking their efforts. The government has the duty to help veterans like Pascal Lacoste and his brothers in arms," said Chicoine.
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The Canadian Veterans Advocacy Team.