Be It Resolved!
VETERANS, SERVICE AND SENIORS
1. (VSS)—Urges federal government to amend legislation and regulations to give veterans and their dependants priority access to health care after release.
2. (VSS)—Seeks federal tax credit for private firms hiring veterans and wounded warriors or their survivors.
3. (VSS)—Urges VAC to create a Veterans ID card and Veterans Family ID card to honour veterans and the inherent resilience of their families.
4. (VSS)—Recommends VAC ensure disabled veterans receive a fair income by setting the Earnings Loss Benefit (ELB) at 100 per cent of earnings while members are rehabilitating and searching for employment; asks VAC to increase the Supplementary Retirement Benefit—for lifelong recipients—to six per cent of ELB earnings and make it non-taxable.
5. (VSS)—Calls on VAC to end the income disparity of the ELB to part-time reservists and provide CAF veterans whose injuries are attributable to service with the same benefits regardless of the nature of their service and where they served.
6. (VSS)—Recommends the NVC be adjusted to increase the Disability Award to keep pace with civilian court awards for pain and suffering.
7. (VSS)—Urges VAC to review the eligibility criteria for the Permanent Impairment Allowance and Supplement to ensure permanently disabled veterans receive this benefit.
8. (VSS)—Calls on VAC to increase its funding for financial counselling for veterans and their families from $500 to $2,500.
9. (VSS)—Urges VAC to pay disability awards less than 5 per cent at the true percentage of the total 100 per cent disability rate.
10. (VSS)—Recommends a death benefit for all CAF members, regardless of marital status, whose death is attributable to military service and that the benefit be retroactive to 2006.
11. (VSS)—Calls on the federal government to eliminate the complex eligibility requirements for funeral and burial benefits and to instead provide benefits to all CAF veterans in need.
12. (VSS)—Urges VAC to increase the Survivor/Dependent Estate Exemption to above poverty level and each year introduce a cost of living allowance equal to Canada’s adjusted CPI.
13. (VSS)—Calls on VAC to act expeditiously on the Federal Court decision that SISIP LTD clawbacks are to be refunded and proceed with harmonizing benefits and confirming retroactivity.
VETERANS INDEPENDENCE PROGRAM AND HEALTH BENEFITS
14. (VSS)—Urges VAC to rationalize and streamline its provisions of health care benefits, making entitlement criteria more understandable for veterans and their families, reducing the current 18 categories to a maximum of four.
15. (VSS, SASK, NB)—Recommends all Second World War and Korean War veterans be eligible for VIP, irrespective of their having established a disability entitlement or low-income status; recommends all Allied Second World War and Korean War veterans be eligible based on need, irrespective of income.
16. (VSS, SASK)—Urges VAC to end the complex eligibility criteria for VIP and extend the program to all survivors of all veterans, including the survivors of Allied veterans.
17. (VSS)—Calls on VAC to recognize exposure to Agent Orange or Depleted Uranium as significant determinants of disability.
18. (VSS)—Urges VAC to remove the artificial deadline and continue the Agent Orange compensation program to ensure families impacted by Agent Orange are recognized; recommends VAC amend the program’s eligibility criteria to include conditions related to Agent Orange exposure in the 2010 Institute of Medicine update.
19. (VSS)—Calls on VAC to provide the same access to the Treasury Board Pensioners’ Dental Services Plan to veterans and their families as that provided to them by VAC for the Public Service Health Care Plan.
20. (VSS)—Asks VAC to extend the Education Assistance Program benefits to the children of CAF members who have suffered permanent impairment.
21. (NB)—Calls on VAC to give due consideration to applications for VIP benefits made by surviving spouses, regardless of whether VIP benefits were in place at the time of the veteran’s death.
CANADIAN ARMED FORCES/RCMP
22. (VSS)—Urges VAC and DND to harmonize the delivery of mental health care for CAF members and veterans suffering from Operational Stress Injuries, and to extend mental health care to their families.
23. (VSS)—Calls on DND/CAF to provide funding for mental health treatment for serving CAF members under the Veterans Transition Program when there is a need.
24. (VSS)—Asks DND/CAF to extend Legacy of Care program benefits to all those who serve their country, regardless of where they were injured.
25. (VSS)—Calls on DND/CAF and VAC to implement an outreach program to ensure all reservists and their families are aware of the available health programs and services.
26. (VSS)—Urges that VAC and CAF provide funding to ensure veterans and their families experiencing difficult transitions have continued access to Military Family Resource Centre services.
27. (VSS)—Calls on DND/CAF to reduce backlogs in the processing of Reserve Force Pension Plan buybacks, and improve communication to reservists regarding their benefits.
28. (VSS)—Asks VAC and DND to conduct an analysis of the costs, benefits and outcomes of operating two similar but independent income support and vocational rehabilitation programs.
29. (VSS)—Urges that CFSA survivors be paid an amount equivalent to at least 70 per cent of the member’s pension.
30. (VSS, ONT)—Recommends the CPP offset at age 65 be eliminated and that CFSA surplus funds be used to pay “stacked benefits” similar to the benefits paid to members of Parliament.
31. (VSS)—Asks that CAF members have their annual reduction in coverage of paid-up death benefits delayed until age 66 to bring it in line with that of public servants.
32. (VSS)—Calls on the federal government to eliminate clawbacks from RCMP long-term disability benefits and take action to ensure RCMP members receive their full entitlement.
33. (VSS)—Asks federal government to evaluate using the Veterans Transition Program as a way to assist RCMP members with their transition from service to civilian life.
34. (NB)—Calls on VAC to provide disabled RCMP members with additional benefits such as housekeeping and grounds maintenance.
35. (VSS)—Calls on the federal government to provide funding so that the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research can become a long-term, independent centre of expertise for military and veterans health research.
36. (VSS)—Asks that the Canadian Institute of Health Research identify veterans as a priority subpopulation for research to ensure adequate funding.
37. (VSS)—Calls on the federal government to enact legislation to better protect individual pensions.
38. (VSS)—Urges the federal government to implement a national Seniors Independence Program to assist seniors in living independently as long as they are able.
POPPY AND REMEMBRANCE
39. (BC/YUKON)—Directs the Legion to support the Navy League of Canada in their application for funding from DND.
40. (SASK)—Directs that the allowable meal cost for an annual veterans visit be increased to $25 paid for by the Poppy Fund.
41. (NS/NUNAVUT)—Amends the Poppy Fund bylaws to allow funding of a yearly meal (up to $25) for the spouse/caregiver accompanying a veteran, or for the widow/widower of a veteran accompanied by a caregiver required on an annual visit.
*313. (BC/YUKON)—Amends Article XI, Section 1116, of the general bylaws to allow contributions to veterans’ transition programs not exceeding 25 per cent of the total available in the account on the date prior approval is requested.
*316. (ALTA-NWT)—Directs that Poppy Fund bylaws be amended to allow expenditures supporting the costs of service dogs for PTSD veterans, not exceeding 25 per cent of the total available in the account on the 30th day of September in the year preceding the expenditure.
43. (MBR)—Directs that the Legion begin accepting applications for membership, renewal or reinstatement by electronic means.
44. (MBR)—Changes Legion bylaws to reflect that a lapsed member will be eligible to buy back the current year and any years of unpaid dues.
45. (MBR)—Amends Legion bylaws to reflect that RCMP members are eligible to join the Legion upon graduation from training at Depot.
46. (BC/YUKON)—Directs Dominion Command to develop a simplified single membership form and allow it to be electronically submitted.
47. (BC/YUKON)—Directs Dominion Command to develop a program to allow payment of membership dues online or through automatic dues deduction, including a program to allow automatic renewal of membership dues through pre-authorized payments.
48. (ALTA-NWT)—Resolves that the free one-year membership for newly retired veterans be continued, but directs that the membership be at the nearest branch to the veterans declared address upon release or at a branch of the member’s choice.
CONSTITUTION AND LAWS
49. (ALTA-NWT)—Directs the Legion’s Constitution and Laws Committee to replace section 6.b. of the Rules of Procedure for Legion Meetings to ensure all branches in all commands conduct their elections consistently in the same manner, giving all candidates an equal chance of being elected after having dropped to a lower level.
DEFENCE AND SECURITY
*326. (ONT)—Directs Dominion Command to issue a Veteran Identification Card indicating the bearer did serve honourably in Her Majesty’s Forces.
DOMINION EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
*302. (BC/YUKON)—Resolves that profit sharing from Dominion Supply revenues be set at 5 per cent of gross margin shared between provincial commands before supply operating expenses are applied.
*303. (BC/YUKON)—Directs that travel expenses be authorized for Dominion Command officers and staff, not for family accompanying them.
*305. (BC/YUKON)—Directs that travel expenses for RCEL visits be authorized only for the assigned inspection team, not family accompanying them.
Delegates also approved two previously non-concurred resolutions. Both were from Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command.
NS/NU 3. Asks Dominion Command to petition the minister of Veterans Affairs to ensure all Canadian Armed Forces veterans with a service-related disability and requiring Level 2 treatment be entitled to a long-term care bed at a veterans hospital or similar facility.
NS/NU 4. Urges VAC to re-open VAC offices that have closed and revoke any plans to close other offices.
COMMITTEE ABBREVIATIONS: MBR—Membership; P&R—Poppy and Remembrance; R&A—Ritual and Awards; VSS—Veterans, Service and Seniors.GOVERNMENT ABBREVIATIONS: CAF—Canadian Armed Forces; CPI—Consumer Price Index; DND—Department of National Defence; VAC—Veterans Affairs Canada; VRAB—Veterans Review and Appeal Board.
LEGISLATION: CFSA—Canadian Forces Superannuation Act; CPP—Canada Pension Plan; NVC—New Veterans Charter; SISIP—Service Income Security Insurance Plan; VIP—Veterans Independence Program.
*Denotes non-concurred resolution brought back to the floor by a command and approved by convention.