COMMITTEE ABBREVIATIONS: DEF—Defence; P&R—Poppy and Remembrance; R&A—Ritual and Awards; VSS—Veterans, Service and Seniors.
GOVERNMENT ABBREVIATIONS: CF—Canadian 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.
VETERANS, SERVICE AND SENIORS
1. (VSS)—Urges Veterans Affairs minister to review composition of VRAB and consider appointing former members of the RCMP and CF.
2. (VSS)—Recommends VAC, DND/CF launch a program to ensure reservists and their families are aware of available health programs and services; asks VAC to study the post-service needs and program requirements of reserve force members.
3. (VSS)—Seeks federal tax credit for private employers hiring veterans; recommends an additional tax credit for private firms hiring wounded warriors or their survivors.
4. (VSS)—Urges VAC to create a Veterans ID card and Veterans Family ID card to honour veterans and the inherent resilience of their families, and sacrifices CF families have made in support of Canada.
5. (VSS)—Recommends the SISIP offset of VAC disability pensions be terminated and that Treasury Board recognize the different needs that exist between CF members and public servants.
6. (VSS)—Recommends CF 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.
7. (VSS, NB)—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.
8. (VSS)—Calls on VAC to recognize exposure to Agent Orange or Depleted Uranium as significant determinants of disability.
9. (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 life-long recipients—to six per cent of ELB earnings and make it non-taxable.
10. (VSS)—Recommends a death benefit for all CF members, regardless of marital status, whose death is attributable to military service and that the benefit be retroactive to 2006.
11. (VSS)—Urges VAC to increase its funding for financial counselling for veterans and their families from $500 to $1,500.
12. (VSS)—Calls on VAC to end the income disparity of the ELB to part-time reservists and provide CF veterans whose injuries are attributable to service with the same benefits regardless of the nature of their service and where and when they served.
13. (VSS)—Urges VAC to extend the Education Assistance Program to children of CF members who have suffered severe and permanent impairment attributable to their service and lack the means to save for their children’s post-secondary education.
14. (VSS)—Asks VAC to include an Attendance Allowance in the NVC.
VETERANS INDEPENDENCE PROGRAM
AND HEALTH BENEFITS
15. (VSS)—Urges VAC to rationalize and streamline its provisions of health care benefits, making entitlement criteria more understandable for veterans and their families, and for decision makers.
16. (VSS)—Recommends VIP availability for RCMP members.
17. (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 irrespective of income.
18. (VSS, ONT, SASK, NB)—Calls on VAC to end the complex eligibility criteria for VIP and extend the program to all survivors of the Second World War, Korean War veterans, including the survivors of Allied veterans.
19. (VSS)—Urges VAC to cover groundskeeping and maintenance costs for veterans on VIP, living in condominiums or co-operative retirement housing.
20. (NB)—Recommends VAC review the $2,400 VIP maximum with a view of bringing it more in line with current housekeeping and grounds maintenance costs; asks VAC to provide financial assistance when a low-income or disabled surviving spouse experiences financial difficulty.
21. (ONT)—Asks VAC to amend its VIP frail veterans assessment criteria to include approval for veterans who suffer from a coronary condition that keeps them from strenuous exercise or heavy work.
22. (VSS, SASK, QUE)—Recommends long-term care eligibility accommodate all Second World War and Korean War veterans whether they have overseas service or not; recommends amending the eligibility requirements for all veterans deemed seriously disabled with greater than a 78 per cent service attributable disability.
23. (ONT)—Urges VAC to financially assist veterans who are in alternate accommodations awaiting placement in a long-term care facility.
24. (VSS)—Recommends the CFSA survivor allowances be paid in an amount equivalent to at least 70 per cent of the member’s pension.
25. (VSS)—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.
26. (VSS)—Asks the DND to extend Legacy of Care program benefits to all those who serve their country, regardless of where and when they were injured.
DEFENCE AND SECURITY
*218. (MAN/NWO)—Directs the federal government to
produce a Voluntary Service Medal for those with three years military service in the CF after Sept. 2, 1945, and that it be awarded retroactively, and to those who will qualify.
FUNERALS AND BURIALS
27. (VSS)—Urges VAC minister to immediately increase the maximum rate of the Last Post Fund funeral and burial program.
28. (VSS)—Recommends Last Post Fund funeral and burial benefits be available to all CF veterans in need and calls for the elimination of complex eligibility requirements.
29. (VSS)—Urges VAC to restore and increase the Survivor Dependant Estate Exemption to a level not less than the poverty level as determined by Statistics Canada, and that each year thereafter, to introduce a cost of living allowance equal to Statistics Canada’s annual adjusted CPI for this exemption.
30. (VSS)—Recommends DND/CF and VAC consider the merits of the Veterans Transition Program and provide funding to support the treatment of veterans suffering from operational stress injuries.
31. (VSS)—Urges DND/CF and VAC to fund bereavement and mental health counselling programs for families of injured or deceased CF and RCMP members.
32. (VSS)—Asks the federal government to enact legislation to better protect individual pensions.
POPPY AND REMEMBRANCE
34. (ALTA-NWT, NB)—Directs that Section 402.m. of The Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Manual include: “A Command, or subject to the prior approval of the Provincial Command, a district, zone, branch or group of branches may make an allotment not exceeding 50 per cent of the balance in the Poppy Trust Fund on the thirtieth (30th) day of September in the Poppy Year preceding the expenditure, to cover the cost of installation, of a washroom door, toilet and sink for the purpose of assisting veterans, their dependants and other person with disabilities.”
35. (SASK)—Asks federal and provincial governments to provide a tax exemption for those erecting memorial items, such as walls of remembrance, photos and plaques.
36. (MAN/NWO)—Amends the Poppy Fund bylaws to allow funding of occasional day trips for veterans.
37. (NB)—Makes it possible—with provincial command approval—for branches to use poppy funds to upgrade small or outdated washroom facilities.
38. (NFLD/LAB)—Directs all levels of the Legion to encourage the cadet movement through financial and morale support by attending cadet meetings, parades, annual reviews and including cadets in Legion ceremonies and parades.
*207. (BC/YUKON)—Establishes a section under Article XI of the Legion’s General By-Laws to fund veterans transition programs approved by provincial commands and partnered with registered institutions. The aim is to provide services directly related to the training, educating and support needs of veterans of the regular or reserve forces in need. The resolution also states the amount eligible to fund this section is up to 50 per cent of the balance remaining in the poppy fund as of Sept. 30 of the previous year.
CONSTITUTION AND LAWS
41. (ALTA-NWT)—Directs the Legion’s Constitution and Laws Committee to review and rewrite Article III of the General By-Laws to reflect a stronger utilization of dispute resolution, except for theft or misappropriation of Legion funds, poppy funds or property.
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