Committee abbreviations: C&L—constitution and laws; DEC—Dominion Executive Council; DEF—defence; MEM—membership; P&R—poppy and remembrance; R&A—ritual and awards; SE—sub-executive; VSS—veterans, seniors, service.
Government abbreviations: CF—Canadian Forces; CMHC—Canada Mortgage and Housing; DND—Department of National Defence; VAC—Veterans Affairs Canada.
Legislation: 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.
DOMINION EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
1. (DEC)—Reduces the number of command representatives on DEC to one from each command.
2. (DEC)—Reduces the number of vice-presidents on DEC from four to three.
3. (DEC)—Abolishes the sub-executive committee and incorporates the eight elected officers of Dominion Command into DEC, renaming them Senior Elected Officers; and mandates that the entire DEC meet twice a year (three times in convention years) except for special meetings called by the Dominion President.
68. (CONVENTION)—Adopts a simple majority vote for election of single officer positions, and a “first-past-the-post” vote for use of election of more than one officer in a multiple-designated position such as Dominion vice-president positions.
4. (SE)—Urges federal government to declare Vimy Ridge Day as a national federal holiday.
5. (SASK)—Asks Dominion Command to advocate for sterner penalties for pedophiles.
*303. (MAN/NWO)—Directs Dominion Command to request VAC to intervene to quash legislation allowing the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada to collect tariffs for music played at Legion branch functions.
6. (VSS)—Recommends the CF repay veterans in the same manner as still serving members for the cost of mounting medals.
7. (VSS)—Presses for regrouping of all federal ombudsmen into a centralized office with wide-ranging legislated powers.
8. (VSS)—Requests amendments to government legislation and regulations that would give veterans and their dependants priority access to health care in Canada.
9. (VSS)—Asks VAC to staff sufficient high-needs care managers’ positions concurrent with introduction of Veterans Integrated Services.
10. (VSS)—Requests VAC to introduce full refunds of taxi fare expenses for veterans using cabs for health appointments.
11. (QUE)—Asks VAC to hire more personnel to adequately respond to the significant increase in requests for services and benefits due to increased CF discharges.
12. (VSS)—Calls for termination of SISIP offsets on VAC disability pensions.
13. (VSS)—Asks that the annual reduction in coverage of paid-up death benefits of CF members be delayed until age of 66 to bring it in line with that of public servants.
14. (VSS)—Urges VAC and CF to effectively inform veterans of conditions that can lead to disabilities later in life and of their entitlement to benefits for such disabilities.
15. (VSS)—Requests VAC to recognize secondary exposure to Agent Orange as a significant determinant of a disability.
16. (VSS)—Asks VAC to recognize professional qualifications of certified or licensed non-traditional health practitioners, enabling them to diagnose conditions to establish eligibility for disability benefits.
17. (VSS)—Urges VAC to adjust its method of calculating earning loss benefits under the NVC to take into account likely increases of salary and advancement in rank of CF members; also advocates raising base minimum salary for calculations to that of corporal.
18. (VSS)—Asks the Veterans Review and Appeal Board to consider revoking its Interpretation Hearing Decision on a “due diligence” criterion which is not consistent with legislated “benefit of the doubt” provisions.
19. (VSS)—Asks that the NVC be amended to allow the transfer to a pension plan of a portion of earning loss benefits (deemed income) to cater to needs after age 65.
20. (VSS)—Requests improving the disability award program to provide a yearly cost-of-living increment to eligible veterans and serving CF members.
21. (NS/NU)—Asks VAC to review the entire medical file of applicants seeking redress for hearing loss and/or tinnitus related to service, since some were tested upon release with primitive equipment unable to detect hearing loss due to noise exposure.
22. (NS/NU)—Asks that survivors of veterans receiving disability pensions or prisoner-of-war compensation receive a pension for the balance of their lives. Also asks that the pension be set at 75 per cent of the amount the veteran received, regardless of VAC’s determination of percentage of disability.
VETERANS INDEPENDENCE PROGRAM
23. (VSS-SASK)—Urges VAC to immediately increase health benefits to provide better services based on needs in the face of increasing costs of drugs and remedial appliances.
24. (VSS)—Asks VAC to simplify health care benefits and streamline processes and policies since the complex application process is a disincentive for veterans to request benefits and understand eligibility requirements.
25. (VSS)—Urges VAC to extend the same VIP benefits to allied veterans as are offered to Canadian veterans in need.
26. (VSS)—Asks VAC to extend the VIP to RCMP members and RCMP veterans, funded by the Solicitor General and with support of the RCMP Commissioner.
27. (VSS-NS/NU-SASK-NB)—Asks VAC to extend VIP benefits to frail veterans; and in case the veteran dies before a VIP request is processed, that VIP benefits be extended to needy surviving spouses.
28. (VSS-NS/NU-QUE-SASK-NB)—Asks that integrated health benefits, including VIP, be extended to needy spouses of veterans, irrespective of predetermined dates.
29. (VSS)—Urges VAC to extend VIP groundskeeping benefits to veterans living in condominiums and co-operative retirement housing, since they must pay fees to cover such services; also requests such benefits be extended to survivors for as long as required.
30. (VSS)—Calls on NS/NU Command to petition Dominion Command to ask VAC to pay the same escort fees to spouses, common-law partners and members of clients’ households as to other providers of this service.
31. (VSS)—Directs the Legion to urge the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes to consider standards for grab bars in bathrooms as part of national building code revisions. Also asks VAC to fund costs of fall prevention strategies and equipment in veterans’ homes.
32. (VSS)—Asks VAC and CMHC to ease development funding for affordable housing projects by setting up an equity gap revolving fund to provide repayable loans, with interest, to partially offset mandatory equity requirements.
33. (VSS)—Urges VAC to make sure the new contract with the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation ensures delivery of reports on each evaluated facility so VAC can identify problems affecting priority access beds.
34. (VSS)—Asks VAC to urge provincial authorities to develop a system to verify veteran status on first client contact so as not to jeopardize veterans’ cases in programs requiring identification of veteran clients upon first contact.
35. (VSS)—Urges development of national guidelines for use of chemical restraints in long-term care facilities, but makes clear such restraints are to be used as a last resort.
36. (VSS)—Asks VAC to work with veterans’ organizations, provincial and municipal authorities in determining allocation of long-term care beds for veterans, and where appropriate, their spouses.
37. (VSS)—Asks VAC to institute a transitional care program for veterans going to and from acute care, to maintain their safety and dignity.
38. (VSS)—Urges VAC to deliver appropriate palliative care services to veterans in their communities, and to make veterans aware of these services.
39. (VSS)—Asks VAC to affirm its responsibility for long-term care of veterans and institute its national standard for long-term care of veterans. Also calls for an update on the 25 recommendations made by the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs in 2003 with respect to long-term care.
40. (VSS)—Recommends that permanent rather than part-time staff be hired in long-term care facilities for veterans, and that VAC should provide incentives to achieve this aim.
41. (VSS)—Directs the Legion to advocate to provincial governments through VAC for policy changes to allow veterans, without penalty, to be looked after by family in their own homes until the long-term care facility of their choice becomes available. Also calls on VAC and provincial governments to ensure veterans continue to receive the services they require while waiting at home.
42. (VSS)—Recommends the federal government develop a consistent approach to under- or over-payment of Canadian Pension Plan and Old Age Security program benefits due to government mis-estimates of the Consumer Price Index.
43. (VSS)—Urges the federal government to eliminate Employment Insurance contributions for CF members who are unlikely ever to qualify for EI benefits.
44. (VSS)—Asks Treasury Board to entirely fund the (SISIP) Long-Term Disability Insurance Plan for CF members, who now pay 15 per cent of the funding.
45. (VSS)—Recommends VAC and CF harmonize diagnosis parameters for hearing loss.
46. (VSS)—Asks DND to appoint a representative from The Royal Canadian Legion to serve on the Canadian Forces Pension Advisory Committee.
47. (VSS)—Recommends survivor allowances paid within the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA) be raised to 66 per cent of the member’s pension, from the current level of 50 per cent.
48. (VSS)—Calls for elimination of Canada Pension Plan clawback that occurs at age 65, when CF members become eligible to receive CPP benefits, and that Canadian Forces Superannuation Act funds be used to pay “stacked benefits” similar to those provided to members of Parliament.
FUNERALS AND BURIALS
49. (VSS)—Asks VAC to increase the allowable maximum under the Veterans Funeral and Burial Program to the equivalent established for the RCMP and CF.
50. (VSS)—Recommends that Last Post Fund funeral and burial benefits be made available to all CF members and veterans who have insufficient financial means, without complex eligibility requirements.
51. (VSS)—Asks that veterans’ families be exempt from paying GST on funeral expenses.
52. (VSS)—Asks VAC to reinstate Last Post Fund burial and funeral benefits for Allied war veterans.
53. (VSS)—Calls on VAC to make all veterans automatically eligible to receive a grave marker upon their deaths and to remove the means tests that his or her survivors must pass.
54. (VSS)—Urges CF and VAC to provide appropriate funding so Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) operates as a component of the overall peer support services.
55. (VSS)—Recommends that spouses and children be deemed eligible for OSISS peer support services in their own right, regardless of whether or not their family member—a serving CF member or veteran—has sought diagnosis or treatment.
56. (VSS)—Asks that additional stabilization beds and support systems be provided on a decentralized, regional basis for operational stress injury patients.
57. (VSS)—Calls for a plan of action in all provinces to promote and facilitate certification of trained medical practitioners, with the encouragement and support of Health Canada, Immigration Canada and provincial medical and nursing licensing authorities, and funding from VAC.
58. (VSS)—Urges VAC and the CF to harmonize delivery of mental health care for CF members and veterans suffering operational stress injuries and modify regulations to provide mental health care for families in their own right.
59. (BC/YUKON)—Directs the Legion to advocate for appropriate government agencies to help fund CF and veterans transition program clinics for veterans with operational stress injuries.
60. (NB)—Directs the Legion to approach VAC to continue paid foot-care service when a veteran enters hospital.
61. (ONT)—Asks that peacetime military service pensioners or award recipients be included and covered in the provision for Group B health benefits or services, as for other classes of veterans, on demonstrated health need.
62. (VSS)—Recommends the federal government follow up on the Legion’s recommendation, adopted by the prime minister’s task force on seniors, to implement a seniors independence program along the lines of the VIP.
63. (VSS)—Urges enactment of a seniors bill of rights.
64. (ONT)—Recommends income tax regulations be amended to significantly increase the earnings threshold before income tax is applied to widowed seniors.
POPPY AND REMEMBRANCE
65. (ONT)—Directs the Legion to request an amendment to the Canadian Criminal Code to protect war memorials, war graves and large military field pieces and artifacts of historic significance from being denigrated, vandalized, altered or painted to diminish their solemn use.
69. (ONT)—Directs that at the discretion of team coaches, athletes from the 15-and-under age group may run on his or her provincial 17-and-under relay teams without jeopardizing his or her status as individual athletes in the 15-and-under group, so long as these athletes are not participating on more than one relay team per day.
70. (ONT)—Asks that multiple event (heptathlon and octathlon) athletes be allowed to participate as active members of their provincial relay teams if so chosen by their provincial coaches.
71. (SASK)—Amends the rule regulating small branch player eligibility to prevent branches with over 100 members, instead of 75 members, from picking up a player from a smaller branch.
72. (ONT)—Requests Canada issue a wallet-sized card to provide proof of service and discharge date to former CF members who did not qualify for a ND175 card.
73. (QUE)—Directs the Legion to petition the federal government to allow serving CF members free access to Via Rail and other federal transportation means; and to Air Canada at a 50-per-cent discount.
*324. (MAN/NWO)—Asks the federal government to create a Canadian Cold War Commemorative Medal for veterans with at least three years of Cold War service.
RITUAL AND AWARDS
74. (R&A)—Requests amendment of dress regulations to allow Legion members who are current or former CF or Allied forces members to wear their former/current unit or regimental service blazer badge on the lower right pocket of their Legion blazer.
75. (R&A)—Amends Legion dress regulations to permit Legion members who are current or former CF or Allied force members to parade in Legion dress wearing the Canadian or Allied force headdress they earned, complete with service cap badges, in place of the Legion beret badge. Also directs that Legion colour party dress remain full Legion dress with Legion beret.
76. (BC/YUKON)—Requests striking of new Legion lapel pins for incumbent zone and district commanders.
77. (BC/YUKON)—Asks for a change in wording of the initiation procedure to read “The Legion shall stand for strong and united comradeship among all members and those who have served and are serving, so that neither their rights nor their interests shall be forgotten, and that their welfare and that of their dependants, especially the dependants of the disabled, the sick, the aged and the needy, may always be safeguarded.”
78. (BC/YUKON)—Directs Dominion Command to ask the Geographical Names Board of Canada to name a peak in the Victoria Cross Range for Robert Hampton Gray, VC, DSC, RCNVR.
79. (BC/YUKON)—Urges that the national flag of Canada remain upright, erect and proud during playing of our national anthem and the royal anthem, and not be displayed in an inferior position to any other flag or ensign.
82. (SASK)—Directs the Legion to publicize the desire for dignified and respectful performances of the national anthem.
CONSTITUTION AND LAWS
83. (PEI)—Rephrases wording in the Legion’s General By-Laws to allow branch or command presidents to promptly revoke clubhouse privileges and remove from office members in breach of rules.
TUBERCULOUS VETERANS SECTION
84. (TVS)—Revises wording in the Legion’s General By-Laws to eradicate ambiguities in TVS membership categories and dual membership provisions.