The Conservatives have a lot of explaining to do. Last year, their government found money to increase spending in the Prime Minister’s Office, yet it cut funds for veterans’ funerals.
In 2012-2013, after 10 years of fairly steady funding, the Last Post Fund, which helps pay for veterans’ funerals, was cut by a whopping 21.8%. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister increased his own office budget by 7.4 per cent.
Instead of money for our fallen heroes, the Harper Conservatives are spending Canadians’ tax dollars on PMO staff and spin.
It has long been inappropriate that the Last Post Fund’s outdated criteria excludes all but a few veterans since the Korean War, depriving them of a dignified funeral and burial because of financial means.
Yet, it is simply insulting that this government has chosen to invest in additional staff to control their caucus members and their message – in the midst of the ongoing PMO-Senate scandal – instead of our courageous women and men in uniform, who have made great sacrifices in the service of this country.
The Conservatives need to re-think their priorities. Our veterans should be looked after with care and respect, not nickel and dimed.
Jim Karygiannis, MP
Liberal Party Veterans Affairs Critic