Conservatives correcting past mistakes

Previous government funding cuts to services for veterans are being restored

Re: Vets deserve better, Letters (June 13)

I was surprised to read Prince Edward Island Liberal MP Sean Casey raising the issue of support for veterans knowing the shameful record of the previous Liberal government, a period the former Chief of Defence staff called “the decade of darkness.”

The sad truth is the last Liberal government cut 11 per cent from Veterans Affairs in 1995. This had a negative impact on the benefits and services provided to our nation’s heroes.

While the Liberals cut support to Allied Veterans and health care benefits, Conservatives took action to restore benefits to those whose support was cut off. The facts are we have spent the last six years correcting mistakes made by the previous Liberal government in the department of Veterans Affairs.

We have doubled the amount of operational stress injury clinics to assist veterans with mental health issues and we are investing $189 million over the next five years to make significant enhancements to the New Veterans Charter.

Since forming government, we have considerably ramped up the number of full-time mental health professionals in the Canadian Forces – approximately 378 compared to 228 in 2006 – and we are working to hire more. When compared to our NATO allies, the Canadian Forces have the highest ratio of mental health professionals to soldiers.

While Liberals try to hide from their record and spread fear amongst our veterans, the Conservative government is delivering real results for the men and women who have put their lives on the line for this great country.

Mark Strahl,

Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP