Halifax, NS – Today at Province House, independent disabled veterans, their spouses, widows, and families voiced their disappointment with the unwillingness of the Liberal government to address systemic failures within Veteran Affairs. The group is also calling on the McNeil Liberals to fight for greater healthcare resources for Nova Scotian veterans.
“Our veterans need better care,” says David T MacLeod CD MA, a disabled Veteran who served our country in Afghanistan. “Nova Scotia has the largest veteran population per capita in Canada. It’s necessary for provincial governments to secure, from the federal government, increased healthcare funding and supports for veterans and their families. In doing so, the provincial government addresses financial shortfalls that were accepted in December 2016. By gaining greater resources from the federal government it reduces the burden on Nova Scotia taxpayers and an overtaxed healthcare system.”
PC leader Jamie Baillie was honoured to welcome the veterans and their loved ones to the House of Assembly today.
“I stand proudly by our veterans and will do everything I can to ensure that their pleas do not fall on deaf ears,” says Baillie. “The province and the country are failing these veterans and that is unacceptable.”
The group identified several systematic failures within Veteran Affairs that undermine the health, welfare and care of veterans’ and their families:
-Bureaucracy blocking access to benefits and services;
-Undermining provincial healthcare planning by continuing to download the cost of the war onto the provinces;
-Unwillingness of the Liberal government to provide promised life long pensions for disabled veterans in accordance with the Pension Act;
-Systematic misinformation from the Minster of Veteran Affairs;
-Minster of Veteran Affairs’ failed veteran engagement via Stakeholders Summits and Advisory Groups; and
-Unwillingness of the Office of the Veteran Ombudsman to be more assertive.
The group of independent veterans was brought together by sharing their stories and situations online, in person, through research, and in the courts. MacLeod encourages any veteran or their spouse interested in working with this group to join the Facebook page Veteran Association of Nova Scotia.