Surprise Press Conference At Kitchener Legion
Prime Minister Harper addresses Canadian Veterans
Harper Government Delivers
Veterans' Bill Of Rights
The Polish Legion on Wellington Street Kitchener was packed with veterans bearing their medals of honour. A reminder of battles fought, comrades lost, and to some, years of living with disabilities without adequate financial resources and meaningful, effective representation.
Today Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s announced that Canada’s New Government is following through on its commitment to create a Veterans’ Bill of Rights and a Veterans’’ Ombudsman. The announcement should mean that Veterans past present and future will be treated with respect and not end up the forgotten ones when the fighting stops.
“The brave men and women of the Canadian Forces and RCMP have always acted courageously when called upon; and it’s because Veterans have always been willing to stand up for our country and its interests, Canada’s New Government is standing by them now,” said the Prime Minister.
The Bill of Rights will take effect immediately; will strengthen the government’s ability to respond quickly and fairly, to the concerns of Canada’s Veterans. It is a clear and concise statement that will allow Veterans Affairs to continue to ensure every Canadian veteran is treated with respect, with dignity and with fairness.
The Ombudsman, whom is yet to be chosen, will operate at arms-length from the government, and will play an important role in raising the awareness of the needs and concerns of Veterans. The Ombudsman will submit a report to the Minister on an annual basis, which will be tabled in Parliament.
“Our Veterans have given their very best to Canada,” said Prime Minister Harper. “Through the Veterans’ Bill of Rights and Veterans’ Ombudsman, our government is taking yet another step to ensure that Canada does its very best for the,” he said in closing.
A symbolic presentation was then made by the Prime Minister and Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson to a local Veteran.
Note: Unfortunately, PM Harper did not define Veteran in his speech. Who is he referring to? We can assume it is all Veterans - from WWI to present soldiers returning from Afghanistan, but we need to know.