Budget 2017 addresses financial security, education and family support
MOOSE JAW, SK, April 24, 2017 /CNW/ - Canada's women and men in uniform have served our country with bravery, honour and dignity—putting their lives at risk to protect the values we cherish most. Our Veterans deserve our greatest recognition and respect for their service.
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, met with Canadian Forces Members and their families at the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) in Moose Jaw today to provide details on Budget 2017 initiatives to assist Canada's Veterans and their families.
Budget 2017 builds on the foundation that was established in Budget 2016 and will recognize the important role of caregivers, help more families, support mental health and provide for the education and training Veterans need to find the work they want in their post-military lives.
Budget 2017 would expand access to all 32 MFRCs across Canada following the success of a pilot project that allowed access for medically released Veterans and their families to seven MFRCs. Previously, these services were only for still-serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
"When a member serves, the whole family serves along with them. Families and caregivers are the backbone of the support Veterans need during their service, their transition to post-military life and afterwards. Their mental health and well-being are a priority."
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of the Department of National Defence
Budget 2017 highlights:
- Expanding access to all 32 Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs) across Canada. The expansion would result in medically released Veterans and their families having continued and uninterrupted access to all 32 MFRCs across the country, in addition to the other resources that were part of the initial pilot.
- $133.9 million over six years to create a new Veterans' Education and Training Benefit. This new benefit would provide Veterans with the funding for college, university or a technical education of their choice. Veterans with six years of service may be eligible for up to $40,000 and Veterans with at least 12 years of service may be eligible for up to $80,000 to cover tuition, course materials, and some incidentals and living expenses.
- Redesigning the Career Transition Services (CTS) program, which would include an expansion of current eligibilities; the removal of time limits for Veterans, reservists and survivors to access benefits; and simplification or elimination of the application process for participants.
- Enhancing and simplifying support to Veterans' families and caregivers by replacing the Family Caregiver Relief Benefit with a $1,000 monthly, tax-free benefit paid directly to a Veteran's caregiver.
- $4 million over four years to establish a Veteran Emergency Fund to enable Veterans Affairs Canada to address unique and urgent veteran-specific situations.
- $13.9 million over four years to establish a Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund. This fund would be used for the development of new and innovative ways to support Veterans and their families by providing financial support to organizations to conduct research and implement initiatives and projects. These organizations can be non-profit, voluntary and, in some cases, for-profit as well.
- Plans to create a new Centre of Excellence in Veterans' care, specializing in mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder and related issues for Veterans.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Sarah McMaster, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649; Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468, firstname.lastname@example.org