VANCOUVER, May 22, 2015 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Erin O'Toole, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, today delivered remarks at "A Night for Heroes" Gala hosted by Honour House.
During the address, PS Lemieux commended Honour House for their great work facilitating a successful transition from military to civilian life and reaffirmed the Government of Canada's commitment to improving the health and well-being of Canada's Veterans and their families.
The Government of Canada has recently announced a number of new programs and services to support Veterans and their families, such as:
- The new Retirement Income Security Benefit, which would provide moderately to severely disabled Veterans—those who need it most—with continued assistance in the form of a monthly income support payment beginning at age 65.
- The new Family Caregiver Relief Benefit, which would provide eligible Veterans with a tax-free, annual grant of $7,238 so that their informal caregivers—who are often their spouse or other devoted family members—will have flexibility or relief when they need it, while also ensuring that the Veterans' care needs are met.
- Broadened eligibility criteria for the Permanent Impairment Allowance (PIA) which, together with the PIA Supplement, provides approximately $600 to $2,800 a month in lifelong monthly financial support to Veterans whose employment potential and career advancement opportunities have been limited by a permanent service-related injury or illness.
- Enhanced benefits for injured part-time Reserve Force Veterans, who will now be assured the same minimum income support payment through the Earnings Loss Program as full-time Reserve Force and Regular Force Veterans.
- The proposed new Critical Injury Benefit (CIB) which will provide a $70,000 tax-free award to support the most severely injured and ill Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and Veterans.
- The hiring of new front- line staff to improve one-on-one support for Veterans.
- Since 2011, Honour House has provided more than 2,150 nights of housing to our heroes, including Canadian Armed Forces personnel, Veterans, Emergency Services personnel and their families, while they travel to receive medical care and treatment in the Metro Vancouver Area. Guests and their families reside free of charge in a safe, comfortable and relaxing home environment.
- Proposed new services and expanded eligibility for existing programs are expected to benefit thousands of Veterans and their families, today and in the future.
"I applaud and thank Honour House for the vital role they are playing in improving the health and well-being of Canada's Veterans and their families. Honour House does a tremendous job at providing service men and women with a place to call home as they recover from injuries sustained during service."
The Honourable Erin O'Toole, Minister of Veterans Affairs
"I commend the Honour House members and volunteers for their hard work and dedicated efforts in successfully building and operating a home for our Veteran heroes. The services and care offered by organizations such as Honour House truly make a difference for Veterans and their families as they transition from military to civilian life."
Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs
"We are honoured to welcome Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux to A Night for Heroes Gala this evening. We are pleased that he could be part of this dream come true as our mission has always been to ensure that Veterans and their families have a place to call home."
Allan De Genova, President, Honour House
"I have seen the difference that Honour House has made to our Heroes and their families—the home it has offered in difficult times. As the wife of a police officer who was formerly in the Navy, Honour House is very special to me. I always tell our heroes: We hope you never need us, but we are here if you do."
Melissa De Genova, Gala Co-Chair, Honour House
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Martin Magnan, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649; Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468