Budget 2019

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Post by Trooper on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 6:39 pm

Edgefore wrote:
Liberals look to shore up veterans vote with transition cash


Many vets abandoned the Conservatives in 2015. The Liberals are anxious to keep them on-side

Murray Brewster · CBC News · Posted: Mar 19, 2019


Budget 2019 - Page 2 Military-reserves-politics-20150204

The Liberal government is pouring $135 million over six years into the system that attempts to smooth veterans' transition from uniforms to civilian life.

It's one of a series of relatively small measures for the veterans community contained in Finance Minister Bill Morneau's new budget — the Trudeau government's last fiscal plan before this year's election.

The transition measures fall short of recommendations made by the former Canadian Forces ombudsman and, in some cases, those of the House of Commons veterans committee.

Other initiatives in the budget include a $150 million, five-year survivors fund for veterans' spouses who married over the age of 60, and long-awaited recognition for Metis who fought in the Second World War.

Both of those plans appear to be aimed at key demographics the Liberals hope to capture in the fall election.

More significant, though, is the fact that the budget put money behind many of the transition initiatives announced last fall by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and then-veterans minister Seamus O'Reagan.

Both the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs are focused on improving what has been described as a chaotic transition system — one which sometimes forces veterans to wait months for their military pensions, benefits and rehabilitation to kick in.

The budget contains a number of previously announced initiatives, including better training and a transition guide for retiring members.


What it doesn't contain is a specific reference to a personalized 'consigner service' which would shepherd soldiers, sailors and aircrew through the complicated system of forms, benefits and eligibility rules involved in retiring from the military.

That's something former ombudsman Gary Walbourne recommended. The federal government has promised already to turn it into a pilot program, but there's no mention of a pilot in the budget document.

The budget also is silent on how to resolve an enormous backlog of disability benefits applications, which was estimated at roughly 40,000 files last November.

Instead, the budget offered a series of new, relatively small initiatives to underscore what the Liberal government has done for veterans. Many veterans abandoned the Conservatives in the last election but have grown increasingly restless and disillusioned since.

Prominent among the previously-announced plans in the new budget is the upcoming implementation of the so-called pension-for-life plan — a major promise made by the Liberals in the last election.

The $3.6 billion investment was announced in the 2018 budget, with a rollout scheduled for April 1, 2019.

Among the new proposals is a $150 million, five-year survivor's fund for the spouses of veterans who married after age 60.

And as part of its reconciliation effort with the aboriginal community, Ottawa has set aside $30 million to recognize Metis veterans who fought for Canada in the Second World War.

That plan has been the subject of long, detailed negotiations with the Metis community, which has urged the federal government to move quickly because of the dwindling number of living former soldiers.







Looks like the CBC/Liberals are under the assumption Veterans are on side with the Liberals?

This is news to me. The Liberals must be playing the stupid card again. The Liberals must have agreed with Walt that there's only a handful of dissatisfied Veterans, and you'll always have some Veterans who are unhappy.

One thing I will give credit to the Liberals they certainly know how to handle backlash, and handle Veterans in general.The Liberals signed off on Walt's creative legislation's. This forum has many post that reflects those advocating against the Liberals for broken promises. It is all recorded here for everyone to see, and read.

With that said I would also make a point of pointing out that in my own personal view/opinion the Conservatives were no better, or worse than the Liberals.

Some might suggest the Liberals were a tad better then the Conservatives, I disagree simply for one particular reason, both parties handed the file down to the deputy to run in full. This is a betrayal from both parties, therefore it is to see such incompetence from both parties showing exactly the ignorance those two parties have towards disabled Veterans in this Country!

Clear evidence the government just doesn't care!
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Post by Featherally on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 6:48 pm

Budget 2019: Government adds $150 million over five years to better process veterans claims

By Charlie Pinkerton. Published on Mar 19, 2019

Budget 2019 - Page 2 02-01-ch-147f-1180x785-1180x675

The federal government is dedicating $150 million over five years to better process veterans’ claims, as part of several multi-million-dollar projects it unveiled in its pre-election budget, putting emphasis on a file its been criticized of neglecting since taking control of the House of Commons in 2015.

Former military members were recognized in a title subsection of this year’s budget, something they didn’t receive in last year’s edition.

Issues like several unsatisfactory Veterans Affairs ministers and a growing backlog in veterans’ claims have been constantly criticized by advocates.

Other major financial commitments targeting veterans in this year’s budget include $136-million over the next five years, split between Veterans Affairs and the Department of National Defence, which the government anticipates as the cost for its already-announced transition service for troops.

Another is a one-time $30 million investment to recognize the contribution of Métis veterans in the Second World War.

The budget also revealed several smaller commitments. It’s putting $30 million over five years toward supporting veterans’ health, of which a significant portion will go towards creating a Centre of Excellence on Chronic Pain Research. They will also provide $25 million, spread over 10 years beginning in 2020-21, for the operations of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research.

The government is also adding $2.9 million over three years to plant trees along the Highway of Heroes in southern Ontario. It has already planted 90,000 of the 2 million trees it wants to erect between the stretch of highway that runs from Trenton to Toronto. It’s goal is to plant a tree to recognize the service of each Canadian soldier since Confederation.

The government also renewed its funding for the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy, France, which pays homage to Canadians that served in the Second World War. The budget outlines $2.5 million over five years to be put towards the centre.

A proposed legislative change in the budget seeks to expand the eligibility for the Education and Training Benefit so that members of the Supplementary Reserve can access it. Veterans can receive up to $80,000 toward their education through the program.





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Post by Featherally on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 6:54 pm

Five things about the federal budget

The Canadian Press
Teresa Wright
March 19, 2019

OTTAWA — The Liberals’ last budget of this mandate sets the stage for the October federal election and includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum. But there are also gaps in spending for some groups.

Here’s what the budget does and doesn’t do, for five key voting groups:


Veterans

The Liberals will enter the election campaign facing an uphill battle with veterans after Tuesday’s federal budget promised some new money to those who have served in uniform but otherwise failed to address the community’s largest grievances.

The budget includes funding for chronic-pain research, for survivors of veterans who married after they were 60 years old, for measures to ease the transition from military to civilian life and for Second World War commemorations.

But it doesn’t make any changes to the Trudeau government’s controversial disability pension plan, which will come into effect on April 1. The plan has been blasted by many veterans as falling far short of what the Liberals promised in the last election and was recently found by the parliamentary budget officer to provide less support for the most severely injured veterans than the current system of benefits.





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Post by Featherally on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 6:59 pm

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Post by Featherally on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 7:06 pm

Trudeau's budget an attempt to buy re-election

True North
Published on Mar 19, 2019



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Post by Zephariah on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 8:06 pm

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer reacts to the Liberal government's 2019 federal budget

CBC News
Published on Mar 19, 2019



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Post by Zephariah on Tue 19 Mar 2019, 8:23 pm

Budget 2019 - Page 2 603331

The Royal Canadian Legion responds to federal budget 2019

Positive investments... lacking in detail

March 19, 2019 18:30 ET | Source: The Royal Canadian Legion

OTTAWA, March 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With the release of the federal budget, The Royal Canadian Legion is pleased to see a range of investments for veterans and families but awaits additional information on the mechanisms to be used, and the programs the funding will support.

“The investments should provide a tangible difference in veterans’ lives and are good to see, but we’re concerned about the lack of detail,” says Dominion President, Thomas D. Irvine, CD. “It is also disappointing to see no focused investment in military equipment.”

Transition to post-service life. We are pleased to see a continued commitment, and resources dedicated to veterans’ transition services, but details remain unclear.

Research on military and veterans’ health. Increased funding for CIMVHR is an important decision, and will hopefully allow for future research into important issues such as cannabinoid therapy, mefloquine toxicity and general health concerns related to issues such as traumatic brain injury.

Supporting families. It is positive to see the creation of a new Veterans Survivors Fund to help ensure survivors have the financial support they need. Still, it does not meet the specific commitment as outlined in Veterans Affairs Canada and Department of National Defence mandate letters to eliminate the marriage after 60 clause, so that surviving spouses of veterans who happened to be married after the age of 60 receive the appropriate pension and health benefits they deserve. We would also like to see additional funding for caregiver support and training.

Education and training benefit. We support expanded eligibility for the Education and Training Benefit so that it becomes more accessible to Canadian Armed Forces members, to include Supplementary Reservists.

Commitment to seniors. The Legion welcomes the investment in seniors’ well-being, and hopes this will also strengthen the help accessible to senior veterans.

Centre of Excellence. We are pleased to see the announcement of a second Centre of Excellence in the area of chronic pain and look forward to details on how and when it will be established.

Commemoration. While it is positive to see funds dedicated to commemorative activities, the Legion would like to see a defined government plan for collaborative commemoration instead of a piecemeal approach.

The lack of a concerted financial investment in other areas that directly affect veterans, and the lack of detail about the financial benefits of the new Pension for Life plan, remain a concern. Many veterans are still unsure of the level of support they will actually receive with the plan’s release on April 1.

Priority areas in which the Legion is advocating, and for which immediate investment is needed include: homelessness, long-term care, and lifelong financial security for ill and injured veterans.





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Post by Slider on Wed 20 Mar 2019, 8:39 pm

Vets groups unimpressed with ‘apples and oranges’ fix to gold-digger clause in budget

By Charlie Pinkerton. Published on Mar 20, 2019

Budget 2019 - Page 2 11-13-remembrance-1180x712-1180x675
The Pipes and Drums of the Canadian contingent play during a Remembrance Day Ceremony in St-Ghislain, Belgium on November 11, 2018. Photo: Sergeant Vincent Carbonneau, Canadian Forces Combat Camera IS13-2018-0003-006



Representatives of multiple organizations that advocate for veterans aren’t impressed with the government’s workaround to fixing the “gold-digger clause” that was announced in the budget Tuesday.

The gold-digger clause, as its often called, excludes the spouse of a veteran from receiving the typical pension and benefits associated with being a veteran’s spouse if they married after 60 years old.

Called “disappointing,” a “stopgap,” and merely a “start” by representatives of organizations that advocate for veterans, the government’s solution to a campaign promise appears to come up short.

In their platform in 2015, the Liberals promised to “eliminate” the marriage-after-60 clause, to ensure all spouses of veterans receive appropriate pension and benefits. Eliminating the clause was also put into the mandate letters of the five veterans affairs members who have served under the Trudeau government.

The budget promises a new “Veterans Survivors Fund” administered by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). Over five years, VAC will be given $150 million to “work with the community” (as the budget says) to identify impacted survivors and ensure they have suitable financial support. The plan is supposed to start in 2019-20.

“(The Veterans Survivors Fund) is not making that go away, it’s implementing something else,” Royal Canadian Legion national executive director Brad White said. The legion is a national veterans’ advocacy group.

“I would say this is a stopgap getting around the issue and I wouldn’t give the mandate letter a check on this one,” White said.

Both White and Charles McCabe, the treasurer of the Armed Forces Pensioners’/Annuitants’ Association of Canada (AFP/AAC), called the measure an “apples and oranges” attempt at fixing the gold-digger clause.

McCabe added that because of the way the plan is phrased in the budget that only spouses of veterans receiving benefits from VAC, and not all veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces, would be entitled to support through the Veterans Survivors Fund.

“The promise that we saw (before the last election) resolved the marriage-after-60 issue, which is part of the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA), not anything to do with (VAC),” McCabe.

“That won’t cut it, no. We want the caveat removed from the CFSA.”

It was the director of advocacy of the National Association of Federal Retirees Sayward Montague who said the government’s announced measure is a “start to delivering on something that’s been an ask from many veterans for quite a while.” The organization advocates on behalf of retired members of the federal public service, which includes former members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Of their 176,000 total members, 60,000 are veterans of CAF, the RCMP or their family members.

She said she didn’t interpret the Veterans Survivors Fund as it was outlined in the budget to only include recipients of VAC benefits.

“They’ve basically said there’s this pot of money going into a fund that will be delivered on by VAC, it doesn’t say if it relates to the (CFSA) or to people who are under the Pension Act, it’s not clear,” Montague said.

According to the budget, more details about the Veterans Survivors Fund will be announced at a later time.

In a statement to media, the Green Party of Canada recognized the move as the “first steps” towards doing away with the gold-digger clause.

Long-time NDP MP Irene Mathyssen introduced a bill in the House of Commons more than a year ago, which would have killed the marriage-after-60 clause. Her private member’s bill, C-397, hasn’t proceeded past its first reading, and Mathyssen doesn’t think it will.

“I think these Liberals have no intention of making sure C-397 moves ahead. This is their duck-and-cover attempt with what’s in the budget. I’m not impressed,” Mathyssen said.





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Post by Nonzero on Thu 28 Mar 2019, 3:50 pm

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Mistakes in federal budget quietly corrected online, Finance Department blames ‘typing errors’

Conservative MP Kelly McCauley said he discovered the 'serious errors' while doing a deep dive into the budget. A Finance spokesman denied that is how it happened



Marie-Danielle Smith

March 27, 2019


OTTAWA — The Department of Finance has quietly updated the online version of this year’s federal budget after several mistakes were found in the original tabled in Parliament last week — including a discrepancy of $2.2 billion.

The department chalks them up to “typing errors,” but Conservatives warn they undermine trust in the entire document.

About a dozen pages of tables listing total spending on 2019 budget initiatives have been updated online to include a handful of corrections in red text.

Conservative MP Kelly McCauley said he discovered the “serious errors” while doing a deep dive into the budget and brought them to the Parliamentary Budget Office, which then alerted the Finance Department. The PBO declined comment. A spokesman for the department denied that that is how it happened, saying the errors “were found following internal review.”

“The corrections do not affect budget text nor other financial tables in the budget. The errors were a result of typing errors and were corrected to ensure consistency with the budget text,” said spokesman Pierre-Alain Bujold, adding the corrections don’t require the minister to table a new version.


All of the errors were contained within tables tacked on to the back of the budget as part of the Liberal government’s effort to reconcile the budget with the main estimates, which MPs vote on each year to approve government spending.

Last year billions in spending for programs that were announced in the 2018 budget but not fully vetted by a Treasury Board process were stacked into a single vote, Vote 40. Conservatives decried the lump sum approval as a “slush fund,” and the Parliamentary Budget Officer issued a scathing report.

The legislation accompanying Vote 40 referred to the tables at the back of the budget. Unless Finance Minister Bill Morneau were to present a new version of the document in the House, if the appropriations are done the same way this year, the legislation will be referring back to a paper document that is no longer up-to-date.

All of this should raise concerns that the government is not taking its finances seriously, McCauley said. “These are huge errors in information they’re providing to parliamentarians,” he said. “They table the budget with the Vote 40 slush fund repeated, with errors that can’t be trusted, which takes away even more oversight. And (now there is) even less ability of parliamentarians to trust the numbers put before them.”


While the original document said there had been $186 million in spending on initiatives announced in the budget in 2018-19, the updated version shows there was actually $311 million. The original document underestimated total spending on 2019 budget measures over the next five years by an additional $28 million, putting the discrepancy at $153 million in total.

The biggest error seems to have come in the category of “other,” a line item with no description. The original version of the budget featured expenditures of nearly $2.2 billion in that category for the year 2019-20. The updated version changes that number to a $23-million deficit.

The new document also corrects a mistake in a table reconciling the 2018-19 main estimates with the 2019-20 planned estimates — $100 million was put on the wrong line in the original.

Even accepting that an official could have made typing mistakes, the whole thing screams of “pure carelessness,” McCauley said.

“This isn’t just some run-of-the-mill, ‘oh, we forgot a comma.’ This is table upon table, millions upon millions of dollars in errors,” he said. “If they make such errors with the tens of millions with this, what else have they made a mistake on?”

• Email: mdsmith@postmedia.com | Twitter:









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