Harper government supports veterans

 As your member of Parliament I take veterans issues very seriously, as many Yukoners have served Canada to secure our freedom. I am proud to support several improvements to the valuable services provided for veteran

As your member of Parliament I take veterans issues very seriously, as many Yukoners have served Canada to secure our freedom. I am proud to

support several improvements to the valuable services provided for veterans. Just this week, our government tabled Bill C-11, which gives priority hiring to injured veterans.

Recent media coverage has drawn negative attention on the closure of nine Veterans Affairs offices across the country. The closure of these offices does not affect the Yukon.

Our government is committed to improving services for veterans in the territory through a new partnership between Veterans Affairs and Service Canada. Veterans and their families now have access to the Service Canada office in the Elijah Smith Building to seek information or help with applications.

There have been no cuts to veterans funding in our territory. The reality is that our government is committed to more effective ways of caring for veterans, including home visits. Veterans across Canada can continue to rely on home visits from nurses and case managers. These services will be improved with the hiring of 40 more nurses and case workers to better meet the needs of our veterans.

Canada has one of the best Veteran Service and Affairs programs in the world, and we continue to shape it to meet the priorities of ever-changing veteran needs.

I am pleased to say that I have supported our government in:

* Investing an additional $5 billion in funding for services and benefits to veterans since 2006

* Guaranteeing an annual income of $40,000 to those injured veterans unable to work, until the age of 65

* Doubling the funeral and burial reimbursement to more than $7,300

* Introducing direct-deposit so veterans can get their benefits faster, clearing 2.5 million transactions.

I recognize the importance of honouring the achievement and sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. This is why I am proud to join our government in declaring 2013 the Year of the Korean War Veteran and dedicating a new memorial in Korea, helping construct a Vimy Ridge memorial centre and unveiling the Afghanistan memorial.

As your member of Parliament my commitment is to Yukon. If there are any veterans in our territory having any challenges and/or issues, my office is another location to receive assistance on a range of matters. I am happy to facilitate in any way I can, including those that may require home visitation.

I would be pleased to discuss the complete range of veteran services, support, and recognition programs that make up our government’s continued commitment to our brave men and women in uniform.

As we move towards Remembrance Day, I encourage Yukoners to attend one of the many events in our community to express our gratitude for the sacrifice given in the name of our freedom.

Ryan Leef

Member of Parliament, Yukon