OTTAWA – The Auditor General’s 2014 Fall Report makes clear that Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have utterly failed to provide the mental health services and support needed by Canada’s veterans, said Liberals.
“Today’s report is a shameful reminder of the Conservatives’ record, confirming that veterans cannot get timely access to the mental health services they need,” said Liberal Critic for Veterans Affairs, Frank Valeriote. “Over the past decade, 160 Canadian Armed Forces members have died by suicide, many more struggle with mental health issues, and now we see that too many veterans – suffering from mental illness as a result of service to their country – are being forced to wait eight months for help.”
The 2014 Fall Report is the latest evidence that this Conservative government has failed to uphold the social covenant with our veterans and their families. The Auditor General, in fact, concludes that Veterans Affairs is largely unconcerned with “how well veterans are being served and whether programs are making a difference in their lives.” Moreover, he shows that the government is unable to establish the effectiveness of mental health services for Canada’s veterans.
“Current funding for veterans’ mental health is stretched and wildly insufficient – especially when comparing the $1.13 billion Veterans Affairs has left unspent since Mr. Harper came to power with the hundreds of millions his government has wasted on partisan advertising,” said Mr. Valeriote. “We have a sacred obligation to those who serve and their families. Liberals’ priority is ensuring our veterans have nothing less than the best of care and support from a grateful nation.”