Government should increase amount provided to cover vetereans’ funerals

The Royal Canadian Legion says the Last Post Fund hasn't been increased since 2001

Editor, The Record:

When it comes to providing the last offering of assistance any Canadian veteran will ever need, that being the financial assistance to cover the costs of their funeral and burial, what is the Canadian government waiting for?

The Royal Canadian Legion first identified this issue at its 2008 national Dominion Convention.

The Legion is dismayed by the inaction of this government to bring the long overdue improvements to funeral and burial benefits for veterans and their families. Instead, it appears the government’s priorities are out of sync with the desires of not only veterans, but the public as a whole.

On Nov. 8 Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) was announced it was spending $3.5 million on advertising campaigns, social media and “cool prizes” to promote Remembrance Day. While it is important to keep the memory of Canada’s military service alive, this spending could not be more misplaced.

If the average Canadian funeral costs $10,000, VAC’s advertising costs would help 350 veterans families with proper funeral and burial costs. Let’s not even talk about the $28 million the government spent on promoting the War of 1812. Canada’s veterans are crumbling under the weight of disrespect shown to them by the government they served to uphold. There should be no doubt that the issue of adequate funeral and burial support is an urgent issue for World War II and Korean War Veterans. The majority of these men and women are in their 90s; approximately 2,000 pass on each month.

There are three key issues which need to be resolved:

1. The rate of $3,600 provided by The Last Post Fund is greatly inadequate and has not been increased since 2001;

2. The eligibility for funeral and burial benefits should be granted to low income Canadian Forces veterans. These veterans were prepared to lay their lives on the line for our country and deserve a dignified funeral.

3. The survivor estate exemption was reduced in 1995 from approximately $24,030 to $12,015 as part of VAC budget reductions. So this means that a veteran’s estate if valued at more than $12,000 would not make that person’s surviving spouse eligible for support for a dignified and respectful funeral.

VAC seems to have some very dull scissors when it comes to “cutting the red tape” on the issue of providing the greatest, and last, benefit every veteran deserves — a dignified and respectful funeral and burial.

Gordon Moore

Dominion President

The Royal Canadian Legion

Just Posted

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 20

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

(file)
Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Most Read