No answers on the Last Post Fund: Politics on TV, Remembrance Day edition

Talking about mental healthcare and burials for veterans on Remembrance Day

Message of the day

“For the men and women who served our country, every day is Remembrance Day.”

Questions not answered

  • Will the government put more money into burials for veterans?
  • Why are so many veterans turned down from burial assistance by the Last Post Fund?

Veterans and Remembrance Day:

The West Block spoke to Veterans Affairs minister Stephen Blaney about issues around mental health for veterans, and burials for poor veterans. Blaney insisted they are always doing more, with an outreach program, operational stress injury clinics, peer support with personnel who are dealing with PTSD, and hiring more doctors, nurses and psychiatrists. When asked about the Last Post Fund, Blaney insisted that it was a program for injured veterans in need, but wouldn’t answer why more than two thirds of applicants were turned down. When asked about the cuts to Veterans Affairs and if there would be more money put into the Last Post Fund or mental healthcare, Blaney said they have eliminated red tape and millions of routine administrative tasks with upfront payments.

Tom Clark then spoke to NDP critic Peter Stoffer, who said that he was disappointed by what he heard from Blaney as all is not well within the veteran community. Stoffer said that with the hundreds of millions of dollars wasted every year for the government on fake lakes, photo ops with fake airplanes and advertising, they can’t use “fiscal restraint” as an excuse for cutting Veterans Affairs and 2100 personnel out of a department of 4100. Stoffer said that on an individual level, he believes that Conservatives like Blaney want to do the right thing, but that they don’t have enough power in cabinet to stand up to Harper against the cuts.

The West Block screened an excerpt from the History Television documentary War Story that heard from veterans from WWII’s bomber command.

The “fiscal cliff”:

Clark spoke with Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institute about the American election and the chances for making a deal before the “fiscal cliff” of mandated tax increases and spending cuts takes place. Hess characterised the election as one of the most dreadful in American history, Hess said that the Tea Party representatives are still breathing down the necks of those in the House of Representatives, and that their system is such where they do all of the shouting until a minute before midnight, at which point they come to an agreement, which may be what happens on a deal with the “fiscal cliff.”

This week’s episode of CTV’s Question Period was pre-empted for Remembrance Day programming.