The fact that Canadian funeral directors are obliged to cover the costs of funerals for Canada’s most impoverished War Veterans bears witness to the lack of recognition for the immeasurable debt of gratitude Canadians owe all Veterans. During this time of Remembrance, perhaps it is time to hold the Government of Canada accountable and revisit this issue which has been of considerable importance for The Royal Canadian Legion for several years.
In fact, during our Dominion Convention held in Winnipeg in 2010, The Royal Canadian Legion passed a resolution calling on the Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada to take any and all necessary action immediately to increase the Veterans Funeral and Burial Program services allowable from $3,600.00 to an equivalent level already established of $12,700.00 for the Canadian Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Moreover, these funds should be made available, without complex eligibility requirements, to all those Veterans who have insufficient financial means. Complex eligibility requirements are contrary to the “need principles” enshrined in the Canadian Forces Military and Veterans Re-Establishment and Compensation Act (CFMVRCA). Veterans were willing to give their lives for this country, honouring them properly in the last final act is the least the country can do for them.
It is for these reasons that the Legion plays a fundamental role in ensuring all Veterans receive the best access to life-long care, services and benefits including a dignified funeral. Therefore, we fully support the efforts of the funeral directors to see an increase in funding for Veterans funeral services and we will continue to press the federal government on this issue.
Lest We Forget.
Gordon Moore, Dominion President The Royal Canadian Legion