That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) honour the service of Canadian military and RCMP veterans and their families by committing to not cut Veterans Affairs Canada in the upcoming budget; and (b) provide programs and services to all military and RCMP veterans and their families in a timely and comprehensive manner.
Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. friend for an amendment to this motion. I would hope that the members of the Conservative Party and all members of this House would now see that this motion should be passed.
The hon. member for Sackville—Eastern Shore has, as other members have mentioned, been a stalwart defender of the rights of veterans. All of us are very concerned that declining veterans benefits, declining to care properly for our veterans, is a growing national scandal.
I would love to see this amendment pass. I would ask my hon. friend who has moved this motion if he believes that, with this amendment, the motion can have the unanimous consent of this House?
Robert Chisholm: Mr. Speaker, the amendment is only intended to hold the government at its word.
Members opposite, including the minister, have spent some time today talking about how the cuts will not affect programs and services for veterans but that they will go forward with the cuts but do it through cuts to red tape and somehow mysteriously finding some savings.
All I want to do, and I think members in this chamber would agree, is ensure that we hold the government’s feet to the fire. If it finds, through its operational strategic review, savings, it should ensure it goes directly to the programs and services for veterans so they are not affected.
Members opposite should put their money where their mouth is and get this done. We could then have a unanimous passage of the amendment.