The Liberal Party is vying for the military and Veteran votes in the upcoming election.
After focusing on Veteran care and military services since 2015, the federal government is under fire after Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau confirmed on Wednesday his government is re-assessing what it pays hospitals for the care of military members.
In the midst of a Federal Election, Trudeau claims the government’s decision will not mean a cut to services, that he warns, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer could make to services.
In the Liberal Party 2019 platform, they are promising to support Veterans and their families with increased mental health services, up to $3,000 in free counselling before a disability claim, and automatic approval for common disability applications from Veterans including depression, arthritis, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Other benefits for proposed to CAF members and Veterans include:
● A national employment and training support service that will provide career counselling, job matching, and other employment help tailored to the unique needs of military and police families,
● A tax-free $2,500 benefit to military and police families every time they relocate, to help with retraining, recertification, and other costs of finding new work and,
● Building new accessible and affordable housing units to end Veteran homelessness with an investment of $15 million a year.
Other parties have also been looking to secure the military and Veteran population, including Conservatives campaigning on placing an agreement in legislation between government and veteran services and clearing backlog of benefit applications within the next two years.
“In terms of the math and what the parties actually do, it’s striking how little difference there is between the two parties when in office they basically act in relatively similar ways,” said David Perry, senior analyst and vice president, Global Affairs Canada Institute. “That’s tied into more as far as I can tell how much money is available to the government of Canada.”
As Canadians get closer to voting day, the Liberal Party’s stance on national defence has been quiet.
“I have not seen the Prime Minister mention anything in connecting with the commitments made in the Liberal Party platform about defence,” said Perry.
Perry hasn’t seen much about the defence policy and says not running on the record of defence policy is “a strange dynamic to observe,” and “defence issues don’t crack the top ten concerns for average Canadians.”
Instead, Liberals are focusing on three main priorities for Canadians:
● Gun Control:
○ Moving forward with a ban on all military-style rifles, including the AR-15,
○ Investing an additional $50 million each year, over five years to continue to fight gang-related violence,
○ Working with provinces and territories to give municipalities the ability to further restrict or ban handguns and,
○ Introducing a buyback program for all military-style assault rifles legally purchased in Canada.
● Climate Change:
○ Promising net-zero emissions by 2050,
○ Plant two billion trees over the next decade,
○ Creating 3,500 seasonal jobs,
○ Continuing implementing the Carbon Tax.
● Middle-Class Families:
○ Ensuring Canadians don’t pay federal taxes on the $15,000 they earn,
○ More accessible and affordable childcare,
○ Promising to cut the cost of cell and wireless services by 25 percent and,
○ Giving an additional $6 billion over the next four years to health care.
The Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was recently endorsed on Twitter by former U.S. President Barack Obama earlier this week.
“I was proud to work with Justin Trudeau as President,” Obama wrote on Twitter. “He’s a hard-working, effective leader who takes on big issues like climate change. The world needs his progressive leadership now, and I hope our neighbours to the north support him for another term.”
The Tweet did cause controversy.
To learn more about the Liberal Party’s policies, visit their website here.