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6

ARMED FORCES PENSIONERS

/ANNUITANTS

ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

In 2010, Canadian Veteran Jim

Lowther noticed that far too many

Canadian heroes were falling

through cracks in the system, and he

decided that enough was enough.

VETS Canada started as a small

group formed by Lowther in Halifax

NS. Their goal was to seek out these

Veterans, offer them Veteran-to-Vet-

eran support, and ultimately reduce

Veteran homelessness.

Now a Canada-wide charitable

organization, VETS Canada has

partnered with VAC to reach as

many homeless and at-risk Veterans

as possible. They identify at-risk and

homeless Veterans, and offer finan-

cial and moral support. Their man-

date is to get Veterans off the streets

and into affordable housing, provide

support in accessing benefits, and as-

sist them in finding suitable employ-

ment.

To donate time or money, or to

help VETS Canada identify a home-

less or in-crisis Veteran, please see

their website at

www.vetscanada.org

or call 1-888-228-3871.

Guitars for Vets

VETS Canada has begun a new

initiative as well. The Guitars for

Vets project is intended to find at-

risk Veterans and assist them through

musical therapy. For Veterans with

PTSD, other OSI’s, and service-re-

lated disabilities, learning to play the

guitar can offer both the calming ef-

fects of music and a welcome dis-

traction for their minds.

VETS Canada gives a donated

guitar to a Veteran in need and,

where possible, pays for ten guitar

lessons. For ongoing lessons and for

those who can’t access guitar les-

sons, they offer free online begin-

ner’s lessons.

For more information on how to

become a participant, donate a gui-

tar, or volunteer your time as an in-

structor, visit the Guitars for Vets

webpage at

www.vetscanada.org/guitars-for- vets.php

VETS Canada

Veterans’ Emergency Transition Services

...Continued from previous page

Cabinet processes, including our first

Budget, to deliver on your top priori-

ties:

Provide injured veterans with 90

percent of their pre-release salary,

and index this benefit so that it

keeps pace with inflation.

End the time limit for surviving

spouses to apply for vocational re-

habilitation and assistance serv-

ices.

Double funding to the Last Post

Fund to ensure that all veterans re-

ceive a dignified burial.”

From the mandate letter as a

whole, it seems clear that the federal

government intends to be empathetic

towards Veterans. More specifically,

with regards to the three “top priori-

ties” quoted above we see: (1) the

recognition of the importance of infla-

tion-adjusted benefits on an ongoing

basis, (2) the recognition that arbitrary

or very short time limits within which

to apply for benefits are not appropri-

ate, and (3) an intention to double the

funding provided to the LPF to ensure

dignified burials for our Veterans.

These are very encouraging statements

and direction from the Prime Minister

that directly touch on the three LPF

objectives I have mentioned above.

It remains to be determined ex-

actly how the Minister of Veterans Af-

fairs will implement his mandate.

Nonetheless, there is no denying the

very favourable tone of the direction

that has been given by the Prime Min-

ister.

The LPF looks forward to working

closely with the Minister of Veterans

Affairs and his staff in the coming

months to continue to improve the Fu-

neral and Burial Program for our Vet-

erans who need help with their final

requirements. For more information

visit

:www.lastpostfund.ca

AFP/AAC

P.O. Box 370, 3-247 Barr Street

Renfrew, Ontario K7V 4A6

Phone: 613-432-9491

Email:

executivedirector@afpaac.ca

Website:

www.afpaac.ca