Budget 2017 addresses financial security, education and family support
BARRIE, ON, April 18, 2017 /CNW/ - Canada's women and men in uniform have served our country with bravery, honour and dignity—putting their lives at risk to protect the values we cherish most. Our Veterans deserve our greatest recognition and respect for their service.
Today, at Georgian College, the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, announced several new educational initiatives available to Veterans as part of Budget 2017. The announcement was followed by a visit at CFB Borden to meet with Canadian Armed Forces Members to talk about what Budget 2017 means for them.
Budget 2017 builds on the foundation that was established in Budget 2016 and will recognize the important role of caregivers, help more families, support mental health and provide for the education and training Veterans need to find the work they want in their post-military lives.
One of the most significant items introduced in this year's budget – the new Education and Training benefit - provides up to $80,000 of financial support for the costs of college, university or technical education. Veterans will be able to make choices that best suit their family's situation during their transition.
This benefit supports Veterans in achieving their education and future post-military employment goals and positions them to be more competitive in the workforce.
The Government also plans to redesign the Career Transition Services (CTS) program to ensure that Veterans, reservists, survivors, spouses and common law partners have the knowledge, skills and abilities required to search for employment in the civilian work force.
"Whether it is further education, job coaching or help applying for jobs, we will support and guide Veterans and their spouses in finding the work they want in their post-military life."
"If education truly is the great equalizer, as I believe it to be, then this new Veterans' Education and Training Benefit has the potential to be a real game changer for Canada's Veterans and their families."
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of the Department of National Defence.
Budget 2017 highlights:
- $133.9 million over six years to create a new Veterans' Education and Training Benefit – The new benefit would provide up to $40,000 in support for the costs of College, University or Technical Education of their choice to all Canadian Armed Forces Regular Force and Reserve Force Veterans with at least six years of military service and up to $80,000 in support for those with at least 12 years of service.
- $74.1 million over six years to enhance the Career Transition Services which would include an expansion of current eligibilities; the removal of time limits for Veterans, reservists and survivors to access benefits; and simplification or elimination of the application process for participants.
- Expanding the Veteran Family Program across all 32 Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs). The expansion of the program would result in medically released Veterans and their families having continued and uninterrupted access to all 32 MFRCs across the country, in addition to the other resources that were part of the initial pilot.
- Enhancing and simplifying support to Veterans' families and caregivers by replacing the Family Caregiver Relief Benefit with a $1,000 monthly, tax-free benefit paid directly to a Veteran's caregiver.
- $4 million over four years to establish a Veteran Emergency Fund to enable Veterans Affairs Canada to address unique and urgent veteran-specific situations.
- $13.9 million over four years to establish a Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund. This fund would be used for the development of new and innovative ways to support Veterans and their families by providing financial support to organizations to conduct research and implement initiatives and projects. These organizations can be non-profit, voluntary and in some cases, for-profit as well.
- Plans to create a new Centre of Excellence in Veterans' care, specializing in mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder and related issues for both Veterans and first responders.
- Budget 2017 http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/about-us/department-officials/minister/budget
- Service Delivery Review: Delivering Service Excellence http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/about-us/reports/sdr-delivering-service-excellence