ELMIRA, ON, January 31, 2013 – Mr. Gordon Moore, Dominion President of The Royal Canadian Legion, accompanied by Mr. Phil Fredette, the Government Relations Chair of the Funeral Service Association of Canada and Mr. Jean-Pierre Goyer, Executive Director of the Last Post Fund, announced the launch of a national letter writing campaign to request that the government improve the Funeral and Burial Benefits Program for Veterans, earlier today at Legion Branch 469.
“Starting today, we are calling on our approximately 330,000 members to send a letter to their respective MPs highlighting the need for government action to improve the Funeral and Burial Benefits program. All Canadians who wish to support our efforts are encouraged to do so by downloading our letter” concluded Mr. Moore.
Please read instructions below to choose your method of letter submission before opening the letter. You will need the name of your Member of Parliament as well as the parliamentary email address.
Welcome to The Legion’s Letter Writing Campaign for improved Funeral and Burial Benefits for Veterans. Members are asked to send the prepared letter to their Member of Parliament to request that the government improve the program.
[ Member of Parliament ]
House of Commons
RE: Dignified Funeral and Burial Support for Canada’s Veterans
Dear Mr./Ms. Member of Parliament,
I am writing to support The Royal Canadian Legion’s position and request that you, as a Member of Parliament, act in your capacity to increase the support for funerals and burials available to Veterans from the Last Post Fund.
Canada’s Veterans deserve a dignified funeral that recognizes the significant contribution they have made to the security of this country. The Royal Canadian Legion has specifically, and repeatedly, asked Government for action on the issue of funerals and burials, but to no avail. Now, through a national letter campaign, The Legion is also taking up the torch on behalf of our Veterans across the country. And my voice is not alone, the Canadian Funeral Service Association is also concerned: http://bit.ly/UEmndq
The Legion’s advocacy on this issue was first brought to Government in 2004. It was raised again in 2010 and most recently in 2012 when The Legion presented a statement to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, on behalf of its 330,000 members, calling on the Government to immediately increase the Veterans Funeral and Burial Program benefits available through the Last Post Fund for low income Veterans.
I am specifically asking you to answer, or seek responses from Government, to the following key issues
which need to be resolved:
- The current rate of $3,600 provided by The Last Post fund is greatly inadequate and has not been
increased since 2001. When will the Government make the proper adjustments to this amount?
- The eligibility for funeral and burial benefits should be granted to low income CF Veterans. These Veterans have served our country and deserve a dignified funeral. When will the Government grant equality to all Veterans?
- The survivor estate exemption was reduced in 1995 from approximately $24,030 to $12,015 as part of budget reductions. This is considerably less than the poverty level and has not been adjusted since 1995. When will the Government recognize the inadequacies of this amount in light of today’s economic climate?
These Veterans and their families deserve to be treated with respect and dignity for their service to our country. As a proud Canadian, I have not forgotten our Veterans and their families, and The Legion never will. I look forward to your answers to my questions, and your efforts to ensure Veterans receive the benefits they so rightly deserve.