Jennie Stevens MPP, St. Catharines

Government of Ontario

St. Catharines MPP asking Ford Gov. why some veterans are being denied emergency funding

St.Catharines' NDP MPP Jennie Stevens is asking for answers after some veterans have been denied emergency funding.

Stevens says she wants the Ford government to explain why so many of the province’s veterans are being denied access to grants for emergency situations from the Ontario’s Soldiers’ Aid Commission.

“Will the government extend coverage of Ontario’s Soldiers’ Aid Commission to all veterans, yes or no?,” asked Stevens in today’s question period at the Ontario legislature.

She says currently, only veterans who served before 1953 are eligible for this assistance.

Since the end of the Korean War, members of the Canadian Armed Forces have served in conflict zones and peacekeeping missions all over the world — including Afghanistan, Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

Stevens says these veterans of recent military operations are excluded and are routinely turned away, despite 60 per cent of the Commission’s annual budget remaining unspent each year.

“This is shameful. It can be avoided if the provincial government stops treating some veterans’ as second-class and turning them away from this important support,” continued Stevens.

“As a mother to a son who is actively serving in the Canadian Forces, I can say there is nothing second class about the service these brave men and women have provided for our country.

“Will the premier tell this house how many veterans are turned away from Ontario’s Soldiers’ Aid Commission program?”

Ontario’s Soldiers’ Aid Commission helps veterans in emergency situations – like those facing the threat of homelessness.