‘Veterans should not be punished for getting CERB’ – MP Rachel Blaney

Delayed disability benefits forced many veterans to apply for CERB and that should not be characterized as fraudulent claims said the NDP critic for veterans

North Island-Powell River MP, Rachel Blaney, is glad to see that the Canadian Emergency Business Account will now also accommodate smaller businesses with payrolls starting at $20,000 per year. Photo contributed

North Island-Powell River MP, Rachel Blaney wrote to federal Minister of Veteran affairs Lawrence MacAulay to express veterans’ concerns and get assurances that those who applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program instead of waiting for disability benefits would not be punished.

Some injured servicemen and women have applied for the CERB program because the extreme backlog of disability benefit applications at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) caused lengthy delays and made it impossible for them to get the financial support they need.

In her role as the NDP critic for veterans, Blaney said that instead of “waiting an indeterminate amount of time” for the disability benefit that the veterans are supposed to receive, they went ahead to apply for the CERB program because they were “struggling to make ends meet.”

Blaney also indicated that while the liberal government is aware of these delays they have been slow to respond.

While the CERB program rolled out funds to applicants who claimed to be jobless due to the COVID-19 pandemic, earlier in June, the federal government had warned penalizing those who deliberately made fraudulent claims.

“The Liberals encouraged people to apply for CERB and said they’d figure out specifics later but now they’re threatening to criminalize people for defrauding the system. It’s completely irresponsible to tell people it’s okay to apply and then threaten them when they follow the government’s advice.”

According to Blaney, the federal government should never have made veterans wait for their benefits in the first place.

“And now they’re dealing with the stress of being threatened as criminals,” said Blaney.

“Canada’s injured servicewomen and men have every right to receive support after their sacrifices, and they did what they could to work within a broken system – they did what the government told them to do.”

READ ALSO: North Island MP asks for more support for veterans

READ ALSO: North Island MP calls for feds to implement automatic approval of disability benefits

CoronavirusVeterans affairs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

Follow the frog: Greenways Loop signed for Go By Bike event

On Oct. 3, dress in green and get out on the newly-signed Greenways Loop

NDP solution to homelessness is to ‘warehouse’ people: BC Liberal leader

Andrew Wilkinson made a campaign stop in Campbell River and was asked about homelessness

Suspected homeless camp fire sends plume of smoke up from Campbell River park

Campbell River firefighters attended Nunns Creek Park to put out a fire… Continue reading

City of Campbell River adopts Housing Needs Report but not the recommendations

‘A report is only as good as the data upon which it is based’

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Parksville pedestrian airlifted to hospital in Vancouver after nighttime collision

Police report man’s injuries were ‘significant’ but not life-threatening

Most Read