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Support Services for Veterans

Hon. Yonah Martin (Acting Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, my question is for the Government Leader in the Senate. It relates to the service delivery at Veterans Affairs Canada.

Thousands of veterans dealing with physical and mental illnesses continue to wait a very long time to begin treatment. An Order Paper answer recently tabled in the other place revealed that for the fiscal year 2017-18, over 3,000 veterans waited for more than a year to receive an answer from the department regarding their application for disability benefits.

I mentioned in a question earlier this month the service standard for Veterans Affairs to provide a response in 16 weeks, but the department meets the standard only 43 per cent of the time.

Senator, I expect your answer will point to the investments your government has already made. The backlog persists. Why hasn’t service delivery improved at Veterans Affairs? Why do veterans still wait a year simply to get a response?

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