HALIFAX – Tom Mulcair vows Canada’s “disrespected” military veterans would see more federal health care support under an NDP government.
The New Democrat leader says he would ensure his government honours the sacrifices of veterans and provides the services and benefits they’ve earned.
Speaking at a legion hall in Halifax, Mulcair said a government under his leadership would spend $454 million over four years to provide treatment for veterans suffering from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
The money would also be used to improve long-term care services and the Veterans Independence Program.
Mulcair criticized the Conservative government for letting veterans down through cuts to their health services.
He says if you ask veterans, they will tell you about nine years of disrespect they’ve seen from Stephen Harper.
Mulcair also announced that an NDP government, if elected, will apologize and “make amends” to former servicemen and women who were forced out of the military over their sexual orientation.
Mulcair calls the move a measure of fairness that is long overdue.
He also says his government would launch a public inquiry into the spraying of Agent Orange at CFB Gagetown.
The federal government set aside nearly $100 million in 2007 for Canadians harmed by Agent Orange and other chemicals used at the base.
Agent Orange is a toxic herbicide that was sprayed at CFB Gagetown in the mid-1960s by the US military, with permission from Canada.
Exposure to it has been known to lead to some skin disorders, liver problems and certain types of cancer.