Veterans Survivor Fund/2019 Federal Budget

Information from Brian Forbes, Chairman, National Council of Veterans Associations (NCVA):

The 2019 federal budget contains a proposal that the government will create a Veterans Survivor Fund to ostensibly address the “marriage after 60” issue, which has been a longstanding grievance in the veterans’ community.

NCVA has recommended for a number of years an amendment to the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act (CFSA) to remove this punitive provision and to eliminate this discriminatory clawback.

I would advise that, at a recent Coffee Club meeting with the Deputy Minister, I raised our concerns in this regard and indicated that we fail to understand the apparent new direction that VAC may be taking to address this outstanding inequity.

It was interesting that the Deputy Minister subsequently encouraged the Minister’s office policy division to follow up with me on this issue, as he felt it would be valuable to engage the department in this context to ensure that the new policy advisors to the Minister were fully apprised of our position.

I am attaching my exchange of correspondence with Sarah Cozzi (Special Assistant, Policy and Commemorations for the Minister of Veterans Affairs) wherein I have expressed in strong terms our traditional stance in regard to this matter.

Given the fact that a number of brand new policy advisors have been retained in Minister MacAulay’s office, there clearly will be a steep learning curve, particularly on issues requiring historic knowledge of important government legislative provisions of this nature.

I will continue to pursue our NCVA position which focuses on the CFSA amendment, as clearly it is not necessary for the department to reinvent the wheel and create a solution which is not as optimal as the one that we have been recommending.

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