That's a very good question. That's exactly why I chose the theme "One Veteran" for the duration of my mandate.
In fact, over the years, we have created these different groups because the programs have been developed directly following missions, deployments and wars. After almost every conflict, we reinvented a suite of programs that applied to certain groups of veterans. That has developed over the years so that we now have several veterans groups created mainly based on the mission the veterans took part in.
I would recommend to the government and to Veterans Affairs Canada that they not create veterans categories any longer, but instead have one single category. I would also recommend that they acknowledge that all veterans—either of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or of the Canadian Forces—must be treated the same way if they sustain the same injury or the same illness. I think that's what is important.
We have a table that shows a comparative study of the programs provided by various countries. I could certainly send it to the committee later. In the United States, the benefits programs recognize two types of veteran. The British armed forces have only one group of clients to serve. Australia has four. So, Canada is really outside the range.
Furthermore, it concerned me to see that, a few months ago now, the Department of National Defence had developed a series of programs that people can enrol in, as long as they had served in Afghanistan. We are continuing to create programs that target only certain missions.