We heard from Sergeant William Webb, who testified at our last committee meeting. He's from Vancouver Island. He's a veteran who has a family, and he talked about the challenges of finding support, especially for veterans for family members.
Sorry, I didn't even thank you for your service and the work you do, because you do great work, especially in our region. I appreciate that.
Captain Ralph, I certainly see a lot of your team, the Wounded Warriors, on Vancouver Island.
Your organizations are doing really important work.
Sergeant Webb cited that lack of support for families.
There's Cockrell House in Victoria. They are really making a difference. They're at 100% capacity. They need three of those facilities at least. None of them are designed for people with young children.
In terms of the number of spaces, I have two bases in my riding: the Nanoose naval base and CFB Comox. We have a large number of veterans retiring in our area. We've seen housing skyrocket 50% just in the last three years, so already we have a homeless problem. We have veterans who want to be located close to their comrades to be part of that military family.
Housing prices are huge, and there's no strategy around housing veterans. There's no federal component that in the national housing strategy really deals with it.
We've heard about a project here in Ottawa. Their challenge was that they could get one-third of the funding from the federal government, but they couldn't get the matching funds from the province and the municipality. They were pushing back, saying it is a federal responsibility, just like indigenous housing.
I want to get your feedback and thoughts on that, because we are seeing huge challenges, and not just urban ones. I'm really glad, Dr. Forchuk, that you talked about some of the rural challenges, because they're real.
In terms of funding, do you see the federal government creating more funding, and should it be dedicated funding just for veterans and housing?
General, I'll start with you.