Mr. Speaker, despite countless desperate pleas for help, Veterans Affairs refuses to change its policy on the veterans independence program, VIP. Because of a simple administrative decision, veterans' widows whose husbands died before September 1990 are excluded from this vital program.
That double standard creates two classes of widows: one group of widows that receives the full benefit of the VIP and another that is left with nothing. Worse still, this decision creates two classes of veterans: those whose families are cared for and those whose families are forgotten.
These brave women were the backbone of the war effort here at home. Many took care of their ailing husbands for 30 years or more. When these widows are denied the benefits they rightly deserve, the government dishonours the memory of their hero husbands.
When the government ties benefits to something as cruel as the date on which a loved one dies, it betrays the values for which those veterans fought. When the government stands to defend this kind of brutal injustice, it is a disgrace--