Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member opposite for the question regarding the infrastructure bank, however, the question that was brought forward was with respect to veterans affairs. Therefore, I will be happy to respond to that question.
I would like to thank the member opposite, who also sits on veterans affairs committee, for her advocacy on behalf of veterans and military families.
Canada's veterans do deserve respect, financial security, and fair treatment. This government has committed to treating our veterans with the respect they deserve.
As everyone in the House knows through experience, there is often inaccurate information floating around and it is important Canadians get the facts, so let me set the record straight.
Shortly after taking office, the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence established six advisory groups composed of veterans and members of stakeholder organizations. Their input contributed to the changes made in programs and benefits for veterans, and for that we thank them.
In 2016, Veterans Affairs Canada began taking steps to reopen the nine offices closed by the previous government, as well as open a new office in Surrey, British Columbia. Budget 2016 contributed to improving the financial security of veterans and their families by making sure they have more money in their pockets.
Budget 2017 supports the health and well-being of veterans and families by investing in mental health supports, education opportunities, and career transition services.
For example, we will invest $17.5 million in creating a centre of excellence to research and share knowledge and best practices on post-traumatic stress disorder and related health conditions for veterans and Canadian Armed Forces members.
Beginning in April 2018, the new education and training benefit will give veterans with at least six years of military service the opportunity to receive up to $40,000 in financial assistance to use towards post-secondary education, while veterans with at least 12 years of service may be eligible for up to $80,000.
We are also expanding access to military family resource centres beginning in April 2018 to include families of all medically released veterans.
The continued access to all 32 MFRCs across Canada will provide veterans and their families a familiar support group post-military career.
The new caregiver recognition benefit will provide $1,000 every month, tax-free, to caregivers of veterans to better recognize and honour the vital role they play. This is based on direct feedback received from the minister's advisory groups.
In addition, to help with the transition from military to civilian life, we will expand coaching and job placement assistance to equip veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members, survivors, and veterans' spouses and common-law partners with the tools they need to navigate the transition to the civilian workforce.
These are just some of the changes that we are confident will result in better outcomes for veterans and their families.
Yes, it has taken time. That is because this government is listening and responding to the real needs of veterans and their families. I have personally visited 12 Canadian Armed Forces bases and wings since March of this year and I have spoken with hundreds of military members, veterans and their families to listen to their needs.
We will continue to strive for excellence in the care and support of our brave men and women in uniform, those who have served, and the families that support them.