New Democrats demand that the Liberals stop protecting profits over Veterans by ending Loblaw outsourcing « Canada’s NDP

March 9, 2023 at 7:00 am  Federal, Politics

OTTAWA – On Thursday, NDP Veterans Affairs critic Rachel Blaney rose in parliament to demand that the Liberals end their $560 million Veterans Affairs contract with Loblaws and deliver Veterans services better and faster through Canada’s public service.

Since November, the Liberals have tasked Loblaw – a company with no experience in delivering public services – to oversee vital rehabilitation and mental health services for veterans.

“Veterans who’ve fought for this country deserve to have the best supports possible when they return home,” said Blaney. “But instead, the government is leaving them in the lurch, without access to the services they need and are promised. It’s despicable that when we have one of the best public services in the world, who could be delivering these services, the Liberals are choosing to give a massive contract to a company that only cares about their bottom line.”

Not only does the costly outsourcing mean veterans services have been delayed for months, but the Veterans Affairs Workers Union did the math – the governments contract with Loblaws will cost Canadians 25 per cent more than if the public service were to do it. Meanwhile, while transitioning to the new system, mental and psycho-social supports have been completely suspended.

“Veterans, VAC workers and service providers have all urged the Minister of Veteran Affairs to end this contract, but he and his Liberal colleagues would rather help their rich CEO friends make even more money. And when Pierre Poilievre was a minister, he stood by while Stephen Harper closed Veterans Affairs offices, and cut jobs – which created backlogs in the first place,” added Blaney. “New Democrats believe that the people who’ve proudly served this country deserve the best possible supports to transition from military to civilian life – rich CEOs don’t need the extra help. That’s why we’re fighting to end this botched Liberal contract and to instead invest in Canada’s public service so that veterans get the care they need, as fast as possible.”

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