Critics say a lack of funding has been an ongoing issue for the Last Post Fund and the Funeral Service Association of Canada, whose members have been picking up the bill to ensure impoverished vets received a proper and dignified burial.
They’ve ramped the lobbying efforts and showed up on the Hill Thursday to urge the government to rethink their funding of the program.
Here’s the release from the Funeral Service Association of Canada:
“Government action is needed to ensure that Canadian veterans are able to receive the funerals they deserve,” said Phil Fredette, Government Relations Chair, Funeral Service Association of Canada (FSAC), “Previous Ministers of Veterans Affairs have recognized this as an important concern, and the current government has the mandate to act.”The Last Post Fund is a non-profit organization that offers financial benefits for funeral related expenses to eligible veterans and disability pensioners. Despite a constant rise in funeral costs, funding rate levels for the Last Post Fund have remained constant since 2001. This discrepancy in funding is making it harder for funeral homes to provide veterans with the dignified burials they warrant.“In a recently conducted national study, we found that our members provide comparable services to veterans for much less than what general public pays,” continued Mr. Fredette, “This difference means funeral directors across Canada are subsidizing the cost of veterans’ funerals.”FSAC is calling on the government to increase financial support for Last Post Fund so that it is in line with the real costs of funeral arrangements to ensure the necessary and warranted level of dignity for Canadian veterans is maintained.Concluded Mr. Fredette:“As Remembrance Day approaches, it is time for the government to recognize what Canadian veterans have contributed to their country and support an increase to the Last Post Fund.”