Hon. Bryon Wilfert (Richmond Hill, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to all Canadian veterans, but in particular to those who have fallen on hard times since leaving the Canadian Forces.
In early 2009, the Veterans Affairs ombudsman noted the serious constraints the government faces when trying to help homeless veterans, who often require urgent assistance but lack the required proof of identification to obtain it.
More recently, a study conducted by the University of Western Ontario drew attention to the plight of some Canadian homeless veterans. Often afflicted with addiction or mental health problems developed during their military careers, the study found that many of these once-decorated Canadians now find themselves in grave need. While this study identified only a few dozen homeless veterans in two Ontario cities, there is no doubt that countless others need help in cities from Victoria to St. John's.
For this reason, I encourage all members of this House to make great efforts to identify and assist the homeless heroes in their communities, and I ask all of them to rise to pay tribute to these brave men and women.
Topic: Statements By Members