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MP Ellis motion to end veteran homelessness supported in the House

MP Neil Ellis

A private members’ motion by Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis to end veteran homelessness has been was supported in the House of Commons.

M-225 was first brought to the House for debate on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Although that process was unsuccessful, Thursday, when MP Karen Vecchio brought it forward again on a Point of Order, it received the full support of the House.

M-225 states: “That, in the opinion of the House: the government should set a goal to prevent and end veteran homelessness in Canada by 2025 and a plan to achieve this aim should be developed by the government and be presented to the House by June 2020. It is to be co-led by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Minister of Veterans Affairs. The plan should include consideration of whether a National Veterans Housing Benefit similar to the successful U.S. Housing and Urban Development – Veterans Administration Supportive Housing Program would fit the Canadian context, complementing the National Housing Strategy.

MP Ellis credits the success of M-225 to the strong all-party support received long before Thursday’s debate.

M-225 was formally seconded by Conservative and New Democrat MPs, Karen Vecchio and Sheri Benson.

Ellis said the readiness to undertake action was on full display June 5 during his announcement of the motion.

“I’m humbled that the House has now committed to set a timeline for eliminating veteran homelessness,” said Ellis. “Once we get the process for evaluating the United States’ HUD-VASH program into place, we’ll be even closer to designing, and implementing, a similar model that takes into account our national context and the needs of our own Canadian veterans and their families.”

“Estimates indicate that between 3,000 and 5,000 veterans are homeless in Canada. I’m so glad that the House recognizes the need to move forward, together, to turn this number into a zero.”

MP Ellis also credits M-225’s success to the work of organizations that first inspired it. The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH), Veterans Emergency Transition Services (VETS Canada), the Royal Canadian Legion and the Old Brewery Mission in Montreal, among others, provided witness testimony to the Members of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs (ACVA), during the Committee’s study on this issue.

The total sum of evidence, statistics, and narratives shared by each organization are compiled in ACVA’s May 1, 2019 report on ending homelessness for veterans.

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  1. Canadian veterans have been shamefully mistreated by our federal and provincial governments, over and over again…
    – Harper insisted that veterans who risked their lives remain silent about their war experiences, in order to keep Canadians ignorant of what really happened in Afghanistan where 150 Canadian lives were lost ostensibly protecting human rights and Canadian values.
    – Ford disrespected those veterans when he trampled those Canadian human rights in Ontario, but a confused Parliament in Ottawa did not send its troops to Ontario to protect those human rights with violence, the way it did in Afghanistan.
    National defence is a national scam!

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