September 12, 2008 13:17 ET

Layton Issues Challenge to Harper on Veterans

Have Special Warrant Issued before Election Day say New Democrats

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - Sept. 12, 2008) - New Democrat Leader Jack Layton issued a challenge to Stephen Harper to take action to fund his latest commitment to veterans and their families - ask the Governor General to issue a special warrant to fund your promises.

"Stephen Harper doesn't deserve the support of veterans or their families because he doesn't fulfill the commitments he makes to them," said Layton.
Peter Stoffer, New Democrats' veterans' affairs critic, echoed Layton's call and also cited Agent Orange compensation and another example of broken promises to veterans.

Stoffer says they promised "the sun, the moon and the stars," but they simply didn't deliver.

On September 9, Harper announced if re-elected Prime Minister, he would restore veterans' allowances for those who fought for Commonwealth or Allied forces in the Second World War. However, Harper still hasn't fulfilled the promises he made to veterans and their families in the past.

In 2006, Mr. Harper committed to Cape Breton Nova Scotia widow Joyce Carter that a "Conservative government would immediately extend the Veterans Independence Program services to the widows of all Second World War and Korean War veterans regardless of when the veteran passed away or how long they had been receiving the benefit prior to passing away."

After 38 months as Prime Minister, he still hasn't fulfilled his commitment to Joyce Carter.

Layton challenged called on Harper to have the Governor General issue a 'Special Warrant' to before election day ensure the money flow to over 9,00 Canadian veterans.


From: House of Commons Procedure and Practice

Edited by Robert Marleau and Camille Montpetit

Governor General's Special Warrants

In a very special circumstance, the Financial Administration Act allows the Governor in Council to ask the Governor General to issue a Special Warrant permitting the government to make charges not otherwise authorized by Parliament on the Consolidated Revenue Fund, provided that the following conditions are met:

- Parliament is dissolved;

- A Minister has reported that an expenditure is urgently required for the public good; and

- The President of the Treasury Board has reported that there is no appropriation for the payment.

This provision of the Act makes it possible for the government to continue its work during a dissolution. Special Warrants may be used only from the date of dissolution until 60 days following the date fixed for the return of the writs after a general election. Furthermore, no Special Warrants may be issued during that period if Parliament stands prorogued.

The Financial Administration Act requires that every Special Warrant be published in the Canada Gazette within 30 days of its issue. Notification of the amount authorized under such a Warrant must also be tabled in the House within 15 days of the commencement of the next Session of Parliament and authorization must be included retroactively in the first Appropriation Act passed in that Session.

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