Launching Heroes Fund to Honour our Veterans and First Responders

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“There is no higher form of public service than to risk one’s life in defence of our country or in maintaining public safety. Alberta’s United Conservatives want to assure the courageous members of our Armed Forces and first responders and their families that we recognize and value the important work they do and the sacrifices they make in protecting our communities and keeping us safe.”

  • A United Conservative government would honour Alberta veterans by creating the Alex Decoteau Veteran’s Scholarship of Honour. It would provide $5,000 to Alberta members of the Canadian armed Forces to help them integrate into the workforce. The scholarship would also be available to family members of fallen or disabled members.
  • This scholarship will be named after Alex Decoteau, an Olympic athlete and Canada’s first Aboriginal police officer who joined the Edmonton police force in 1909 and died from a sniper’s bullet while serving in the Canadian Army during the First World War.
  • The Heroes’ Fund will recognize the contributions made by our first responders. It would provide one-time lump sum, tax-free payment of $100,000 to the families of first responders who have died as a result of their duties.
  • A United Conservative government would also work with the federal government to expand access to mental health services for first responders who have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of their service.

For more detail, please see below.

United Conservatives recognize and express our gratitude to our armed forces and first responders who protect us and keep us safe.

When a first responder or member of the armed forces is killed in the line of duty, it is a devastating loss to their family and to the community. To make matters worse, often loved ones left behind worry about how to make ends meet. If a first responder or veteran pays the ultimate price while protecting their fellow Albertans, the province has a duty to help support their family.

Alex Decoteau, Canada’s first Aboriginal police officer, joined the Edmonton Police Service in 1909. He was an accomplished competitive runner who represented Canada at the 1916 Olympic Games. He went on to enlist in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and was killed by a sniper’s bullet on October 30th, 1917, during the Battle of Passchendaele.1

The program would provide $5,000 scholarships to members of the Canadian Armed Forces from Alberta who have served in designated military operations. The scholarship would also be available to immediate family members of fallen or disabled members. The program is modelled on the Saskatchewan Scholarship of Honour.2 It is estimated that the annual incremental cost would
be $1 million.

The scholarship will assist with the veterans who seek supplementary education or training for integration into the labour market following their military service.

The federal program provides a maximum $300,000 lump sum, tax free benefit to an immediate family member of a police officer, firefighter, or paramedic who died as a result of performing their duties, including death by suicide.

A United Conservative government will provide a $100,000 top-up for Alberta families eligible under the federal program. The program will have an estimated annual cost of $1.5 million, based on federal projections.

A UCP government will also work with the Government of Canada to improve services for first responders who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their service. We will allocate an incremental $1.5 million annually to these efforts, in additional to current
funding available, and additional federal funding announced.

Based on Public Safety Canada projections, it is estimated that 9 Alberta families would qualify for support from the Heroes Fund annually.

The total estimated annual cost of these programs is $4 million

To read the News Release, please click here

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