OTTAWA - Canada's military dead will be able to rest a little easier after a federal budget that promises millions of dollars to fix tens of thousands of veterans' graves that have fallen into disrepair.
The Canadian Press reported last year that an internal report by Veterans Affairs Canada had identified a lack of money as the reason why more than 45,000 military graves across the country -- or nearly one in four -- were in need of repairs.
The report said that at current funding levels, it would take 17 years to complete all the outstanding repairs, which include cleaning, restoring and replacing headstones.
But the federal budget aims to address the problem in five years by quadrupling the amount of money earmarked to maintain the 207,000 military graves in Canada -- $5 million a year, up from $1.2 million.
Veterans Affairs had previously been receiving about $5 million per year to maintain military graves in Canada, but that amount was slashed in 2003 because the department couldn't say at the time which graves needed work.
The new funding largely applies to the graves of those veterans buried in Canada, including those killed in Afghanistan and on peacekeeping missions.