Canadian Soldiers Assistance Team (CSAT) Forum

Veterans Ombudsman View of the VAC Stakeholder Summit

Go down

Veterans Ombudsman View of the VAC Stakeholder Summit

Post by Guest on Thu 13 Oct 2016, 15:48

Veterans Ombudsman View of the VAC Stakeholder Summit.

My View of the VAC Stakeholder Summit – and what needs to be done to improve the system for Veterans.

Ottawa, ON - October 13, 2016

Last week, I participated in the Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Stakeholder Summit in Gatineau, Quebec. It had broad engagement from Veterans’ organizations and advocates from across the country. I was particularly impressed by the situational analysis and recommendations presented by the Ministerial Advisory Groups on Policy, Service Excellence, Mental Health, Families, Care and Support, and Commemoration as well as status updates from the leaders in the room.

As General Vance emphasized, we need to put as much effort, structure and support in place for serving members and their families at the time of release as we did at the time of recruitment. We also need to recognize that this is not a “one-size-fits-all affair” – particularly for the approximately 1,500 members who are medically released each year.

If you are told to leave the military because you can no longer meet the occupational requirements of the job – known as ‘universality of service’ – then the government has an obligation to ensure that you are supported and are able to transition to civilian life successfully.

The first thing that ought to be done is to make sure that the CF Pension of all releasing members is waiting for them when they take off their uniform for good. For many, this is the main contributor to financial security post-release.

Over the last two years, my team and the DND/CF Ombudsman’s team have worked together to fix the system. In our project summary “Joint Transition Project - Closing the Seam”, we map the transition process and highlight to government the top three things that need to be done now to make a difference: applying once for all VAC benefits and having a navigator help members through the process; reducing wait times for the Canadian Forces pension; eliminating duplication and overlap between the different programming offered by DND and VAC.

VAC also needs to improve how it delivers services to Veterans and their families. I recently submitted a brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs with suggestions on how VAC can modernize its service delivery and make it more Veteran-centric. I support change that would improve wait times for benefits, and I believe that there are other ways to improve the backlog.

I urge Parliamentarians to use all of their political will to reduce program complexity for Veterans. This would go a long way to improving service delivery so that Veterans get the services and benefits they need.

I and members of my team remain committed to ensuring fairness for ill and injured Veterans so that they obtain the care, support and compensation they need. While it is recognized that there are challenges, what is needed is constructive discussion and a focus on the end game. Now is the time to get it done.

That was also the broad consensus that I found amongst Summit participants and I am pleased that DND and VAC are working diligently together towards the desired outcome of successful transition. I will continue to monitor progress in this area and push for change.

Guy Parent
Veterans Ombudsman


Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum