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Minister Hehr highlights funding for veteran program

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Minister Hehr highlights funding for veteran program

Post by Guest on Tue 06 Jun 2017, 15:47

Minister highlights funding for veteran program

By Lookout on Jun 06, 2017

Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs, meets with Military Family Resource Centre social worker Kaitlyn Ross during his visit to the Colwood Pacific Activity Centre May 30.

Last week, the Colwood Pacific Activity Centre played host to a Member of Parliament.

Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs, held a briefing at the centre to highlight the new role Military Family Resource Centres (MFRC) across the country will play in assisting medically-releasing veterans and their families.

“The Military Family Resource Centres are the cornerstone of Canada’s military communities and it is the group of people in this room today that make the magic happen,” said Hehr. “By opening up Military Family Resource Centres across the country to veterans and their families we are emphasizing they always were, and still are a part of the military family.”

The 2017 budget spells out additional resources for those who served in the Canadian Armed Forces, in particular, a Veteran Family Program for medically-releasing veterans. It was piloted at eight MFRCs, including Esquimalt, and will now be available at all 32 Centres.

“We have participated in the pilot program for the past year-and-a-half,” said Kaitlyn Ross, a social worker who coordinates the MFRC Esquimalt’s Veteran Family Program. “As an organization, we will continue to provide transition support services for military families that need assistance.”

Hehr, who also serves as Canada’s Associate Minister of National Defence, made note of the re-opening of nine regional Veteran Affairs Offices and the hiring of 400 support staff. He also outlined the government’s new financial commitment to veterans, families, and caregivers with the rollout of multiple new programs and supports that include:

The introduction of the Family Caregiver Relief Benefit that offers in-home caregivers a $1,000 per month, tax-free benefit to those caring for veterans in their homes.

A $133.9 million commitment over six years towards the creation of an education and training benefit that will provide financial support enabling veterans to attend college, university or receive technical training; a redesign of the Career Transition Services program.

$13.9 million over four years to establish a Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund.

$4 million over four years to establish a Veteran Emergency Fund for urgent and veteran-specific situations.

Plans to establish a new Centre of Excellence in Veterans’ Care specializing in mental health, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other related issues.

Later in the day Minister Hehr visited Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead in Saanich to announce a new partnership agreement with the Broadmead Care Society and Vancouver Island Health Authority. Previously the 115 long-term-care beds at the senior’s residential care facility were only available to Second World War and Korean War Veterans. Now long-term-care beds will be extended to Canadian Armed Forces Veterans and Allied Veterans.

Broadmead Care Society Board Chair Paul Morgan said the announcement was “a new opportunity to develop and enhance care and services for a broader range of veterans.”


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