Author Topic: New Minister of Veterans Affairs: Mandate Letter, etc.  (Read 38918 times)

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Offline Teager

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Re: Who is advising Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr?
« Reply #75 on: April 14, 2016, 22:47:24 »
Builds on what Brihard was saying. This does come from the CVA Facebook page but shared from Mark Campbell with an update to Equitas as well.

Quote
From Mark Campbell, Equitas. Please read and share
Well, it has been another busy time, with two trips to Ottawa in the space of a week and a half. The first journey was for a second meeting of the re-booted Minister's Policy Advisory Group on 6 April. This was followed by an Equitas Class Action Lawsuit meeting with Minister Hehr and his principal staff on 11 April. With a day in the air each way for each meeting, that was 4 days of travel for two days of work. In a word, Painful!!
The first meeting lasted a day and a half, and I am pleased to report that I found it to be extremely constructive and worthwhile. Unlike the previous "Meet and Greets", this series of briefings and meetings focused on relevant issues and substance. A broad range of topics was discussed, with the primary focus on identifying gaps in the New Veterans' Charter (NVC) and their potential fixes. It should come as no surprise that the primary topic of discussion was the return to some form of pension. Once again, confidentiality precludes me from mentioning the detail of our discussions. This confidentiality is necessary to curtail rampant internet speculation as much as it is to promote a free exchange of ideas among the Group members. The official Record of Discussion, along with the composition of the Policy Advisory Group, will be made public on the VAC website within two weeks of the meeting. Officially released detail of the discussions will be found there. Until then, here is the English version of the official communique:
"The Veterans Affairs Canada Policy Advisory Group met in Ottawa April 6 and 7, 2016 to develop substantive recommendations for the purpose of implementing the priorities for legislation and regulatory reform contained in the Mandate Letter received by the Minister of Veterans Affairs from the Prime Minister and which delineates the commitments of the new Federal Government to the Veterans’ community.
In accordance with its mandate, the Policy Advisory Group continues to specifically identify the gaps, weaknesses and inequities in veterans’ legislation, regulation and policy that need to be addressed by Veterans Affairs Canada in order to rectify these deficiencies and shortcomings, with particular emphasis on the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-Establishment and Compensation Act (the New Veterans Charter).
In pursuit of its fundamental objective, the Policy Advisory Group is charting a course of action to ensure that Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP Veterans and their families receive the care, compassion, respect, support and economic opportunities they deserve through the policy recommendations that the Advisory Group will provide to the Minister of Veterans Affairs."
The Policy Advisory Group will meet again in May 2016, just prior to the next semi-annual Stakeholder Summit involving all 50-odd Veterans' Advocacy Groups. Until then, those that dd not get a seat at the policy table will simply have to cool their jets. The Stakeholder Summit will afford all recognized Veterans' Groups an opportunity to be seen and heard, as has been promised by the GOC's consultative process. To allow every single advocacy group, no matter how well-intentioned a seat on every committee would be to invite paralysis of process. It would simply be too cumbersome to get any real work done (eg. Too many cooks in the kitchen!). Hence the selective membership of the six committees, but the all-inclusive nature of the semi-annual Stakeholder Summits.
The Equitas meeting with Minister Hehr, his principal staff and the Department of Justice Lawyers did not go as well as the earlier Policy Committee Meeting. After a year of discussions, the two sides were finally unable to agree on a resolution of the case. As a result, it now appears that we will be headed back to court at the end of May. We will hear the B.C. Appeal Court judges rule on the Federal Government's Appeal of our initial win in the B.C. Supreme Court. This new decision will be a key determinant in whether or not we (serving and/or former soldiers) have the Constitutional right to sue the GOC in the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC). As such, this ruling will set the stage for any subsequent legal action to be pursued in the SCC. As stated before, we are not yet finished with the legal system. Yes, the Liberal GOC is finally moving on the real issues of substance that have plagued veterans under the NVC for the past 10 years. But now is not the time to let down our guard. After all, how do you think we got this far? It wasn't with our sparkling personalities and charming words, I can assure you. The Equitas class action lawsuit has been instrumental in bringing the GOC to heel thus far regarding the wishes of our nation's veterans. The case will continue until it becomes unquestionably clear that Canada's new generation of Veterans are going to be treated with the same degree of care, compassion and respect as our previous generations of Veterans under the Government of the day. That is it, that is all.
Edited to add that following the Equitas meeting, myself, Aaron Bedard and Brian McKenna got to spend 30 minutes or so alone with the Minister of National Defence (MND). Both Brian and Aaron know Minister Sajjan personally from their shared Reserve Force time (Brian) as well as their work on his campaign during the last Federal election. We were able to discuss matters related to the Equitas lawsuit and general issues surrounding Veteran transition to civilian life. As you would expect, Minister Sajjan was an extremely gracious and friendly host. I must admit to being just a tad "star-struck" by this unexpectedly close encounter with Canada's very own "Badass" MND!
Until next month (or so),
Mark

Offline Brihard

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Re: Who is advising Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr?
« Reply #76 on: April 15, 2016, 01:08:56 »
Yup, Mark is legit on that. It matches what a couple of the other Equitas members who were at that meeting have told me.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline Pusser

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Re: Who is advising Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr?
« Reply #77 on: April 15, 2016, 05:02:38 »
I send them a secure message over a week ago and haven't even received back a "we got your message" reply.

Since those messages are automatically generated, maybe they didn't receive it.  Emails do sometimes disappear into the electronic ether and the more security systems involved, the greater the chance of this happening.  Just last week, I sent several messages to Service Ontario via their website that were not received.
Sure, apes read Nietzsche.  They just don't understand it.

Offline Tcm621

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Re: Who is advising Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr?
« Reply #78 on: April 15, 2016, 17:26:15 »
Since those messages are automatically generated, maybe they didn't receive it.  Emails do sometimes disappear into the electronic ether and the more security systems involved, the greater the chance of this happening.  Just last week, I sent several messages to Service Ontario via their website that were not received.
It has been 10 days so maybe that is the case.

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Re: Who is advising Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr?
« Reply #79 on: April 15, 2016, 19:22:30 »
- But everyone knows who he is, how crazy he is/was, and where he is now. He was bat crap crazy, not a gangster.
- This wasn't a bar fight or two drunks fighting over a Lee Enfield in a hunt camp, it has a handgun in a car fired by a person in a car at a person in another car. We hand out stiffer penalties for animal cruelty.
Now, I acknowledge that we did not know the victim then, but if this happened tomorrow to one of our own, this whole site would collapse from the vitriol concerning the sentencing.
- More of a curiosity than a conspiracy. But, odd, none the less. Who shot him? Why? Why the half-hearted response to the shooting for all concerned? Such responses are usually reserved for incidents where both conflicting sides belong to a 'high risk lifestyle'.

This what I was able to find out:

Quote
He was out late with teammates on Oct. 3, 1991, when he was the victim of one of the most shocking acts of senseless violence in Calgary history. After a boozy night at the pub, Hehr and pals were at a stop light, waiting to take Crowchild Trail back to campus. Another car was stopped a few lanes away. Hehr taunted them out his passenger window. One of them flashed a gun, and Hehr’s car raced away, the other guys in pursuit. “The last thing I remember before that was telling the guys: ‘Ah, that’s not a real gun; that’s a water gun,’ ” Hehr says. “Then, I don’t remember anything until we get to the fire department. So there’s probably a five- or six-minute period where my mind has said: ‘No, that’s a physical trauma we will not relive.’ ”

In those blank minutes, Martin Malaska and Jason Lee Graden sped up alongside Hehr’s car, and a bullet sliced into Hehr’s neck. He slumped forward; a friend in the backseat tried to hold him up. (Malaska got three years in prison and Graden got six months for the incident, though courts never determined who fired the pistol.) Richard remembers his son’s first words at the hospital: “Mom, dad, I’m paralyzed. I wish I was dead.”

Article Link: Kent Hehr: The Energizer Bunny who’s back in the game. Macleans Magazine 08 Feb 2016
Years ago, fairy tales all began with, "Once upon a time." Now we know they all began with, "If I'm elected."

Carolyn Warner

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Re: New Minister of Veterans Affairs: Mandate Letter, etc.
« Reply #80 on: October 05, 2017, 07:19:26 »
From the new Minister's Mandate Letter just out - also attached if link doesn't work ...
Quote
... Veterans and their families have earned our respect and gratitude.  Veterans should not have to fight their own government for the support and compensation they have earned.  As Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, your overarching goal will be to ensure that our government lives up to our sacred obligation to Veterans and their families.  I expect you to ensure that Veterans receive the respect, support, care, and economic opportunities they deserve.  You will ensure that we honour the service of our Veterans and provide new career opportunities, make it easier for Veterans to access services – including mental health services – and do more to support the families of Canada’s Veterans.  I ask you to work closely with your colleague the Minister of National Defence to ensure a seamless transition for Canadian Forces members to the programs and services of your department.

In particular, I will expect you to work with your colleagues and through established legislative, regulatory, and Cabinet processes, to deliver on your top priorities:

    Work with the Minister of National Defence to reduce complexity and strengthen partnerships between Veterans Affairs and National Defence.  As both Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, you will drive efforts to close the seam between these two departments and make public a roadmap with key milestones of action.
    You will continue the successful implementation of already announced initiatives, including:
        the increased value of the Disability Award;
        expanded access to the Permanent Impairment Allowance;
        providing injured Veterans with 90 percent of their pre-release salary, and indexing this benefit;
        the new Veterans Education Benefit;
        the nine re-opened Veterans Affairs service offices, the newly opened office in Surrey, British Columbia, expanded outreach activities to Veterans in the North, hiring of more service delivery staff, and full implementation of all of the Auditor General’s recommendations on enhancing mental health service delivery to Veterans;
        greater education, counselling, and training for families who are providing care and support to Veterans living with physical and/or mental health issues as a result of their service, including the recently expanded Veterans Family Program at all Military Family Resource Centres;
        the end of the time limit for surviving spouses to apply for vocational rehabilitation and assistance services;
        doubled funding to the Last Post Fund;
        improved career transition services to help Veterans gain skills to successfully transition to the civilian workforce;
        the Caregiver Recognition Benefit, paid directly to Veterans’ caregivers;  and
        the new Veteran Emergency Fund and Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund.
    Re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for our injured Veterans, while ensuring that every injured Veteran has access to financial advice and support so that they can determine the form of compensation that works best for them and their families.
    Streamline the current suite of benefits with the goal of reducing overlap and administrative burden, and further improving Veterans Affairs Canada staff performance as well as the client experience for Veterans both as they transition to civilian life and as their needs change throughout their lives.  You will also improve transparency and communications so that Veterans and their families have clarity and predictability of available benefits and services.
    Improve career and vocational assistance for Veterans through ensuring that job opportunities for returning Veterans are included in Community Benefits Agreements for new federally-funded infrastructure projects.
    Deliver a higher standard of service and care, and ensure that a “one Veteran, one standard” approach is upheld.
    Implement the creation of a centre of excellence in mental health to enhance research and best practices and establish a second centre of excellence based on the area of greatest need.
    Increase the Veteran survivor’s pension amount from 50 percent to 70 percent.
    Eliminate the “marriage after 60” claw-back clause, so that surviving spouses of Veterans receive appropriate pension and health benefits.
    Work with the Minister of National Defence to develop a suicide prevention strategy for Canadian Armed Forces personnel and Veterans.

These priorities draw heavily from our election platform commitments ...
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
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Re: New Minister of Veterans Affairs: Mandate Letter, etc.
« Reply #81 on: October 05, 2017, 07:38:18 »
Promises, promises... I'll wait to see how much is implemented.

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Re: New Minister of Veterans Affairs: Mandate Letter, etc.
« Reply #82 on: October 05, 2017, 09:29:12 »
Tony, did you do a word check to compare to Hehr's letter to see if there are any changes. Sentences maybe rearranged and the listing may be changed but the BS probably continues.
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Re: New Minister of Veterans Affairs: Mandate Letter, etc.
« Reply #83 on: October 05, 2017, 12:29:32 »
Tony, did you do a word check to compare to Hehr's letter to see if there are any changes. Sentences maybe rearranged and the listing may be changed but the BS probably continues.
Good catch - I didn't do a detailed side-by-side, but attached is Hehr's mandate letter, and here's the operative wording from that:
Quote
... Veterans and their families have earned our respect and gratitude.  Veterans should not have to fight their own government for the support and compensation they have earned. As Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, your overarching goal will be to ensure that our government lives up to our sacred obligation to veterans and their families. I expect you to ensure that veterans receive the respect, support, care, and economic opportunities they deserve. You will ensure that we honour the service of our veterans and provide new career opportunities, make it easier for veterans to access services – including mental health services – and do more to support the
families of Canada’s veterans. I ask you to work closely with your colleague the Minister of National Defence to ensure a seamless transition for Canadian Forces members to the programs and services of your department.

In particular, I will expect you to work with your colleagues and through established legislative, regulatory, and Cabinet processes, including our first Budget, to deliver on your top priorities:

Work with the Minister of National Defence to reduce complexity, overhaul service delivery, and strengthen partnerships between Veterans Affairs and National Defence.

Re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for our injured veterans, and increase the value of the disability award, while ensuring that every injured veteran has access to financial advice and support so that they can determine the form of compensation that works best for them and their families.

Expand access to the Permanent Impairment Allowance to better support veterans who have had their career options limited by a service-related illness or injury.

Provide injured veterans with 90 percent of their pre-release salary, and index this benefit so that it keeps pace with inflation.

Create a new Veterans Education Benefit that will provide full support for the costs of up to four years of college, university, or technical education for Canadian Forces veterans after completion of service.

Improve career and vocational assistance for veterans through ensuring that job opportunities for returning veterans are included in Community Benefits Agreements for new federally-funded infrastructure projects.

Deliver a higher standard of service and care, and ensure that a “one veteran, one standard” approach is upheld.

Re-open the nine Veterans Affairs service offices recently closed, hire more service delivery staff, and fully implement all of the Auditor General’s recommendations on enhancing mental health service delivery to veterans.

Create two new centres of excellence in veterans’ care, including one with a specialization in mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder and related issues for both veterans and first responders.

Provide greater education, counselling, and training for families who are providing care and support to veterans living with physical and/or mental health issues as a result of their service.

End the time limit for surviving spouses to apply for vocational rehabilitation and assistance services.

Increase the veteran survivor’s pension amount from 50 percent to 70 percent.

Eliminate the “marriage after 60” clawback clause, so that surviving spouses of veterans receive appropriate pension and health benefits.

Double funding to the Last Post Fund to ensure that all veterans receive a dignified burial.

Work with the Minister of National Defence to develop a suicide prevention strategy for Canadian Armed Forces personnel and veterans ...
Biggest quick-glance change I can catch is no more procurement stuff on the new associate minister of defence's plate.
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
MILNEWS.ca - Twitter