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The Parade Square => VAC and other Soldiers' Benefits => Topic started by: Rifleman62 on December 11, 2017, 10:50:47

Title: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on December 11, 2017, 10:50:47
Rather than start a new thread for every VAC announcement/press release/news report.

http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/thousands-of-veterans-waiting-as-backlog-for-disability-benefits-explodes

Backlog for disability benefits explodes, leaving thousands of veterans waiting
- Lee Berthiaume -10 Dec 17
Veterans Affairs Canada says there were about 29,000 applications for disability benefits waiting to be processed at the end of November — a nearly 50 per cent increase since the end of March

Extracts: 1. Veterans Affairs Canada says there were about 29,000 applications for disability benefits in the queue waiting to be processed at the end of November — a nearly 50 per cent increase since the end of March.

Nearly one-third of those applications have been in the line for more than 16 weeks, which is also an increase since the spring and a sign that wait times are continuing to grow.

              2. Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan admitted the government needs to do better to ensure disabled veterans get the benefits they need and deserve and said action is being taken.

That includes hiring hundreds more staff, streamlining the way Veterans Affairs officials review files to speed up processing times and giving veterans more benefit of the doubt when it comes to approving benefits.

              3. But such promises have been made before and are starting to ring hollow as the problem continues to get worse, said Peter Stoffer, a former NDP MP and longtime veterans’ advocate.

“If you go back to (former minister) Fred Mifflin in 1997, he said the exact same thing,” Stoffer said.

“All 13 ministers since ’97 have said the exact same thing: ‘We have to do a better job, we’re speeding up the process.’ And it’s getting worse, to be honest with you.”


Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on December 11, 2017, 11:41:52
The inability to organize a gun auction at a prison break comes to mind. I wonder how many staff/hours/funds were expended by VAC for this.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/no-glory-for-canadians-who-travelled-to-vimy-on-anniversary

"SHAME SHAME ON YOU!" Hundreds of Canadians complain to Veterans Affairs about disorganized Vimy Ridge ceremony
- Tom Spears - 11 Dec 17

Extracts:1. “A total disaster”, “Appalling”, “A mosh pit and Woodstock combined.” These were among the withering reviews received by Veterans Canada this year to its hosting of 25,000 Canadians....  Concerts and sports events handle similar crowds all the time. They bus people in, open lots of gates, supply portable toilets and water, give clear directions and let everyone go home when the event is over.

             2. However, documents this newspaper obtained through an access-to-information request showed how visitors...........The visitors’ letters — 397 pages of them — tell of heat exhaustion, thirst, full bladders and fear. Here are some excerpts, with the senders’ names removed by Veterans Affairs.( At link)
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: jollyjacktar on December 11, 2017, 11:49:19
Same sort of planning that went into the Canada Day celebrations here in Ottawa.     :not-again:


Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Brihard on December 11, 2017, 12:13:20
Oh man... So October 2016, they held the damned stakeholders' conference at Casino Lac Leamy. Fill a room full of veterans, many with mental health issues, addictions, etc, and put them in a casino overnight for a couple days... Talk about poor thinking. They got a blast for that.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Teager on December 11, 2017, 12:32:31
VAC really should hire some veterans into there planning and organization jobs. Then things might go a lot smoother.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Old Sweat on December 11, 2017, 13:58:32
I was at the Vimy event. It went as described but most people were in a good mood, if eventually strained after standing in mob mode waiting for a bus back to one of the debussing areas.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Brihard on December 11, 2017, 14:23:57
VAC really should hire some veterans into there planning and organization jobs. Then things might go a lot smoother.

When Cibeles Wilson (current CO 28 Fd Amb) was the stakeholder rep for minister O'Toole, things were going pretty smooth. O'Toole and Cibeles set a high bar for stakeholder engagement that has not since been matched.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Old Sweat on December 11, 2017, 14:36:46
To be fair to VAC, I believe some of this was because of conditions imposed by the French government. That there were going to be massive delays returning the spectators to where their own buses were located had to have been known before hand. A little bit of how do we make this as painless as possible would have helped.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: ArmySailor on December 11, 2017, 22:27:51
I was a guide for the 95th, and it was crazy. I could only imagine how that would have gone for the 100th.......
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on December 13, 2017, 11:24:24
http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-hey-veterans-affairs-canada-crowd-control-shouldnt-be-this-hard


Editorial: Hey, Veterans Affairs Canada – crowd control shouldn't be this hard - Ottawa Citizen Editorial Board - 12 Dec 17

Extract: 1. When Veterans Affairs Canada later surveyed its own staff about the day, reviews weren’t any more positive. The employees cited bad communication, lack of leadership and last-minute decisions. Students who worked as guides at the Vimy Monument had it particularly rough. They were alone, in uniform, and didn’t have radios to call for help from senior staff when problems or questions arose.

            2. The federal government, apparently, was oblivious to the problems that occurred last April 9, until Spears (Citizen’s Reporter)  followed up. VAC’s summary report for that day touts it all as a grand success, since the 152 VIPs on hand had a fine time. There was only minor reference to the problems everyone else faced; the report suggested a “small number” of critical comments. In fact, the file given to the Citizen contains 400 pages full of complaints. Officials are now saying things could have been done better.



http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/vimy-revisited-veterans-affairs-deeply-saddened-by-bad-experience-blames-french-toilets

Vimy revisited: Veterans Affairs 'deeply saddened' by bad experience, blames French toilets- Tom Spears -13 Dec 17

Extract: 1. A top official at Veterans Affairs says the department was unaware last spring of widespread problems at April’s Vimy 100 ceremony in France but now takes full responsibility. “I’m deeply, deeply sorry. I regret to hear all of it, you can be sure … I accept full responsibility for that,” said Mike Jorgensen, a retired brigadier-general who is director general of the Veterans Affairs office that organizes overseas events.

            2. Jorgensen’s comments are in contrast to a Summary Report and Lessons Learned document the department produced at the end of June, which in fact described Vimy 100 as a rousing success.“Despite the challenges” of high security and running events in a foreign country, “all events ran on time, on budget and virtually without incident,” that report says. The report was obtained through access to information.



http://thechronicleherald.ca/editorials/1528969-editorial-vets-squeezed-again-in-pension-holdup

EDITORIAL: Vets squeezed again in pension holdup - 13 Dec 17

Extract: 1. Peter Stoffer is right. Despite changes in government in Ottawa, and more than a dozen different veterans’ affairs ministers over the last two decades promising better, faster service, there continue to be unacceptable shortfalls in benefits programs for the men and women who put their lives on the line for this country, says the former NDP MP and longtime veterans’ advocate.

            2. The bureaucracy at Veterans Affairs, despite a drumbeat of criticism stretching back more than a decade, inexplicably continues to make life difficult for too many veterans.

            3. But the ruling (BC Appeals Court) by Justice Harvey Groberman, who said he had sympathy for the veterans, made it clear the decision was not necessarily endorsing the status quo. “All right-thinking Canadians would agree that they should be provided with adequate disability benefits. If that is not occurring, it is a national embarrassment,” wrote Justice Groberman.

            4. Liberal Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan has promised a new lifelong disability pension plan by the end of the year. Let’s hope veterans won’t be disappointed again.



https://www.hilltimes.com/2017/12/13/department-leaves-vets-financial-limbo-behind-half-targets/128223

Department leaves veterans in ‘financial limbo,’ behind on half its targets - 13 Dec 17

Extract: 1. Veterans Affairs missed 54 per cent of its targets last year, which opposition MPs called both 'breathtaking' and 'horrible.' More resources are needed, critics agreed, but the culture also has to change.

            2. Disability decisions and applications represented some of the department’s worst results. The vast majority of injured veterans are waiting more than four months to learn if they qualify for financial support. (See graphic at link)

            3. “We are looking at the entire disability application process, from intake to decisions, to expedite decisions and respond to Veterans’ needs more quickly,” said (VAC) spokesperson Marc Lescoutre. He said the average turnaround time on first applications is 106 days, for reassessment it’s 71 days and for a departmental review the average is 85 days. One veteran waited 1,007 days for a decision, due to “extensive time required” to assemble the documents in what Mr. Lescoutre said was a “unique” circumstance.

See link for the detailed report.

 
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Jarnhamar on December 13, 2017, 14:19:51
Why can't VAC get their crap together?
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on December 14, 2017, 11:13:21
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/veterans-disability-benefits-injuries-government-1.4446485

29,000 veterans waiting to see if they get disability benefits - David Burke -13 Dec 17
‘They just give up, not realizing that if they persist they could be entitled to a benefit down the road'

Extract: 1. But the system is changing, according to Rick Christopher, the director general of centralized operations division for Veterans Affairs. "One of the things that we're doing is streamlining the process for making decisions on certain types of applications: hearing loss, post-traumatic stress disorder and musculoskeletal conditions. We're also adding additional resources and doing what we can to get more people working on these claims," said Christopher.

            2. He (Stoffer) would like to see all veterans' benefits and medical needs set up before they leave the military so they can easily continue to receive care. Until that happens, Stoffer would like to see Veterans Affairs hire workers to sit down with veterans and go through their application forms to make sure they're properly filled out.



 http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/3594701

PRESS RELEASE: Sobering Stats: Veterans at consistently higher risk for suicide than general population - 13 Dec 17

Extract: 1. A federal study released last Thursday revealed that Canadian veterans are at significantly higher risk for death by suicide than the general population—and have been for the past 37 years. In fact, the study has even drawn criticism because because it ends in 2012, just as the veterans suicide crisis emerged. Over a period of just three months, a shocking eight veteran suicides were reported, beginning with three suicides over three days in November in 2013. According to some veterans, the study provides an incomplete picture of the true severity of the issue.

             2. Meanwhile, this is the Veterans Transition Network’s twentieth year in operation, offering specialized mental health services for 20 years to aid veterans in the critical time as they transition from military to civilian life. The research shows it’s working—the University of British Columbia has shown that the VTN's programs have a nearly 80 per cent reduction in suicidal thoughts, with nearly all veterans who entered the program actively suicidal continuing to no longer feel suicidal a full 18 months after participating in the program. In addition, 24% reported an increase in life satisfaction and 34% reported an increase in self-esteem.

             3. Read more about how the VTN has changed veterans’ lives here (see link), and for further information on the research data of the Veterans Transition Program, contact Dr. Dan Cox at dan.cox@ubc.ca.




           



Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on December 18, 2017, 11:38:18
http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-december-14-2017-1.4446791/government-s-new-startup-aims-to-create-better-services-for-canadians-1.4446955

Government's new startup aims to create better services for Canadians
- 14 Dec 17

Extract: 1. Imagine if dealing with the government was as user-friendly as buying from Amazon, or streaming from Netflix. That's the goal for the newly-created Canadian Digital Service (CDS). The fledgling team of a couple dozen employees are a mix of digital developers, designers and some career bureaucrats. Their mandate is to help federal departments create better digital services for Canadians.
 
             2. Some of the digital initiatives that the CDS team are working on include developing an online app with Veterans Affairs Canada. The app aims to make it easier for veterans to sort out eligible benefits.



http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/vets-pension-liberals-1.4451842

Disabled vets being 'dumped' from case management, says advocate
- Murray Brewster - 18 Dec 17
Move away from case managers 'doesn't make sense,' says veterans advocate

Extract: 1. A change to the way Veterans Affairs manages the cases of disabled veterans ...... intends to expand an existing pilot program launched in the fall of 2016 known as "guided support," .........case manager replaced by a service agent .......the plan is aimed at serving veterans entering the system who require a "moderate" amount of help navigating a system that many ex-soldiers describe as Byzantine.

            2. .......department defines "moderate needs" is key. Those who have left rehabilitation but are still receiving long-term treatment are being swept up in the changes and receiving lower levels of service.....



https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2017/12/18/ottawa-must-fulfill-sacred-obligation-to-injured-veterans-editorial.html

EDITORIAL: Ottawa must fulfill ‘sacred obligation’ to injured veterans - 18 Dec 17
The costs of the best possible care for our veterans should be built into any decision that puts soldiers in harm’s way.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on December 28, 2017, 14:10:48
http://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/inquiry-announced-into-nova-scotia-murder-suicides-by-former-soldier

Inquiry announced into Nova Scotia murder-suicides by former soldier - CP - 28 Dec 17

Extract: 1. HALIFAX — The Nova Scotia government has announced an inquiry into the deaths of a former soldier and his family nearly a year after the tragic murder-suicides sent shock waves across the country.

Dr. Matt Bowes, the province’s chief medical examiner, said Thursday he is recommending an inquiry into the Jan. 3, 2017, deaths in Upper Big Tracadie, N.S.

Retired corporal Lionel Desmond shot his wife Shanna, 31, their 10-year-daughter Aaliyah and his 52-year-old mother Brenda, before turning the gun on himself.

The Justice Department said in a news release the inquiry’s terms of reference, and the judge who will oversee it, will be announced in the new year.

Desmond had been diagnosed with PTSD and post-concussion disorder after completing two difficult tours in Afghanistan in 2007.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on December 30, 2017, 10:42:10
http://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/ottawa-to-work-with-n-s-on-desmond-inquiry-in-bid-to-prevent-similar-tragedies

N.S. inquiry into murder-suicides has 'national implications,' advocate says - CP - 29 Dec 17

Extract: 1. Nova Scotia’s inquiry into the shooting deaths of an Afghan war veteran and his family could have sweeping implications for ailing former soldiers, veterans’ advocates say. The province’s long-awaited decision Thursday to launch a fatality inquiry — and Ottawa’s commitment to provide its “fullest support” to the probe — will put a spotlight on how injured soldiers are transitioned to civilian life across the country. Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan said Friday the federal government will work with the province on the inquiry to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.

            2. Westholm served as a sergeant major for the Joint Personnel Support Unit — an eastern Ontario unit which provides support and programs for ill or injured soldiers — before resigning in protest. He said the inquiry should examine how injured soldiers are prepared for civilian life and monitored once they’re released. “You’ve got the entire Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs, that’s tens of thousands of people and billions of dollars at your beck and call, and you can’t get a person transitioned out of the military correctly. There is no excuse except leadership.”
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on January 05, 2018, 10:26:31
Short opinion piece.

http://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/opinion-canada-should-establish-in-law-a-social-contract-with-veterans

Opinion: Canada should establish in law a social contract with veterans - Louis Cuppens - 4 Jan 18

The Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association, an all-veteran group, is gravely concerned about the current untenable legal situation in which Canadian vets are trapped.

Recently, a B.C. Court of Appeals overturned an earlier ruling of the B.C. Supreme Court concerning a class-action lawsuit by veterans. The court’s claim is that there is no legislation that creates a social contract between members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Government of Canada. Their finding states in most simplistic terms — “the government has no obligation to care for its military and veterans.” This is indeed unfortunate and this finding will surely have a negative impact on recruitment and retention of our volunteer military and RCMP unless it’s redressed.

While citizens consider that such a social contract, also called the social covenant or the sacred obligation, exists, the reality is that our legislators have never passed legislation that defines the social contract with those who defend and serve our nation and willingly expose themselves to “harms way.” Those who serve expect that they’ll be cared for, but such legislation — the social contract — has eluded governments for years.

A historical review will reveal that such a contract exists in practice, but not in legislation, and this needs to change. Courts enforce legislation; legislators create the laws that govern us.

The Government of Canada’s support of vets began with the creation of a two-focused department, headed by a minister in 1928. In 1944, the government created the Department of Veterans Affairs by an act that has been amended over time. Neither contains a reference to the needed social contract. I contend that the creation of Veterans Canada is the fulfilment of the unstated social contract; however, successive governments seem to refuse to take responsibility for the affairs of veterans — witness the recent statements by Minister of Veterans Affairs Seamus O’Regan and the promise made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to create a lifelong pension for injured vets.


The legislation to enact the New Veterans Charter and supporting legislation came into being in 2006; however, improvements can and should be made. Veterans’ advocacy groups have made the government and citizens aware of such. Still no statement of a social contract has been placed into law. In 2007, the government enacted the Veterans’ Bill of Rights; again there is no mention of a social contract or obligation.

The courts don’t consider statements by elected officials as law; in fact, such are viewed as political rhetoric. Statements by ministers and the PM that “we support our veterans” are just that, with no basis in law. Surely a simple amendment to extant legislation that states clearly that there is a social contract, wherein the government and the people of Canada have the moral and social obligation to care for its vets, can be accomplished. Perhaps new legislation would fulfil this essential policy. Either would be welcomed by those who serve.

Our veterans, service personnel and RCMP stand between us and those who would do us harm. They expect that they’ll be cared for by the government and people they serve. Simply stated, “Remember the fallen, take care of the wounded.” Please encourage those you elect to office to enact this essential “social contract.”

Lt.-Gen. (retired) Louis Cuppens is the special advocacy adviser for the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association and a former deputy commander-in-chief of NORAD
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on January 10, 2018, 11:16:16
http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/government-fails-to-meet-veterans-expectations-regarding-the-re-establishment-of-lifelong-pensions-under-new-veterans-charter-668152793.html

Government fails to meet veterans' expectations regarding the re-establishment of "lifelong pensions" under New Veterans Charter - War Amps - 5 Jan 18 (long read, with good info)

Extract: 1. The National Council of Veteran Associations (NCVA) and The War Amps of Canada contend that Minister O'Regan's announcement regarding the long-awaited "lifelong pension" has failed to live up to the Liberal government's election commitment to address the inequities in the New Veterans Charter, and continues to ignore "the elephant in the room" which has overshadowed this discussion.

             2. However, the greater majority of disabled veterans will not be materially impacted by the Minister's announcement in that the new benefits under the proposed legislative amendments will have limited applicability – thus the financial disparity between the Pension Act and the New Veterans Charter will continue for this significant cohort of disabled veterans in Canada."

             3. "It is totally unacceptable that we continue to have veterans' legislation in Canada which provides a significantly higher level of compensation to a veteran who was injured prior to 2006 (date of the enactment of the New Veterans Charter) when compared to a veteran who was injured post-2006. If applied to the Afghan conflict, we have veterans in the same war with totally different pension benefit results," said Mr. Forbes. Brian Forbes, Executive Chairman of The War Amps and Chairman of NCVA

             4. "It has been our recommendation to the Minister and the department that Veterans Affairs Canada should pivot completely from this lump sum payment evaluation for delivering the so-called lifetime pension option and instead look to the major conclusions of the NCVA Legislative Program and the Ministerial Policy Advisory Group report – both of these reports proposed that the combination of the best provisions of the Pension Act and the best provisions of the NVC would produce this form of lifetime pension in a much more realistic manner in order to ensure the financial security for those veterans who need this form of monetary support through their lifetime."


http://www.benefitscanada.com/news/new-lifelong-pensions-dont-resolve-financial-disparity-say-veterans-associations-108946

Financial disparity unresolved under new lifelong pensions, say veterans associations - 5 Jan 18 (short rehash of above, but word is getting around)

Extract: 1. “If the ‘one veteran — one standard’ philosophy advocated by Veterans Affairs Canada has any meaning, this glaring disparity between the Pension Act and New Veterans Charter benefits for the greater majority of disabled veterans required that the minister seize the moment and satisfy the financial needs of Canadian veterans and their dependants,” he added.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on January 10, 2018, 11:31:43
So now we know, from the Minister's mouth, that the Liberals lied during the election campaign.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/oregan-responds-critics-injured-veterans-pensions-1.4480013

Veterans Affairs minister responds to pension change critics
- CBC - 9 Jan 18
"I won’t go back to the Pension Act of 1919", says federal minister Seamus O'Regan

Veteran Affairs Minister Seamus O`Regan is in British Columbia this week to talk about the pension plan changes for veterans announced last month.

The federal government promised in the 2015 election to reinstate lifetime pensions for injured veterans.

Those were abolished in 2006 and replaced by lump-sum payments.

Under changes announced last month, former soldiers can still choose to receive a lump sum of up to $360,000 or they can choose to receive a lifetime pension instead of up to $1,150 a month.

The most severely disabled veterans can also get an additional monthly allowance of up to $1,500.

In an interview with On the Island guest host Khalil Akhtar, O'Regan responded to criticism of the new plan.

What's your response to the National Council of Veterans Associations' criticism the monthly pension for veterans remain lower than in 2006? (see post above)

The maximum monthly payment will indeed be slightly increased for those people with a 100 per cent disability.

We'd heard from veterans organizations that said, and that still say to me as I go around talking to people about this new pension-for-life proposal, that it was never really about the money, it was about the services.

"Now, we have all these services in place. The lump sum, though, was a real thorn in a lot of people's sides. Because it felt like they were being written off, written off the ledger, you know, here's your money, now go away.

What we're offering here is the ability to take that by the month at an increased and far more generous rate."

The NCVA says veterans with the same injuries receive different compensation levels if one fought before 2006 and one was injured after 2006: Up to $2,733 a month under the old pensions, compared to a maximum of $2,600 under the new plan. What do you make of that point?

It's an argument that was had in 2006, over the New Veterans Charter. We are building on an agreement that was made by all parties and many veterans groups back in 2006.

There is a short window there where you did have an overlap, where you had men and women who were fighting side-by-side in Afghanistan, some who would fall under the Pension Act of 1919 and some who would fall under the New Veterans Charter. That is absolutely true.

With the increased benefits that we're allowing right now, we're going back to those people who received those lump sum payments, 2006 and after, and we are going to calculate how much they would have received if they had those new benefits when they accepted that amount.

Then we subtract the lump sum that we've given them and give them the rest over monthly payments. I mean, for some people, this could be a substantial amount of money.

The new program won't come into effect until April 1, 2019. Why is it taking so long? Why not this year?

Partially related to another subject, and that's Phoenix (the federal government's troubled pay system). Laying out very specialized financial compensation to thousands of people we, you know, now know can be very complicated work. :rofl:

There's also a legislative agenda. We're already under the gun, I can tell you, to make sure this legislation gets drafted.

Some veterans who voted for the Liberals did so thinking the disparity between the old system and the new one would be adressed. What do you say to veterans who feel let down by your new plan?

I won't go back to the Pension Act of 1919.  It did not meet the needs of our veterans. That's what we heard in 2006.

That's why every political party in Parliament agreed to this. We focus on rehabilitative services. We focus on the ability of people getting back to meaningful work because I know first hand, in my own experience, that there is nothing better than meaningful work.

This interview has been edited and condensed.


IMHO ******* Lies from the Minister. "That's what we heard in 2006" What about everything "heard" and the legal case since 2006? What did the LPC campaign on last election - a return to life long pensions (LLP) because they "heard" from Veterans the LLP  was equitable and justified.

Add: Trudeau and the LPC had no intention of bring back LLP. It was just something to hit Harper on for the election. Trudeau has no intent now.

P.S. I have no dog in this fight.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: cowboy628 on January 10, 2018, 13:23:40
So a question for for anyone to ask a Lib politician.  So if a person is 70% under pre 2006 and 30% under the NVA. This = 100% in my books will that person be paid out at 100%. Has any one given that any though? Or is it a case of just suck it up.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: GreenArmychick on January 16, 2018, 11:01:36
So a question for for anyone to ask a Lib politician.  So if a person is 70% under pre 2006 and 30% under the NVA. This = 100% in my books will that person be paid out at 100%. Has any one given that any though? Or is it a case of just suck it up.
That doesn't mean much if the new monthly maximum for Pension for Life is set at $1150 a month. I get more than that now for less than 50%. So between now and then, any new diagnosed pensionable condition would not add any value to the new pension for life.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: jollyjacktar on January 16, 2018, 11:07:42
If anyone seriously believes the Liberals are going to turn back time and make a pension worth it, they're dreaming in Technicolor.  They're going to do themselves a favour, not us.  It's what they did with the NVC to begin with.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on February 03, 2018, 11:14:19
Short interview with Vet, Brock Blaszczyk, who questioned the PM in Edm.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4003755/injured-veteran-edmonton-town-hall-justin-trudeau/

Injured veteran that questioned Trudeau during Edmonton town hall says ‘enough is enough’ - 2 Feb 18



http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/02/02/seamus-oregan-accuses-tories-of-amnesia-while-taking-heat-over-veterans-pensions_a_23351510/

Seamus O'Regan Accuses Tories Of 'Amnesia' While Taking Heat Over Veterans Pensions
- 2 Feb 18  (Video at link)
Conservatives are charging Trudeau lied to vet families.

The treatment of Canada's disabled veterans is again sparking heated exchanges in the House of Commons — only now it is opposition Conservatives accusing governing Liberals of having lied to ex-soldiers.

Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan faced a grilling in question period Friday morning over some frank comments Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the night before.

At a town hall in Edmonton Thursday, Trudeau was asked by a former corporal, who lost a leg to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, why his government is fighting vets in court. In a response that elicited some jeers, Trudeau said that some veterans groups are "asking for more than we are able to give right now."

Earlier this week, a group of six disabled vets said they want to take a longstanding legal battle with the federal government to the Supreme Court. The group seeks a return to the kind of lifetime pensions for disabled vets that existed before 2006, when they were replaced by lump-sum payments and other services.

Liberals promised in the 2015 election to re-establish lifelong pensions as "an option" for injured vets. They say they are accomplishing that with changes unveiled in late December that include a monthly, tax-free payment for pain and suffering that maxes out at $1,150 and a new benefit for those with severe disabilities. The most severely disabled veterans will be paid a maximum of $2,650 a month.

Members of the veterans community say, however, that the changes are less generous than what existed before 2006. A veteran involved in the so-called Equitas lawsuit against the government called the Liberal plan "nothing more than a shell game."

'Did the prime minister of Canada knowingly lie to veterans?'

Conservative MP Erin O'Toole, a former veterans affairs minister, charged in question period Friday that Trudeau is blaming veterans for his own broken promise. The prime minister should just admit he lied to win their votes or didn't "cost, understand or care" about his pledges, he said.

O'Regan read from prepared remarks that the government has "delivered the goods" on a lifelong pension option, as promised.

"Now we know why veterans call the new minister the bad news reader," O'Toole said, a shot at O'Regan's previous career in TV journalism.

O'Toole suggested Trudeau knew all along that a return to the old pension system was never going to happen.

"Did the prime minister of Canada knowingly lie to veterans and Canadians or did he not care that he was making promises he couldn't keep?" O'Toole bellowed.

It was all too rich for O'Regan, evidently, who accused the Tories of suffering from amnesia.

"You would think that some foreign body or some alien species had been in government for 10 years," he said, highlighting how the previous government shuttered nine regional Veterans Affairs offices that Liberals have since reopened.

"We have delivered, finally, on a pension for life," O'Regan said.

John Brassard, the Tories' veterans affairs critic, then criticized Trudeau for suggesting vets were asking for too much when he "has no problem with billions in deficits, billions to the United Nations, billions more for his pet projects and handing $10-million to Omar Khadr."

O'Regan shot back that he wished he could only accuse his foes of "inaction" on the file.

"But I couldn't do that. Not when they cut budgets for veterans, not when they closed offices time and time again and not when they ignored the voices of veterans," he said.

O'Regan said Liberals have invested $10-billion in new money for veterans since coming to power.

After question period, O'Regan was asked by reporters if he thinks veterans groups are asking for too much. The minister said he did not feel that way and again trumpeted the spending Liberals have made to improve benefits for veterans.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Hamish Seggie on February 03, 2018, 11:59:18
Bottom line - don’t trust politicians or bureaucrats.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on February 06, 2018, 10:18:18
https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/trudeau-under-fire-for-saying-some-vets-want-more-than-government-can-afford-1.3790495

Trudeau under fire for saying some vets want more than government can afford - CP - 5 Feb 17

Extract: While Trudeau promised at the time that veterans would not have to fight the government in court, the Liberals have spent the last two-plus years opposing a landmark legal case involving a group of veterans who want the government to reinstate lifelong disability pensions.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer questioned in the House of Commons why the Liberals are saying they don't have enough money for veterans when they have found the money for many other causes and initiatives.

Those include an out-of-court settlement with Omar Khadr, a new Chinese infrastructure bank, a loan to Bombardier and more than $200,000 for Trudeau's controversial trip to the Aga Khan's island in 2016.

But Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan says the Liberals have done more to boost benefits and services for veterans during their short time in power than the Conservatives did during their decade in government.



http://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-ivison-trudeau-in-a-fight-he-cant-win-with-veterans-and-his-frustration-shows

John Ivison: Trudeau is in a fight he can't win with veterans, and his frustration shows
- NP - 5 Feb 18
Trudeau was elected on a platform that raised expectations to infinity. To Blaszczyk, even the Tories look good right now. ‘At least we weren’t given false promises’

Extract: 1. You have to be pretty tone-deaf to tell a man who lost a leg in Afghanistan that the government is fighting veterans groups in courts “because they’re asking for more than we’re able to give right now.” Yet that’s exactly what the prime minister did at a town-hall in Edmonton last Thursday — a gaffe that has gone viral on social media and infuriated veterans.

            2. He asked Trudeau why his government is fighting a legal battle with veterans (the Equitas class-action lawsuit), even though the Liberal election platform said “no veteran will be forced to fight their own government for the support and compensation they have earned.” Further, he complained he was not eligible for the new lifetime pension option, yet the Liberals have found money to pay for the re-integration of ISIL fighters and the $10.5-million compensation payment for Omar Khadr. “What veterans are you talking about — those fighting for the freedoms and values you so proudly boast about, or those fighting against?” he said. “I was prepared to be killed in action. What I wasn’t prepared for, Mr. Prime Minister, was Canada turning its back on me.”

            3. It was more devastating than anything Trudeau has faced in the House of Commons, by several degrees.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Halifax Tar on February 06, 2018, 10:45:30
https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/trudeau-under-fire-for-saying-some-vets-want-more-than-government-can-afford-1.3790495

Trudeau under fire for saying some vets want more than government can afford - CP - 5 Feb 17

But Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan says the Liberals have done more to boost benefits and services for veterans during their short time in power than the Conservatives did during their decade in government.

So basically, ya we lied but we did more than the other guy so leave us alone ?
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: jollyjacktar on February 06, 2018, 11:22:22
Some here may or may not be familiar with Canada Company.  This company was founded 5 years ago to assist both veterans to transition to civilian employment and companies to find the ideal employee from amongst the veteran community.  Over the years, have been successful in both endeavors with their Military Employment Transition Program.  VAC has, however contracted with HR firm to conduct transition services and therefore Canada Company will cease operations as of 31 Mar 2018. 

Canada Company have sent out a notice which you can find at the link.  I don't know how good this new thing will be   :dunno:

https://mailchi.mp/f6f40846d918/important-information-canada-companymetpathfinder-met-transition?e=a1d7466b61
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: recceguy on February 06, 2018, 13:54:43
I find it ironic that the government thinks it can transition ISIS fighters back into good, hardworking, honest Canadian taxpayers, but they can't transition a wounded soldier back to civie street. :waiting:
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: jollyjacktar on February 06, 2018, 14:11:48
I find it ironic that the government thinks it can transition ISIS fighters back into good, hardworking, honest Canadian taxpayers, but they can't transition a wounded soldier back to civie street. :waiting:

But taking into consideration who is the sitting PM at this time, not at all surprising...
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: recceguy on February 06, 2018, 14:46:01
But taking into consideration who is the sitting PM at this time, not at all surprising...

Yeah. I won't go there.  8) Not here anyway. :D
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on February 08, 2018, 11:18:03
Long piece. Skipped the background which has been posted before. Also videos at link.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4010965/reality-check-liberals-veterans-pensions/

Reality Check: Are the Liberals turning their back on veterans?- 7 Feb 18

Extract: 1. Wait, didn’t the Liberals promise to help veterans?

In their 2015 election platform, the Liberals vowed to restore lifelong pensions as an option for injured veterans and laid out that as a specific goal for the Minister of Veterans Affairs in the mandate letter for that role.

The pledge in the campaign platform did not, however, specify a plan to restore the lifelong pension program to the full amount it had been prior to 2006.

In December 2017, Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan announced the plan to restore lifelong pensions through an injection of $3.6 billion into veteran benefits that will start in April 2019.

That announcement came on the heels of efforts by the government to tick off several other promises to veterans that they made in their campaign platform, including increasing the amount of the disability award and increasing the earnings loss benefit.

Both of those were announced in Budget 2016 and have since gone into effect.

But veterans say the plan for lifelong pensions does not live up to the promise the Liberals made to treat veterans with more respect and that it does little to make up the difference in compensation that was the core concern with the change to the lump sum payment in the first place.

Under the new lifelong pension option, veterans will have the option of either taking the lump sum payment or opting for a lifelong pension that would result in a maximum tax-free monthly payment of $1,150.

As well, those with severe or permanent disabilities can also get a new benefit worth between $500 and $1,500 each month, also tax-free.

Both are indexed to inflation.

However, only about 12 per cent of veterans are eligible for the maximum amounts and veterans’ advocates say most will not end up getting the same level of compensation and support that existed under the old lifetime pension program.

         2. The Conservatives have called on Trudeau to apologize for his remarks.

In response, Trudeau defended the charge that some veterans are asking for too much and said the government cannot go back to the old system because doing so would require clawing back money already invested in the support programs and additional benefits that were introduced under the New Veterans Charter and which will remain under the new Liberal plan, though in different packaging.

“We cannot return to the amount of money that was given before without accounting for the money invested in services for veterans,” Trudeau said.

“And what I know from veterans I’ve spoken to is nobody wants after having served their country with valour and honour and sacrifice to have their government say: Here’s your cheque. Now don’t bother us anymore.”

         3. What happens next?

There are several outstanding issues at play in the argument around whether the government could or should do more to help veterans.

First, a decision by the Supreme Court as to whether it will hear the Equitas case could set a standard to define exactly what is owed by a government to those who serve in its military: in essence, whether there is a social contract or a covenant for a standard of care after a soldier is injured in service to their country.

On average, it takes the Supreme Court roughly three months to decide whether to hear a case and given the Equitas appeal was filed just last week, it will likely be spring before a decision on that application is made.

From there, it takes about six months for the court to issue a ruling once it hears an appeal.

Second, Budget 2018 is expected to be unveiled in late February and it remains to be seen whether there will be any additional funding for veterans’ services announced in that.

A number of campaign promises on the veterans file are still outstanding, including pledges to invest $100 million each year to “expand the circle of support for veterans’ families” and cover the cost of four years of college, university or technical school for those who complete military service through an $80-million per year education benefit for veterans.

Both promises are marked as unmet on the non-partisan platform tracking website TrudeauTracker, while others such as re-opening the nine Veterans Affairs service offices that were closed by the Conservatives in 2012, have been completed.

Third, the April 2019 start date for the revamped lifelong pension option for veterans will be one to watch as veterans come forward with their experiences of either getting less money than they expected or more.

In short, comparing benefits from one program to the other is difficult given the variables between them. While the Liberals have outstanding promises — and in some cases, ones that they have broken outright — they have also met others and launched a large-scale overhaul of a program that reaches to the core of one of the most strained relationships the government has with some of its citizens.

In this case, the answer to whether veterans are better off under this government than they were under the last is very much one that may only be clear years into the future once the full scale of changes can actually be assessed.

SOUND OFF: What do you think of the argument that some veterans are asking for too much from the government? (at Link)

Note: We may use your response in this or other stories. While we may contact you to follow up we won’t publish your contact info.


Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on February 09, 2018, 10:44:27
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/bruce-moncur/heres-why-trudeaus-presence-at-military-events-is-an-insult-to-veterans_a_23354394/

Here's Why Trudeau's Presence At Military Events Is An Insult To Veterans
-Huffpost - 8 Feb 18
After years of neglecting the military community and disrespecting the values by which we live, Trudeau's hollow commemorations have grown disrespectful.

By: Bruce Moncur Former Soldier, PSW, B.A. History, Windsorite

I always knew that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would be a poor choice to lead a country. I knew he was lying about what he would do if elected prime minister. The fact that he — someone born into privilege — had the audacity to suggest an injured veteran requesting a pension was greedy, shows just how out of touch he is with reality. What comes to mind is a man that is intrigued to see how the lower class people live, almost a curiosity with a world alien to his own.

From the day you enlist, every soldier considers that signature on the dotted line as a blank cheque — the ultimate sacrifice being one's life. Willing and able to lay down their last breath for Queen and country. This week, Trudeau looked in an amputee veteran's eyes and had the audacity to tell him that some veterans are asking for "more than we can give." A line has been drawn in the sand by the former white-water rafting instructor, and it is clear his privileged upbringing has skewed his perception of reality, leading him to take for granted the sacrifices made by so many.

Not surprising. His father, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, hid behind his family's wealth during the Second World War, deferring service despite being of age and healthy. Meanwhile, my one grandfather was getting bombed in Malta every day for three years before losing his firstborn to pneumonia under starvation conditions. My other grandfather, at 16 years old, was under age. He had to be dragged out of the recruiting office by his mother.

Respect is earned the hard way, and it would be hard to argue that Trudeau has done anything close to that.

A leader lacking integrity

The 10 principles of military leadership are tantamount to gospel for those serving, and include taking pride in your integrity. In the military, you are only as good as your word. Respect is earned the hard way, and it would be hard to argue that Trudeau has done anything close to that.

Take for example Trudeau's broken campaign promise to fix the first-past-the-post system under which his Liberal Party came to power. Fact is, 39.9 per cent of the vote at a 63 per cent turnout means that only 26.1 per cent of Canadians voted for a party that has infected 100 per cent of the population — and thanks to Trudeau, this scenario will continue to play out. Then there is his trip to "family friend" the Aga Khan's private island, for which he has faced no legal consequences. The laws don't seem to apply to him. He is above it all.

Glossing over problems in Veterans Affairs

The issues were supposed to be fixed. There are even six committees and a stake holder summit held biannually. I belong to the service excellence committee, whose suggestions are ignored. The stakeholder summit has not held its last two meetings. Each of the six committees have now had multiple meetings in Ottawa travel, accommodations and per diem covered, and I am not aware of one suggestion implemented by the government.

Trudeau spoke of the services that come with the cost of the New Veterans Charter, but the fact is they have only gotten worse. The suicide report known as the Veteran Suicide Mortality Study (VSMS) is a collaborative study between Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), the Department of National Defence (DND) and Statistics Canada (STC), with the following aims: to enhance the understanding of factors associated with suicide in Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) veterans, to provide updates on suicide trends over time, to aid in the discussion of suicide prevention activities and to respond to the ongoing public expectation for timely reporting — the very same reporting that conveniently stopped at 2012, right before a rash of suicides the next year.

Events like the nine recent Veterans Affairs Canada office reopening ceremonies served to distract from the endemic rot within the department — glossing over the fact that it was the Liberal Party that upped the level of commitment in Afghanistan to appease the Bush administration, only to turn around and cut the pensions of those injured fighting their war. The only Canadians subjected to a lump-sum settlement are soldiers. Try doing that to border security, police forces, fire fighters, EMS, teachers, city workers, or any other public sector worker that has a union.

This should be a wake-up call for anyone thinking of serving or currently serving. Explore all other options, because it is not worth it. Those that think it won't happen to you — I thought the same thing. Then I got shot. Now I'm entering my 12th year without a pension.

It is a good thing the Liberals wear red; it will help hide all the blood they have on their hands.

Frankly, the prime minister is still not ready to lead, and never will be. I lost all use for him when he did one-armed push-ups with Invictus Games athletes, only to allow the Equitas lawsuits run out 12 days later. Think about how self-absorbed one must be to ask injured veterans for a favour, knowing full well that you were going to reopen a court case against re-establishing their pensions. Not only does Trudeau break campaign promises, he puts resources into making sure they stay broken.

Keep your wreaths

Personally, and for these reasons, I think that Prime Minister Trudeau should be no longer welcome at Remembrance Day events. After years of neglecting the military community and disrespecting the values by which we live, Trudeau's hollow commemorations have grown disrespectful and insulting.

My message to him: keep your wreath, and stay off the beaches at Normandy and Dieppe while you are at it. Stay away from military events in general. Stay on your side of the line. As for my sons, I am going to encourage them not to join the military — just like you and your dad. I will use your deceptions as examples of how they can become better men.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Tcm621 on February 09, 2018, 18:29:33
Ouch. Shot, over.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/bruce-moncur/heres-why-trudeaus-presence-at-military-events-is-an-insult-to-veterans_a_23354394/

Here's Why Trudeau's Presence At Military Events Is An Insult To Veterans
-Huffpost - 8 Feb 18
After years of neglecting the military community and disrespecting the values by which we live, Trudeau's hollow commemorations have grown disrespectful.

By: Bruce Moncur Former Soldier, PSW, B.A. History, Windsorite

I always knew that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would be a poor choice to lead a country. I knew he was lying about what he would do if elected prime minister. The fact that he — someone born into privilege — had the audacity to suggest an injured veteran requesting a pension was greedy, shows just how out of touch he is with reality. What comes to mind is a man that is intrigued to see how the lower class people live, almost a curiosity with a world alien to his own.

From the day you enlist, every soldier considers that signature on the dotted line as a blank cheque — the ultimate sacrifice being one's life. Willing and able to lay down their last breath for Queen and country. This week, Trudeau looked in an amputee veteran's eyes and had the audacity to tell him that some veterans are asking for "more than we can give." A line has been drawn in the sand by the former white-water rafting instructor, and it is clear his privileged upbringing has skewed his perception of reality, leading him to take for granted the sacrifices made by so many.

Not surprising. His father, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, hid behind his family's wealth during the Second World War, deferring service despite being of age and healthy. Meanwhile, my one grandfather was getting bombed in Malta every day for three years before losing his firstborn to pneumonia under starvation conditions. My other grandfather, at 16 years old, was under age. He had to be dragged out of the recruiting office by his mother.

Respect is earned the hard way, and it would be hard to argue that Trudeau has done anything close to that.

A leader lacking integrity

The 10 principles of military leadership are tantamount to gospel for those serving, and include taking pride in your integrity. In the military, you are only as good as your word. Respect is earned the hard way, and it would be hard to argue that Trudeau has done anything close to that.

Take for example Trudeau's broken campaign promise to fix the first-past-the-post system under which his Liberal Party came to power. Fact is, 39.9 per cent of the vote at a 63 per cent turnout means that only 26.1 per cent of Canadians voted for a party that has infected 100 per cent of the population — and thanks to Trudeau, this scenario will continue to play out. Then there is his trip to "family friend" the Aga Khan's private island, for which he has faced no legal consequences. The laws don't seem to apply to him. He is above it all.

Glossing over problems in Veterans Affairs

The issues were supposed to be fixed. There are even six committees and a stake holder summit held biannually. I belong to the service excellence committee, whose suggestions are ignored. The stakeholder summit has not held its last two meetings. Each of the six committees have now had multiple meetings in Ottawa travel, accommodations and per diem covered, and I am not aware of one suggestion implemented by the government.

Trudeau spoke of the services that come with the cost of the New Veterans Charter, but the fact is they have only gotten worse. The suicide report known as the Veteran Suicide Mortality Study (VSMS) is a collaborative study between Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), the Department of National Defence (DND) and Statistics Canada (STC), with the following aims: to enhance the understanding of factors associated with suicide in Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) veterans, to provide updates on suicide trends over time, to aid in the discussion of suicide prevention activities and to respond to the ongoing public expectation for timely reporting — the very same reporting that conveniently stopped at 2012, right before a rash of suicides the next year.

Events like the nine recent Veterans Affairs Canada office reopening ceremonies served to distract from the endemic rot within the department — glossing over the fact that it was the Liberal Party that upped the level of commitment in Afghanistan to appease the Bush administration, only to turn around and cut the pensions of those injured fighting their war. The only Canadians subjected to a lump-sum settlement are soldiers. Try doing that to border security, police forces, fire fighters, EMS, teachers, city workers, or any other public sector worker that has a union.

This should be a wake-up call for anyone thinking of serving or currently serving. Explore all other options, because it is not worth it. Those that think it won't happen to you — I thought the same thing. Then I got shot. Now I'm entering my 12th year without a pension.

It is a good thing the Liberals wear red; it will help hide all the blood they have on their hands.

Frankly, the prime minister is still not ready to lead, and never will be. I lost all use for him when he did one-armed push-ups with Invictus Games athletes, only to allow the Equitas lawsuits run out 12 days later. Think about how self-absorbed one must be to ask injured veterans for a favour, knowing full well that you were going to reopen a court case against re-establishing their pensions. Not only does Trudeau break campaign promises, he puts resources into making sure they stay broken.

Keep your wreaths

Personally, and for these reasons, I think that Prime Minister Trudeau should be no longer welcome at Remembrance Day events. After years of neglecting the military community and disrespecting the values by which we live, Trudeau's hollow commemorations have grown disrespectful and insulting.

My message to him: keep your wreath, and stay off the beaches at Normandy and Dieppe while you are at it. Stay away from military events in general. Stay on your side of the line. As for my sons, I am going to encourage them not to join the military — just like you and your dad. I will use your deceptions as examples of how they can become better men.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: ctran on February 12, 2018, 18:31:16
Hello,
I would like to know if I am qualified or not for veteran status
I was private, passed BMQ and SQ courses, but I changed trade twice and unsuccessful of trade training, and released under "Universal Service" 4 yrs ago.  Am I qualified for veteran status?  Thanks
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Teager on February 12, 2018, 21:05:31
Hello,
I would like to know if I am qualified or not for veteran status
I was private, passed BMQ and SQ courses, but I changed trade twice and unsuccessful of trade training, and released under "Universal Service" 4 yrs ago.  Am I qualified for veteran status?  Thanks

Yes, Any member that has completed BMQ is considered a veteran.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on February 14, 2018, 10:59:54
As reported by jollyjacktar a week or so ago. I sent an email to the journalist who wrote this to ask him to dig into who are the principals in the company are and connected to who. It's the cynic in me.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/02/13/ottawa-picks-private-firm-over-charity-to-help-vets-find-work.html

Ottawa picks private firm over charity to help vets find work - BRUCE CAMPION-SMITH - 13 Feb 18
Charity winds down job hunting services for veterans after Ottawa gives the job to a private company — at a cost of $10 million.

OTTAWA—Veterans Affairs will spend upwards of $10 million to have a private company help veterans find work in the private sector, taking over a role that had been done by a charity.

The federal department awarded a three-year contract to Oshawa-based Agilec to provide career transition services starting April 1, prompting the charity Canada Company to wind down its own job placement program.

“A charity can’t compete against a publicly funded private company. We really don’t have an option,” said Blake Goldring, a Toronto businessman who is the founder and chairperson of Canada Company.

In recent years, the charity has run an employment transition program to assist personnel who are leaving the military find work in the private sector. It has been a two-pronged effort. It helps personnel with job-hunting skills, such as preparing resumes. And it educates employers on the talents that military personnel can bring to a civilian workplace.

The program has placed more than 3,000 personnel in jobs since its creation and has formed partnerships with more than 200 employers. The charity got $1.1 million in 2016 to develop a database to assist with job searches but the cost of its transition program has been covered by corporate donations and other sponsors.

Canada Company had submitted a joint bid with the March of Dimes and another organization for the contract but lost out to Agilec. As a result, Canada Company will stop offering transition services on March 31.

Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan said the government was looking for “something more comprehensive.”

“It was an open and transparent process . . . Canada Company bid. Agilec won. As far as we know, this will mean a better service for veterans,” O’Regan said in an interview Tuesday.

He said the prime minister gave him clear “marching orders” when he took on the role. “Making that transition into civilian life is our top priority. And it has to be from the point of view from the veteran,” he said.

Mary Nicholson, director of rehab and income support services at Veterans Affairs, said the program to be delivered by Agilec is new, different than what was offered by Canada Company.

She says it resembles a previous career-transition program that was provided by the private sector for the department in 2006. That was subsequently replaced in 2011 by a $1,000 payment to veterans for career transition.

However, the 2017 budget signalled the government’s intent to redesign and improve the career-transition services provided to veterans and provide funding to make it happen.

Nicholson said the government sought a service staffed by individuals who had experience in employment and career counselling and an “extensive” knowledge of the civilian labour market.

“It will be offering a much broader set of services,” Nicholson said. “That is why the decision was made to go with a third-party contractor for this new program . . . not to say Canada Company didn’t have lots of expertise.”

“The government decided that something more robust around career-transition services needed to be offered,” Nicholson said.

An official with Agilec declined to comment on the contract and referred questions to Veterans Affairs. But Nicholson said the department is confident that the company has the skills needed for the job.

It’s expected the service will assist about 1,000 veterans per year over the next three years.

Goldring was reluctant to say much about the decision.

“The key is getting the very best solution for transitioning members of the military,” he told the Star in an interview. “I’m very proud of what Canada Company did in helping putting career transition services on the radar. I’m very happy that money has been made available to institutionalize something which is so critical.”

In an open letter on the organization’s website, Goldring said Canada Company’s program was a “catalyst for putting military career transition services on the national radar.”

“We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished . . . and the impact we have had on the lives of thousands of military families, coast to coast,” Goldring said in the letter. “We’ve played an important role in driving a supportive culture around helping military personnel obtain employment in the civilian workforce.”
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Teager on February 14, 2018, 12:03:38
There was a similar article saying Aligec which is based in Oshawa ON has done a lot of work for the liberals. That sends shivers down my spine. Also In the e-mail from Canada Company they ask if they can send your info to other companies they have connections with that might be able to help you out. I suspect Canada Company has little faith in Aligec.

This article also states they wanted a company to replace the $1000 a vet that qualifies gets for career transition services. That $1000 was to cover career counseling and resume writing. I'm going to guess this is the same service a vet will get from Aligec. With Canada Company they actually built relationships with companies and hiring vets specifically. I just don't see the same level of service coming from this company but hopefully I'm wrong.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: recceguy on February 14, 2018, 12:57:52
This just isn't passing the smell test.

Why do I get the idea that a conversation will go something like:

"Hello, Mr Jones. We have your placement. Our expensive computer setup provided by the government, has matched you within a 98 percentile for this type of  work. You start work next Monday at Bob's Cabinet Makers, a small carpentry shop in Duncan, B.C."

"Thanks, but I'm an electrician that lives in Ottawa?"

"Under our service contract with the government, if you refuse to even meet with the employer, you will cease to be a client. Thank you for your service and good luck in future endeavours."

I'm sorry, but this government has made me so jaded to promises from the crown, toward Veterans, that I'll believe nothing until I see it, and then with much trepidation anyway.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on February 14, 2018, 22:42:48
I gave the Journalists some links incl the one below and he said he would look into it.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/monica-kendel-ma-pcc-rrp-41babb1a/

Expand "Show More" and look at "Interests". Fits the PM's profile.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: jollyjacktar on February 14, 2018, 23:31:39
At least Canada Company was by Veterans, for Veterans.  I'm afraid I don't have the same warm and fuzzies about this new thing.  To be quite frank, l wasn't happy when the Conservatives were running the monkey show either. 

But, I am less so with the present, selfie loving, zoo keepers too.  Why do l feel I'll be thinking "it's Shameful O'Regan" not Seamus O'Regan, down the road..
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on February 15, 2018, 11:36:52
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/veteran-ombudsman-studies-1.4534124

ANALYSIS 'The system is broken': Watchdog rips into endless grind of studies on veterans issues - Murray Brewster - 14 Feb 18
'We know what needs to be done,' says Gary Walbourne. 'We just need to do it.'

There's an old joke in Ottawa about crisis management. One bureaucrat asks another: How do you make bad news go away? The answer: Order a study.

Over the past few years, both the House of Commons defence and veterans committees have between them conducted 14 different studies on how to improve services, benefits and the lives of ex-soldiers, sailors and aircrew. Collectively, the all-party MPs committees have made a jaw-dropping 190 recommendations for improvements to those systems and services at both National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada. That total does not include reams of separate recommendations from the military ombudsman and the veterans ombudsman, who have built their own virtual cottage industry out of drafting reports.

The question preoccupying the veterans committee these days is: How can the federal government give soldiers a smoother transition from uniforms to civilian jobs? Gary Walbourne, the Canadian Forces ombudsman, almost seemed to wonder aloud why he'd been called to testify before MPs on Tuesday — and why the committee is still asking that question. "We do not need another study into transition," he said. "We know what needs to be done. We just need to do it." His exasperation was, at times, evident — and seemed to be shared by MPs both sides of the political aisle.

Shared angst


"No one will disagree with your essential point that we keep having reviews and nothing gets done," Liberal backbencher Bob Bratina said. Conservative MP Cathay Wagantall said Tuesday that one of the first questions she'd asked upon joining the committee was: Why are we studying this again? "I share your angst in regard to the fact so many studies have been done," she told Walbourne.

Asked at a recent town hall appearance why his government is still fighting veterans challenging Ottawa's pension policy in court, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the veterans are "asking for more than we are able to give right now" — a reply that probably generated more heat than light.

But the chief source of frustration for many veterans lies in the bureaucracy, not the courts — in the seemingly endless grind of reviews and examinations of what seem to be common-sense ideas which too often end up going nowhere.

Failed system

That hazy sense that nothing ever changes — or at least that nothing ever changes fast enough — is what's driving the ex-soldiers now camped out in protest in the parliamentary precinct in Ottawa.Trevor Sanderson and Dick Groot plan to stay until Thursday, when a larger veterans protest is expected to arrive. Sanderson and Groot say they feel disrespected by Trudeau, but the root of their frustration is what they see as the federal government's inability to deal with their benefit claims. "When I did go to the system, everything went crazy," Groot told CBC News earlier this week. "It failed utterly."

One the problems ex-soldiers like Groot face is the fact that Veterans Affairs Canada must weigh in with its own separate medical opinion on injuries that have been diagnosed by military doctors and attributed to their time in uniform. Walbourne has recommended more than once that the military medical opinion be the first and last word in such cases — something defence and veterans officials have neither ruled in nor ruled out. "I do not have a clear, concise response as to why it cannot be implemented," he told the committee. "I keep hearing legislation would have to change. I don't think so. I think we have an opportunity there that we don't have to do that, but if we do, then OK, let's do it."

Enormous backlog

The Canadian Press reported last fall that the number of veterans waiting to find out if they qualify for disability benefits has topped 29,000 — a 50 per cent increase since March of last year. Testifying last week before the same committee Walbourne spoke to on Tuesday, a senior veterans official was only able to offer vague assurances that claims would be processed within the mandated 16-week response window. The official, Elizabeth Douglas, said the problem did not fall within her authority. "However, again, we do recognize that there have been delays with the service standards, and there is work under way to ensure that is corrected," she said.

Walbourne said he's been talking about issues related to transition for almost eight years — first as the deputy veterans ombudsman, now as the military ombudsman. "It is my humble opinion that asking the government why accepted recommendations have not been implemented will bring timelier, more concrete results than doing an additional study," he said. "The current system is broken … I ask that we stop defending positions on the subject of transition that are indefensible."
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on February 15, 2018, 11:48:50
https://globalnews.ca/news/4025294/veterans-pensions-combat-trudeau-government/

Veterans say they are in ‘combat against our own government’ - 14 Feb 18

A group of Canadian veterans and their supporters is expected to show up on Parliament Hill on Thursday to protest what they call unfair treatment at the hands of the federal government. The event, organized by Canadian Forces veteran Colin Saunders, comes after a week of angry exchanges in the House of Commons between Conservative MPs, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan. “There’s a lot of chaos growing in the veteran community … quite frankly they’re just tired of being left out in the cold.”

The Liberals recently announced a revamp of the pension system for Canada’s injured men and women in uniform. The long-awaited move was greeted with disappointment and anger in some quarters for failing to live up to what was promised. The government has argued that its approach is the right one for all Canadians veterans and their families.A change made in the pension system in 2006 means that injured soldiers receive two different levels of compensation (lifetime pensions versus lump-sum payments) depending on when they were hurt.

Saunders himself suffered a traumatic brain injury in Bosnia before 2006. He says it took more than three years before a cognitive test revealed the extent of the injury, and he’s had to overcome “roadblock after roadblock” to secure compensation.

A veteran in Edmonton, Brock Blaszczyk, recently confronted Trudeau directly on the issue of pensions for injured servicemen and women, leading the prime minister to explain that although Ottawa is moving to spread financial assistance out over veterans’ lifetimes and offering new programs, those who have taken the government to court “are asking for more than we are able to give right now.” Saunders called that response “very frustrating and upsetting.” “Because, quite frankly, we’re not buying it,” he told Global News. “You can look on television every day and (Trudeau’s) giving millions in aid to other countries, and yet our own veterans are struggling to get the help they need.

Veterans Affairs Minister O’Regan defended his government’s plan repeatedly in the House of Commons last week, citing examples of how it would apply in individual situations. “A corporal who served five years in the regular forces and suffered 100 per cent disability is entitled to nearly $6,000 a month in benefits, an additional $1,000 a month for caregiver support, nearly $72,000 through the critical injury benefit, and additional financial assistance to modify her vehicle and her home to meet her needs,” O’Regan said. “Our pension-for-life option … is very real and it is the least we owe our veterans.”

Saunders said he has spoken repeatedly with O’Regan’s office, and a staffer took notes and promised to pass along his message to the minister. It’s unclear if it was ever received. “In fact, (the staffer) hung up on me afterwards,” he said. “It’s funny that the Canadian Forces taught me to lead soldiers into combat, and it’s ironic that now, that combat is against our own government.”

Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on February 15, 2018, 12:01:08
On 14 Feb 18: Private Members Bill C-378, An Act to amend the Department of Veterans Affairs Act (fairness principles), was negatived following a recorded division of 137 yeas and 170 nays.

First Session, Forty-second Parliament,
64-65-66 Elizabeth II, 2015-2016-2017
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-378
An Act to amend the Department of Veterans Affairs Act (fairness principles)

FIRST READING, October 23, 2017

SUMMARY
This enactment amends the Department of Veterans Affairs Act to require that, in exercising his or her powers and in performing his or her duties and functions, the Minister of Veterans Affairs take into account certain principles in relation to, among others, persons who have served in the Canadian Forces or merchant navy or in the naval, army or air forces or merchant navies of Her Majesty as well as in relation to their dependants or survivors.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

R.‍S.‍, c.‍V-1

Department of Veterans Affairs Act

1 Section 4 of the Department of Veterans Affairs Act is renumbered as subsection 4(1) and is amended by adding the following:

Principles

(2) In exercising his or her powers and in performing his or her duties and functions in respect of any person referred to in subparagraph (1)‍(a)‍(i), the Minister shall take into account the following principles:
(a) that the person, as well as their dependants or survivors, is to be treated with dignity, respect and fairness;
(b) that the uniqueness of the person’s profession and of the obligations and sacrifices such a profession demands also impacts the experiences of their family; and
(c) that any decision regarding the care, treatment or re-establishment in civil life of the person and the benefits to be provided to them be made in a timely manner.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: jollyjacktar on February 15, 2018, 12:56:15
It warms the cockles of your heart to know that the sitting government has your back, doesn't it?    ::)
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: jollyjacktar on February 15, 2018, 13:37:33

Quote
Ottawa rescues military disability insurance plan with $622 million bailout

Cash injection follows $887-million settlement of veterans class-action lawsuit over disability payments

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/military-disability-insurance-1.4535867

I wonder who they'll dress up like the Energizer Bunny to march around and beat this drum and announce the news.

Quote
Trevor Sanderson was camping overnight this week beneath the walkway connecting the East and West Memorial Buildings on Wellington Street, ahead of Thursday's protest for better services for veterans.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/military-disability-insurance-1.4535867

You can bet he won't be getting a one on one meeting with the PM.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on February 19, 2018, 10:54:31
Quote
Re: VAC Return to Lifetime Pensions Discussion
« Reply #227 on: February 12, 2018, 09:28:30 »

Quote
Trudeau said his government's monthly pension amount is lower because it takes into account the cost of services offered by the federal government including post-traumatic-stress treatment and psychological care, support for caregivers and family members who look after wounded veterans and job training for those who can still get back into the job market.

I think this is all smoke and mirrors. First the new "pension" in 2019 is another promise before an election just like the other one. Why, why will it take two years to draft regulations and legislation? If Vets are such a priority it could be done in 12 months. Drop tools. do this.

All these other new benefits the PM/Minister are touting are budgeted at x million dollars and are added to the the total of what VAC is providing. Thus VAC big budget figures. The question is:are all these benefit budgets being expended? How easy are they to access?

If these benefits are not utilized then it's just a carrot not eaten and a method to say: Here voters, we gave Vets all this and they didn't use it, but we are giving Vets millions of dollars.


And now it starts. Watch you local newspaper for an op-ed or letter from the local Liberal MP stating how benifical the Liberal government is to Vets.


http://www.netnewsledger.com/2018/02/18/pension-life-plan-puts-canadas-veterans-families-first/

Pension for Life plan puts Canada’s Veterans and their families first
- Bob Nault MP - 19 Feb 18

The brave men and women of Canada’s military dedicate themselves to serving our country. Those in uniform serve and protect us, so it’s our responsibility to serve and protect them as they transition into life post-service. Our government’s mission is simple – provide Veterans and their families with the programs, services, and support they need as they transition to civilian life.

Every Veteran’s personal circumstances are different. However, the most successful transitions take place when our military personnel have a positive balance of financial, mental, physical, and social influences in their lives.

To make sure that this balance is met, the Government of Canada has introduced the Pension for Life (PFL). The PFL contains adjustments to the benefits already available to those who have served. It also includes three new elements to recognize and compensate Veterans for disability resulting from service-related injuries or illnesses.

The Pension for Life plan scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2019, contains three key pillars.

The first is a lifelong tax-free monthly financial benefit to recognize pain and suffering caused by a service-related disability. The most severely disabled can receive a monthly payment of up to $2,650. Veterans can decide for themselves whether they would like to receive monthly payments for life or a one-time lump sum payout of up to $360,000.

There is also income replacement for Veterans who are experiencing barriers returning to work after military service. The income replacement would be set at 90 percent of their pre-release salary. In some circumstances, military personnel may be eligible for an additional increase.

The third pillar focuses on services and benefits to help in a wide-range of areas, including education, employment, and physical and mental health.

These new elements represent an additional investment of close to $3.6 billion to support Canada’s Veterans. When combined with other support programs already announced in previous budgets, investments since 2016 add up to nearly $10 billion. This will help ensure that Veterans and their families receive the supports, respect, and gratitude they’ve rightfully earned.

Since being elected, our government has demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting our military personnel. In addition to the Pension for Life, we have reopened nine Veteran Affairs’ offices the previous government closed and we have even opened a brand new one. In order to provide better service to our Veterans and their families, more than 400 new frontline staff have been hired.

I’ve heard from Veterans that the system can be a source of frustration, and wait times for some benefits are too long. With the right balance of financial compensation, benefits and support services, Veteran Affairs will now be able to focus its attention on delivering excellent service.

I am proud that we are putting the needs of Veterans and their families first. They deserve nothing less.

Bob Nault MP
Kenora
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: dapaterson on February 19, 2018, 11:29:08
From the CBC: Governments of the past have been able to provide proper veteran care. So what's changed?
http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/veteran-pensions-1.4540946

...
By 1947, veterans benefits were twice the expenditures of national defence and 16 per cent of the federal budget. Canada invested 2.3 per cent of its entire GDP into assisting veterans. This investment in veterans, both economists and historians largely agree, contributed to Canada being one of the most successful post-war economies.

Since then, appreciation for Canadian veterans has markedly declined. We seem to have very little regard for what it means to wear a military uniform, to defend the freedoms and rights most Canadians take for granted while risking life, limb and soul for a government that treats sacrifice with condescending platitudes. Current spending on veterans represents a mere 1.2 per cent of the federal budget and 0.2 per cent of GDP. Is this really "far more than we are able to give right now?"
...
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Simian Turner on February 19, 2018, 12:20:28
In order to provide better service to our Veterans and their families, more than 400 new frontline staff have been hired.

Too bad the front line staff help more people apply but do nothing to alleviate the horrendous delays in getting the actual work done.  As a retired Major HCA with 29 years of service, I found out through the recruitment process I wasn't deemed qualified to be one of these front line staff.  Heaven forbid they hire competent, knowledgeable staff to show compassion to those entering claims in the bureaucratic system.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on February 19, 2018, 12:32:46
Please, that's not a quote from me. It is a quote I posted from a Liberal MP.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Occam on February 19, 2018, 16:10:54
As a retired Major HCA with 29 years of service, I found out through the recruitment process I wasn't deemed qualified to be one of these front line staff. 

I hope to gawd you're kidding.  What were they looking for essential quals??
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Simian Turner on February 19, 2018, 17:36:54
No joke, actual rejection:

Dear candidate:

We regret to inform you that you have been eliminated from the
above-mentioned appointment process, as you did not obtain the required
pass mark on one or more essential qualifications.

External advertised processes do not have a requirement to provide
further detailed information regarding a candidate’s elimination from
consideration, therefore no further information or communication will be
provided.
       
Thank you for your interest in this appointment process.
       
Yours sincerely,
       
Human Resources, Veterans Affairs Canada
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: recceguy on February 19, 2018, 17:43:21
From the CBC: Governments of the past have been able to provide proper veteran care. So what's changed?
http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/veteran-pensions-1.4540946

...
By 1947, veterans benefits were twice the expenditures of national defence and 16 per cent of the federal budget. Canada invested 2.3 per cent of its entire GDP into assisting veterans. This investment in veterans, both economists and historians largely agree, contributed to Canada being one of the most successful post-war economies.

Since then, appreciation for Canadian veterans has markedly declined. We seem to have very little regard for what it means to wear a military uniform, to defend the freedoms and rights most Canadians take for granted while risking life, limb and soul for a government that treats sacrifice with condescending platitudes. Current spending on veterans represents a mere 1.2 per cent of the federal budget and 0.2 per cent of GDP. Is this really "far more than we are able to give right now?"
...

The CBC wrote that?! I guess the bloom is coming of the rose. Is the PMs own propaganda ministry turning on their benefactor?
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Brihard on February 19, 2018, 18:46:31
The CBC wrote that?! I guess the bloom is coming of the rose. Is the PMs own propaganda ministry turning on their benefactor?

It’s an editorial by Sean Bruyea and Robert Smol. Both have a certain notoriety for being outspoken in veterans advocacy.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: recceguy on February 19, 2018, 19:05:19
So like guest columnists? Not necessarily CBC policy or directive then
.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: jollyjacktar on February 19, 2018, 19:09:58
Surprisingly they've allowed comments too.  Usually they won't for stories that are taking the present government to task.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Piece of Cake on February 19, 2018, 22:55:13
Are the contracts awarded for OSI clinics public?  If not why? If so, where would I be able to locate?
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Tcm621 on February 19, 2018, 23:51:07
Too bad the front line staff help more people apply but do nothing to alleviate the horrendous delays in getting the actual work done.  As a retired Major HCA with 29 years of service, I found out through the recruitment process I wasn't deemed qualified to be one of these front line staff.  Heaven forbid they hire competent, knowledgeable staff to show compassion to those entering claims in the bureaucratic system.

I recently went through the front line person and her supervisor to find out why one of my claims had gone from completed to stage 3. The front line person's first answer was the canned "Stage 3 means that you file has been sent for adjudication...." answer. When I replied that it had been at stage 3 for 3 months and was completed 2 weeks ago, she said "I guess it went to stage 4." WTF stage 4? So I went to the supervisor. The supervisor had no ability to see a) when it went to stage 3 b) any sort of timeline as to the movement of my file or c) why a file could be complete and then not complete. The only information they appeared to have was the exact same information I could see on MYVAC. To her credit, she followed up and called me back to explain that my file had adjudicated and "complete" then was sent for final review (stage 4?) where they discovered an error and had to resend it for another adjudication. Both of them received a substantial piece of my mind even though they had no ability to change anything (yet another problem) because quite frankly they were the only ones I could give it too. I hope they passed in on in same manner they received it.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: recceguy on February 20, 2018, 05:05:07
I think every city/ regional office should have to hire 20 Veterans and the big places where we process. Winnipeg and Moncton?? Have to hire 100 each. Temporary 6 month contracts with option to stay on if the program flies. Every board, tribunal, adjudication, blah, blah, consists of an odd number with the weight going to Veterans members. Trade specialized military that know the difference in what their pain tells them and some crap bird  that try to match your explanation with a book definition. Hit all the boxes, your a winner. Tell them you hurt all over for the years spent in a steel box. Freezing, roasting, body in a constant, vibration heavy , loud crap that civies can't relate to. No matter how many books they consult.

Sorry all. Got ramblin' and wanderin'😶
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on February 20, 2018, 11:10:37
Quote
Simian Turner 

Re: VAC in the News « Reply #49 on: Yesterday at 15:36:54 »

No joke, actual rejection:

Dear candidate:

We regret to inform you that you have been eliminated from the
above-mentioned appointment process, as you did not obtain the required
pass mark on one or more essential qualifications.

External advertised processes do not have a requirement to provide
further detailed information regarding a candidate’s elimination from
consideration, therefore no further information or communication will be
provided.
       
Thank you for your interest in this appointment process.
       
Yours sincerely,
       
Human Resources, Veterans Affairs Canada

There is probably a measure for prior CAF service. If candidate has prior service a weighted average deduction is applied.

You could try an ATI for the format for VAC appointments and or your application. It would be interesting to see the generic VAC format.

Did you write your MP?
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: meni0n on February 20, 2018, 21:58:02
Don't feel too bad about being disqualified. I applied to literally 30-40 competitions before getting in. Just recently, I got disqualified from a competition just like you for not "fulfilling" essential criteria. Funny thing is, I'm in two other separate pools for exactly the same type of position. Sometimes it's just whoever is reading your application cannot properly match your cv to the essential criteria and sometimes they just have someone they want to hire in mind already and it's all a show to be "transparent".
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: HappyWithYourHacky on February 20, 2018, 23:37:25
sometimes they just have someone they want to hire in mind already and it's all a show to be "transparent".

This happens a lot.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: meni0n on February 21, 2018, 21:39:17
Has anyone seen the PS population report ? I thought the Liberals said they've added a lot of new people to deal with backlog.

https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/innovation/human-resources-statistics/population-federal-public-service-department.html (https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/innovation/human-resources-statistics/population-federal-public-service-department.html)
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: dapaterson on February 21, 2018, 22:21:06
Odd.  You'd think that a reduction from 3400 to 2800 (+/-) would have been commented on. 

However, note that the data source is the pay system.  In other words, the data is from Phoenix.  So immediately I am suspicious of the '16 and '17 data.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on February 22, 2018, 11:04:25
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/veterans-fredericton-pension-changes-1.4544528

Seamus O'Regan in FrederictonVeterans take to microphone to express pension anxiety to federal minister - 21 Feb 18
Minister of Veterans Affairs Seamus O'Regan holds town hall meeting in Fredericton

Veterans in Fredericton got a first-hand look Tuesday night at Canada's proposed new "pension for life" during a town hall meeting hosted by Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan and deputy minister Walt Natynczyk. About 70 people sat through a presentation on the benefits plan for wounded veterans before the floor was opened up for questions.

"We didn't get answers," says Robert Read, who was medically released from the military in 2016. (Surprise, surprise)"I was expecting some more solid, a more solid foundation of answers from that." Robert Read is concerned about wait times for veterans once they are released from the military.

The government's plan to overhaul the pension system has sparked controversy across the country between veterans and government since it was announced in December 2017.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had promised during his election campaign that wounded veterans would be able to get a lifelong pension as an alternative to the lump-sum payments introduced in 2006.

Under the pension for life, veterans have to wait until April 1, 2019, when they can choose between taking the lump sum and a lifelong pension they say would be much less substantial than the one available before 2006.

Veterans showed their frustrations at the microphone for both the lump-sum system and the pension option.

"There's a lot of people suffering, waiting, anxious," said Danny Legace, who is concerned about the wait times for veterans once they've been released from service."Why are we waiting and playing this silly game?"

O'Regan says the pension for life created by the government is a product of discussions with veterans.

Frank Smith thanked the minister for holding the town hall but felt he was pitching information without details."There's no real action plan," Smith said. "This is one of the causes for anxiety."

O'Regan described the night as frank but said similar conversations helped build the groundwork for the pension overhaul. "Pension for life was born from listening to veterans."
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Tcm621 on February 22, 2018, 20:39:31
"O'Regan says the pension for life created by the government is a product of discussions with veterans."


Which veterans are they talking too? Not one person I have talked to thinks this an acceptable "return to lifetime pensions". And why is no one talking about the fact they deduct your earned pension and income from the 90% ELB?  If a soldier retires at 20 years and gets a new job making any where near what he made in the CAF,  he comes out significantly ahead of a soldier who is released medically at 20 years and can't work. Does that seem right? How about how it encourages fraud and/or not work the amount they are able. Say Cpl. Blogging can work 15 hours a week. Why would he work 15 hours a week and have that money deducted from his ELB when he can do nothing and get paid the same?
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: fiddlehead on February 23, 2018, 07:17:36
several of us attended the events in Fredericton and Oromocto.....It seems like they took the same pig and used a different colour of lipstick on it...and gave it a new name.   We were not particularly impressed.... :facepalm:
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Simian Turner on February 23, 2018, 11:29:40
I don't think O'Reagan intends to come off sounding naïve or crash.  I think he and many other politicians/Ministers rely on their staff and read what the speaking notes say. They could know better but they see themselves as spokespeople and not accountable individuals.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on March 02, 2018, 10:33:17
Sounds like more Public Service people will be hired. As of March 31, 2016, there were 2,272 full-time employees (https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/veterans-affairs-canada-still-understaffed-despite-liberal-pledge/article33543594/ ) now 3200??

https://globalnews.ca/news/4057111/trudeau-assist-disabled-veterans-federal-budget/

Trudeau government promising $42M to assist thousands of disabled veterans - CP - 1 Mar 18

The Trudeau government is promising a fresh infusion of cash to help Veterans Affairs Canada deal with a growing backlog of applications for services from thousands of wounded warriors. The new money, included in this week’s federal budget, amounts to $42 million over two years and is specifically earmarked to speed up the delivery of services to disabled veterans.

The injection of additional funds follows revelations that Veterans Affairs Canada had a backlog of 29,000 applications for disability benefits at the end of November – a nearly 50 per cent increase over the previous eight months. But the government won’t say exactly how the money will be used or why the increase has been limited to two years, given that demand for the department’s services is expected to continue growing for the foreseeable future.

The union representing Veterans Affairs workers says the money will help fix some of the problems, but that much more is needed to both undo years of Conservative-era cuts and to address future demand.The Union of Veterans Employees says the department remains short hundreds of workers compared to before those cuts, and staff will face even more pressure when the Liberals’ new disability pension-for-life measure comes into force next year.



Interesting comments: Veterans Affairs Canada Employee Reviews  https://ca.indeed.com/cmp/Veterans-Affairs-Canada/reviews



No word on funding for gravestones for those who die waiting on VAC.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/federal-budget-promises-money-for-45-000-military-graves-in-need-of-repair-1.3822950

Federal budget promises money for 45,000 military graves in need of repair - 28 Feb 18

Extract: 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.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: George Wallace on March 02, 2018, 10:50:36
I wonder if Veterans will have first kick at applying for those jobs?

Or will it once again be primarily recent graduates of some Degree granting institution who have NO real life experience, let alone dealing with the needs of others in an efficient and compassionate manner?  Business graduates with only book learning and no actual experience, financial, managerial, etc.?
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on March 07, 2018, 14:14:31
Veterans Ombudsman Hosts Facebook Live "Q&A with VAC on New Benefits" Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 6:00 PM ET

     
OTTAWA, March 7, 2018 /CNW/ - Canada's Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent will host a Facebook Live Q&A with Veterans Affairs Canada on new Veterans' benefits on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. EST.

"I've been listening to you, and I know you have questions, as I do", said Mr. Parent. "I want to ensure that the recently announced changes to the New Veterans Charter, under the umbrella of "Pension for Life," are fair for all Veterans and their families."  During the event you can post your questions to our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/VeteransOmbudsman/

Since the introduction of the New Veterans Charter in 2006, seven new benefits and 11 enhancements have been implemented, resulting in potentially greater support, but also additional complexity and confusion. "To help us understand the recent changes and answer questions on how they will impact Veterans and their families, I have invited Senior Veterans Affairs Canada subject-matter experts, Ms. Faith McIntyre, Director General, Policy and Research Division, and Mr. Paul Thomson, Director General, Service Delivery Modernization, to join us and answer our questions.

"So, join me live on Facebook Live on March 13. Let's ensure that all of Veterans' benefits are:

Adequate to support the needs of Veterans.
Sufficient to meet the needs of Veterans and their families.
Quickly and easily accessible to Veterans and family members."



Also note:

21 Mar 18  Town Hall in Winnipeg
- Hosted by Canada's Veterans Ombudsman

Wednesday, March 21 at 6:30 PM
Clarion Hotel and Suites Winnipeg
1445 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3G 3P4

All Veterans, RCMP, Military, their families and interested parties are invited! On March 20th and 21st, 2018, my team and I will be in Winnipeg!

I’m hosting a town hall on March 21st at 6:30 PM, and you’ll be able to book a 20-minute consultation with an Intervention Officer from my team to discuss your file on March 20th and 21st.

Appointments for 20-minute consultations are available between 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM on March 20th, and between 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM on March 21st. Book your consultation before March 15th, 2018, by emailing us at communication@ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca. Let us know if you’re preferred time and we will confirm an appointment for you.

It’s first come, first served, so book your appointment today. See you soon!

PS. If it is the Intervention Officer locally based in Wpg she is SUPERB.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Tcm621 on March 09, 2018, 19:59:19
Has anyone seen the PS population report ? I thought the Liberals said they've added a lot of new people to deal with backlog.

https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/innovation/human-resources-statistics/population-federal-public-service-department.html (https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/innovation/human-resources-statistics/population-federal-public-service-department.html)

I emailed the ombudsman's office about that and haven't received a reply yet.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: AirDet on March 15, 2018, 13:42:27
I emailed the ombudsman's office about that and haven't received a reply yet.

Any update?
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Tcm621 on March 20, 2018, 21:47:30
Any update?

As I mentioned in the other thread, I have received nothing back.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on April 17, 2018, 11:34:28
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-seamus-oregan-draws-from-his-own-personal-struggles-as-veterans/

Seamus O’Regan draws from his own personal struggles as Veterans Affairs Minister - 17 Apr 18

Seamus O’Regan grew up by the 5 Wing Goose Bay airbase in Newfoundland, has a brother in the navy, and a great-granduncle who fought and died at Beaumont Hamel in France during the First World War. Those were reasons Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave when he named Mr. O’Regan, a good friend of 16 years, as Minister of Veterans Affairs last summer.

But there was something else, too: an ability to empathize with those who served, as they return to civilian life. “The other thing he knew too was, having just gone through a period of depression and anxiety, that I would be sensitive to transition. Because I did not transition well,” Mr. O’Regan said in a recent interview. “To be kind of left on my own to figure things out, it broke me.”

Mr. O’Regan, a boyish-looking 47, left CTV’s Canada AM morning show in 2011 to pursue other opportunities. He went to New York, got an agent, even auditioned for 60 Minutes. But the work never came. “You don’t make the cut. You aim high … but there wasn’t much of a soft landing,” Mr. O’Regan said.

After a decade of structure, he didn’t know how to handle the change. He started drinking too much to cope. “I thrived on chaos at one point. I loved it. I don’t any more, I definitely don’t,” Mr. O’Regan said. He ended up running for the Liberals in the 2015 election. A few months after winning his St. John’s-area seat, Mr. O’Regan entered a rehabilitation facility for alcoholism, at the urging of family and friends including the Prime Minister. “ ‘You’re not running 100 per cent,’ ” he said Mr. Trudeau told him. “ ‘And I need you 100 per cent.’ ” Sitting with a Diet Coke on the table of his office beside Parliament Hill, Mr. O’Regan, looking relaxed in a grey tailored vest, said he hasn’t relapsed since completing his 40-day treatment in early 2016.

Now, Mr. O’Regan said he draws on his own personal struggles to relate to the 130,000 or so clients of Veterans Affairs, who are returning to a life they may not recognize. “I am just so grateful for this job and for this work,” Mr. O’Regan said. “As daunting as it is, it has purpose.”

But many outspoken veterans feel they’re not being heard – and that the Liberal government is failing to deliver on its pledge of better services. “There’s been a lot of deception, disappointment and a very clear failure to follow through on a campaign promise,” said Sean Bruyea, a veterans’ advocate. During the election campaign, Mr. Trudeau said the government would cover the cost of four years of postsecondary education for veterans. But it turns out that it will only be available to veterans who served after April, 2006, and those with less than six years of service will not qualify. Mr. O’Regan blames the New Veterans Charter, which came into effect in 2006, for the cutoff – a timeline Mr. Bruyea describes as “arbitrary.”

Mr. O’Regan also defends the government’s coming “pensions for life” plan, which is set to take effect next April. The plan includes a tax-free monthly pension payment, and a top-up for pain and suffering. The government is also amalgamating six pre-existing benefits for veterans, whose service-related health problems make it difficult to find work, into one taxable income-replacement benefit. Veterans groups say the lifetime pensions will pay much less than what was offered under the old Pension Act to military personnel who retired before 2006.

As part of the government’s pitch, Mr. O’Regan has been attending town halls across the country with veterans and their families. “I have work to do. I’m out there. I believe in this,” he said. Mr. O’Regan may also be facing an investigation by the federal ethics commissioner for failing to disclose as a gift his December, 2016, trip to the Aga Khan’s private island in the Bahamas. In a statement, Mr. O’Regan said he received a request from the ethics office for information for a preliminary review, and will co-operate fully. He called the trip a “personal vacation” and said he reported it to the commissioner’s office when he returned.

In an interview, Mr. O’Regan brushed off concerns about the trip. “He came, he went, he came back … that’s it.” Mr. O’Regan took the trip with the Prime Minister and his family, along with restaurateur Steve Doussis, whom Mr. O’Regan married eight years ago. He said that before he met his husband, he struggled with his sexuality “more than I knew.” “I realized in my time in therapy, that all of those years of hiding it or coming to terms with it, had also built up with me,” he said. “I was relieved to meet him, and then realize, right, it’s okay.”

Mr. O’Regan said he’s often approached by people who are experiencing anxiety and depression in their own lives. “My advice to them is, it doesn’t always have to be catastrophic. You’re not broken. It’s a bump and you’ll get through it.”

Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: cowboy628 on April 17, 2018, 12:11:48
Give me a break, let’s try and soften up the public. !!!🤡
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: recceguy on April 17, 2018, 13:19:03
"You’re not broken. It’s a bump and you’ll get through it.”

Couldn't have closed with a better line. That couuld be straight out of the VAC mission statement.😉
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on April 17, 2018, 16:17:07
I didn't comment on posting the article but I will now.

Puff piece that fails.

Got hopped up in his own ego (CTV AM), quit, subsequently failed to achieve anything in the US where his ego sent him to make his fortune, turned or returned to excessive drink. After 2 years of sparse/vague employment, decided to be a Liberal politician. Quote: " A few months after winning his St. John’s-area seat, Mr. O’Regan entered a rehabilitation facility for alcoholism....."

Quote: "Now, Mr. O’Regan said he draws on his own personal struggles to relate to the 130,000 or so clients of Veterans Affairs....."

Pathetic.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on April 19, 2018, 12:34:07
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/service-dogs-ptsd-standards-1.4625484

Plan to give service dogs to PTSD veterans rocked by federal agency's decision to pull out - Murray Brewster · CBC · 18 Apr 18
Canadian General Standards Board won't develop a nationwide code for training service dogs

The future of the federal government's bid to pair veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder with service dogs was thrown into doubt Wednesday by the unexpected decision of a federal regulating agency to pull out of the project. The Canadian General Standards Board announced it will not develop a nationwide code of acceptable training and behavioural standards for the animals.

The little-known agency delivered the news in a letter to at least two of the organizations involved in the psychiatric service dog program. A copy of the letter was obtained by CBC News. The board did not provide any reasons and only said the decision was made "after careful consideration." Having an acceptable national standard was one of the conditions set down for turning a federal pilot program into a permanent fixture at Veterans Affairs Canada. A spokesman for the Veterans Affairs minister said the board was unable to reach a "consensus."

And while it is not going to develop a national standard for all service dogs, the department will move forward with its own rules for psychiatric service dogs, said Alex Wellstead in an email. That provides little reassurance for the groups that have tried for five years to convince the federal government to adopt this approach for troops suffering from the emotional aftermath of the Afghan war and other conflicts.

"We were quite shocked" by the decision, said Brad White, national executive director of The Royal Canadian Legion. "We were really close to having a set of guidelines." Phil Ralph, the national program director for Wounded Warriors Canada, was equally dismayed and said it "absolutely introduces uncertainty" into next steps by the federal government. Both organizations sponsor separate service dog programs and have set down their own guidelines, based upon best practices in other jurisdictions.

It is crucial there be some kind of national standard, said White. "I will hold to them to account that we are going to achieve some kind of standard," he said, because without one "I've a real concern that some veterans may not have an appropriately trained animal that may be harmful to them at some point in their rehabilitation." Wellstead suggested the government shares that concern and intends to forge ahead sometime later this year. "We're working to put in place standards, rapidly, so that veterans have access to properly trained psychiatric service dogs," he said.

The last federal budget introduced a tax credit for veterans using service dogs; Wellstead said that was an indication of the Liberal government's commitment and determination. In terms of research, policy and practice, Canada has been lagging well behind the U.S. in the adoption of 'comfort animals' for those suffering from PTSD. The first pilot program and study of the concept was launched by the Conservatives in 2015. A final report on the second phase of research, being led out of the University of Laval, is not expected until this summer.

Wellstead said the events on Wednesday will not affect either those ongoing efforts. Ralph said the implementation of the service dogs program has dragged on for an exceptionally long time and, for the moment, he's prepared to give the government the benefit of the doubt. "It all depends on what they come out with in their own standards," he said. "We have decided to lead in the area with our own program. It's pretty obvious what the standards will have to look like and if the government matches what we've put out there, we'll be very happy."
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: ModlrMike on May 03, 2018, 10:52:49
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/veterans-jobs-placement-program-1.4645674

Job placement program for veterans was a flop, audit finds
More than 300 vets applied for cost coverage. Only 40 got paid

Only a little more than three dozen ex-soldiers were reimbursed over a two-year period by the federal government under a highly-publicized program meant to help them find post-military jobs, says an internal Department of Veterans Affairs audit.

More at link.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Simian Turner on May 03, 2018, 13:48:07
I can attest that I was one of those who got reimbursed for resume writing assistance and that I am still looking for a full-time job 5 years later.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Teager on May 04, 2018, 10:43:58
I can attest that I was one of those who got reimbursed for resume writing assistance and that I am still looking for a full-time job 5 years later.

Do you think you will try the new program they are putting in place? If so let us know what you think and the quality of jobs or the amount of hoops.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on May 04, 2018, 11:12:00
http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1567838-video-game-company-relocates-headquarters-to-sydney

Video game company relocates headquarters to Sydney - CHRIS SHANNON CAPE BRETON POST - 3 May 18
Cold Furnace Studios, started in New Brunswick, is currently developing first title

Photo Caption: Mark Wheeler, CEO and chief military adviser of Cold Furnace Studios, and Lori Shepherd, the studios’ chief creative officer, both moved to Cape Breton last week to run the company’s corporate office in Sydney. (CHRIS SHANNON / Cape Breton Post)


Mark Wheeler, CEO and chief military adviser of Cold Furnace Studios, and Lori Shepherd, the studios’ chief creative officer, both moved to Cape Breton last week to run the company’s corporate office in Sydney. (CHRIS SHANNON / Cape Breton Post)
SYDNEY — A gaming developer who helps Canadian Forces personnel integrate into a career post-military has relocated his company to Cape Breton.

Cold Furnace Studios, originally based in Fredericton, officially landed in Sydney last week. So far, the studio’s CEO Mark Wheeler and chief creative officer Lori Shepherd have made the move to the island. Wheeler, who’s originally from Halifax, called Cape Breton “beautiful, harsh and rustic,” a nod to the island’s scenery and wild swings in weather conditions.

Describing himself as a soldier and avid gamer, Wheeler served as an airborne gunner in the Canadian Forces and has been deployed on multiple tours to Afghanistan and the Balkans. He has 25 years in the army and currently serves as a combat arms warrant officer.

“I’ve always been interested in video games and who wouldn’t want to do that for a living?” he said. Although still employed with the military, Wheeler is preparing for his career transition to the gaming industry full time. As it stands now, he serves as the studio’s chief military adviser as his team works on its first video game title, Atrocity: Field of Hands.

There are several current and former military personnel on staff at Cold Furnace Studios. They all work remotely from various locations in North America and Europe, Wheeler said, but he also sees the military community in Cape Breton as possibly having a role to play in his company. He said the reason for hiring military advisers to his team is simple: “In the industry, most game companies don’t have an inherent in-house capability of military advisement. It’s something that they have to farm out or contract out,” he said.

“Because we’re focused on hiring veterans, we have that ability built in. Right now, in the production of our current title, we’re doing really well with having those advisers be able to help out with the developers, programmers, designers, as well as the artists, for realism purposes.” Through Veterans Affairs Canada, the company is registered with the rehabilitation services and vocational assistance program. It assists veterans to reintegrate into the civilian workforce before retiring or being medically released from the Canadian Forces. It allows military personnel to develop skills they’ll need to pursue their second career, Wheeler said.

When it comes to being as authentic as possible, using the proper military terminology, vehicles, uniforms, acrobatic moves and holds, and how weapons react in the real world are extremely important to launching a successful video game. Military advisers can explain small-unit tactics to developers to plan movement of enemy artificial intelligence in the game. And Wheeler’s team also spends time at the firing range to understand the handling and mechanics of a wide range of weapons. For example, the adviser can provide accuracy in how a firearm would react in a scene with a single person active shooter, said Wheeler. “How does the physics work, how is it affected by errors as opposed to most video games where it’s a laser beam effect.”

The other component to the business is consulting work with other companies in the entertainment industry seeking military expertise, specifically in historical and current warfare situations. For now, Wheeler doesn’t expect other members of his team to move to Cape Breton. Because the work can be done anywhere, he and Shepherd are working out of their home and are not worried in the short term about finding office space. Nova Scotia Business Inc. assisted with the move by explaining how to relocate employees to the province, provided access to funding partners, and the agency connected the duo to local game developers, Shepherd said.

There was no funding provided by NSBI, but it did explain the province offers a digital media tax credit which allows Nova Scotia companies to claim 25 per cent of total expenditures or 50 per cent of eligible labour expenditures. “(NSBI staff) helped the company with an overall compelling story about Cape Breton’s location and lifestyle advantages that are appealing to workers in this industry. All these are intended to help Cold Furnace when it comes time for recruitment,” NSBI spokesperson Emily Neil said in a statement.

Wheeler hopes the long-term investment pays off when his game is ready for launch sometime in either 2019 or 2020.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on July 31, 2018, 10:49:20
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-veterans-ombudsman-says-ottawa-is-ignoring-key-recommendations-making/

Veterans Ombudsman says Ottawa is ignoring key recommendations, making vets wait to have treatments covered - GLORIA GALLOWAY - UPDATED JULY 30, 2018

Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman says significant gaps remain in the financial security promised to men and women who retire from the Canadian Armed Forces, especially those who leave with a service-related injury. Guy Parent, who has served as ombudsman for nearly eight years, says successive governments have made real improvements to the way veterans are compensated since the New Veterans Charter replaced the old Pension Act in 2006. Ottawa, he said, has taken action on 46 of the 64 recommendations made by his office to address systemic problems at the Veterans Affairs department.

But, Mr. Parent said in a report card to be released on Tuesday – a copy of which was obtained by The Globe and Mail – there are still long-standing issues that create significant hardships for former members of the armed forces. At the top of the list, he said, is the fact that some injured veterans are forgoing treatment in the first months after their retirement because the costs are not paid by the Veterans Affairs department until the therapy has been approved by bureaucrats. The decisions can take up to 50 weeks, he said, and the medical services are not covered retroactively.

“People may go a year without accessing treatment,” Mr. Parent said on Monday in a telephone interview. "Some of them may be in deteriorating health status because they don’t access treatment because they have to pay out of their own pocket.” That was not the case under the old Pension Act, he said. Before 2006, veterans with service-related injuries were reimbursed for their medical expenses from the time they applied for coverage.

Veterans Affairs says it does, in fact, authorize and reimburse rehabilitation benefits – notably on mental-health treatment – before a claim can be adjudicated. But the ombudsman’s office says the criteria for those payments is narrow. First, not all vets are eligible for rehabilitation. And second, only conditions that are deemed to be a barrier to rehabilitation are eligible for coverage before a claim is approved by Veterans Affairs.

If, for instance, a veteran who falls under the New Veterans Charter, which is now called the Veterans Well-being Act, has a back condition and needs physiotherapy, the ombudsman’s office says those costs will not be paid by the government until Veterans Affairs gives the green light, and there is no retroactive reimbursement.

Veterans Affairs pointed out that the ombudsman’s report card shows progress has been made in many areas. “Is there more to do? Yes, and that’s why we remain focused on the outstanding items in the mandate letter” that was given by the Prime Minister to Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan, said Alex Wellstead, a spokesman for Mr. O’Regan. “While we appreciate the work [Mr. Parent] does and give [his recommendations] every consideration, we also take into account voices from across the spectrum of the veteran community, especially veterans and their families, when making our priorities.”

The ombudsman’s report card points out a number of his recommendations that have been ignored, many related to financial security.
For instance, the military pays a death benefit to spouses and dependent children of members who die of a service-related injury or illness. But Mr. Parent said those benefits should also be available to the extended families of soldiers, sailors and aviators who die without a spouse or common-law partner and who have no offspring. “With Afghanistan, we have the experience of young members, victims of the conflict, who were looked after by siblings or parents and, in their case, if their loss of life was due to service, their death benefit is just lost,” Mr. Parent said. “We recommend that single members who are injured be allowed to identify some beneficiary.”

On dental benefits, members who retire after serving for 10 years have the option of joining the public-service dental plan. But if a veteran must leave the military before that time, they lose those dental benefits. And that can be especially hard on someone with young children who is forced out of the military because of an injury, Mr. Parent said.The Veterans Affairs department says it does not have any control over the public-service dental benefits and it is the military that required a decade of service before a retiring member is eligible for that plan.


Comments from readers at link.

Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Simian Turner on July 31, 2018, 11:54:13
"But, Mr. Parent said in a report card to be released on Tuesday – a copy of which was obtained by The Globe and Mail – there are still long-standing issues that create significant hardships for former members of the armed forces. At the top of the list, he said, is the fact that some injured veterans are forgoing treatment in the first months after their retirement because the costs are not paid by the Veterans Affairs department until the therapy has been approved by bureaucrats. The decisions can take up to 50 weeks, he said, and the medical services are not covered retroactively."

I am confused by this statement, between Provincial health care, Veterans Public Service Health Care Plan and OSI clinics I do not know what type of treatment/therapy they would be foregoing?  Any suggestions?
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on July 31, 2018, 11:55:22
The report:

http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/eng/reports/statistics-facts/2018-report-card

Status of Veterans Ombudsman Recommendations by Theme 2008-2018


https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/is-the-government-making-enough-progress-for-veterans-and-their-families-check-out-the-veterans-ombudsmans-2018-report-card-689624501.html

Is the Government Making Enough Progress for Veterans and Their Families? Check out the Veterans Ombudsman's 2018 Report Card - Veterans Ombudsman

OTTAWA, July 31, 2018 /CNW/ - Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent today released his 2018 Report Card on the government's response to 10 years of recommendations made by his Office. These evidence-based recommendations are aimed at improving services and support for Veterans and their families and originate in the numerous reports that the Office has released during that time span.

"Since my 2017 status update, some progress has been made," said Mr. Parent.  "To date, the Government has addressed, in some way, 46 of my recommendations, leaving 18 unresolved. That gives a final score of 46/64 or 72% of recommendations actioned."

From the Veterans Ombudsman's perspective, among the most important of these 18 recommendations are the following:

 - Ensure that the reimbursement of treatment expenses under the Veterans Well-being Act is retroactive to the date of the original application, as it is under the Pension Act.
 - Amend the Veterans Well-being Act to permit a single Canadian Armed Forces member with no dependent children to designate a family member to apply for and receive the Death Benefit.
 - Provide the same access to the Treasury Board Pensioner Dental Service Plan as provided by VAC under the Public Service Health Care Plan.

"I am committed to advocating for the fair treatment of all Veterans and their families. I work to ensure that adequate benefits are available, that they are sufficient to meet needs, and that benefits are quickly and easily accessible.  I will follow the government's actions closely on the remaining recommendations and keep you informed."



Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: recceguy on July 31, 2018, 13:44:19
"But, Mr. Parent said in a report card to be released on Tuesday – a copy of which was obtained by The Globe and Mail – there are still long-standing issues that create significant hardships for former members of the armed forces. At the top of the list, he said, is the fact that some injured veterans are forgoing treatment in the first months after their retirement because the costs are not paid by the Veterans Affairs department until the therapy has been approved by bureaucrats. The decisions can take up to 50 weeks, he said, and the medical services are not covered retroactively."

I am confused by this statement, between Provincial health care, Veterans Public Service Health Care Plan and OSI clinics I do not know what type of treatment/therapy they would be foregoing?  Any suggestions?

Medical cannabis for one. It takes VAC and Blue Cross forever. The typical Vet can't afford it out of pocket. You can get retroactive payment for it, but only if you get approval. If you dont, you're on the hook.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Wookilar on August 12, 2018, 12:26:17
Also, wrt the standard government health care plan, the $$ amounts covered for psychologists/physio/osteo etc. etc. run out pretty quick. If your injuries are not yet "pensioned" by the time of your release, then you will be paying out of pocket for everything not covered by provincial health care. In NS, physio and osteo are not covered.

And, not everyone has reasonable access to an OSI clinic. They wanted me to drive to the OSI clinic in Fredericton (6 hours one-way) as opposed to the OSI clinic in Halifax (1 1/2 hour one-way) because Halifax did not (at the time) have anyone that could write prescriptions. I do not know if that is still the case as I told them to go f#$% their hat.

Note: Not sure if this is common knowledge, the OSI Clinics are NOT operated by VAC. Fredericton and Halifax, at least, are operated by Horizon Health. They are just a contractor.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Simian Turner on August 12, 2018, 18:57:05
Note: Not sure if this is common knowledge, the OSI Clinics are NOT operated by VAC. Fredericton and Halifax, at least, are operated by Horizon Health. They are just a contractor.

There are OSI clinics and satellite OSI clinics: http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/services/health/mental-health/understanding-mental-health/clinics  Who pays the bills, be it VAC or CAF/DND. determines whether it is a labelled as an OSI or OTSSC.  The VAC clinics that also serve CAF soldiers bill DND/CAF on a cost-recovery basis. I would not call Horizon Health or Royal Ottawa Hospital 'contractors', I would call me them host facilities, as they may also have CAF or VAC funded providers working on site.

The OTSSC and OSI clinics in Ottawa are located at the Royal Ottawa Hospital.  The Royal Ottawa Hospital hires staff to fill the jobs at the OSI Satellite Clinic in Kingston.  Who pays the bills VAC or CAF/DND determines whether it is a labelled as an OSI or OTSSC.  The VAC clinics that also serve CAF soldiers bill DND on a cost-recovery basis. 

For anyone still serving who has been authorized access to VAC-approved/funded treatments like chiro or massage therapy, theie treatment costs are billed back to DND/CAF through Medavie Blue Cross.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: upandatom on August 12, 2018, 23:15:41
There are OSI clinics and satellite OSI clinics: http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/services/health/mental-health/understanding-mental-health/clinics  Who pays the bills, be it VAC or CAF/DND. determines whether it is a labelled as an OSI or OTSSC.  The VAC clinics that also serve CAF soldiers bill DND/CAF on a cost-recovery basis. I would not call Horizon Health or Royal Ottawa Hospital 'contractors', I would call me them host facilities, as they may also have CAF or VAC funded providers working on site.

The OTSSC and OSI clinics in Ottawa are located at the Royal Ottawa Hospital.  The Royal Ottawa Hospital hires staff to fill the jobs at the OSI Satellite Clinic in Kingston.  Who pays the bills VAC or CAF/DND determines whether it is a labelled as an OSI or OTSSC.  The VAC clinics that also serve CAF soldiers bill DND on a cost-recovery basis. 

For anyone still serving who has been authorized access to VAC-approved/funded treatments like chiro or massage therapy, theie treatment costs are billed back to DND/CAF through Medavie Blue Cross.

That's interesting because I was told the opposite in late 2014 and early 2015 that I was not eligible for the treatment that it had to go through a DND option, and that chiro was not eligible in the CAF. I did have treatment available through VAC but was told no, DND pays it, they chose.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 13, 2018, 01:09:49
They wanted me to drive to the OSI clinic in Fredericton (6 hours one-way) as opposed to the OSI clinic in Halifax (1 1/2 hour one-way) because Halifax did not (at the time) have anyone that could write prescriptions. I do not know if that is still the case as I told them to go f#$% their hat.

If more people follow your lead, then services will improve.  :nod:
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Simian Turner on August 13, 2018, 10:24:26
That's interesting because I was told the opposite in late 2014 and early 2015 that I was not eligible for the treatment that it had to go through a DND option, and that chiro was not eligible in the CAF. I did have treatment available through VAC but was told no, DND pays it, they chose.

I would ask again.  I know at least one clinic that has paid $16K+ for chiro so far this year and this was not incurred in previous years.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on August 16, 2018, 12:02:51
I betting the Minister will just happen to appear at events in Kelowna that conclude on Saturday, 18 Aug.


Public Service Announcement - Veterans Town Hall - Pension for Life (August 20, 2018)

Veterans Affairs Canada - Aug 15, 2018, 16:00 ET
   
KELOWNA, BC, Aug. 15, 2018 /CNW/ - The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, invites Veterans and their families to participate in a Veterans Town Hall on Monday August 20 at 5:30 p.m. (PDT) at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #26 (1380 Bertram Street, Kelowna).

Veterans and their families will have the opportunity to hear more and ask questions about Pension for Life, and other Veterans Affairs Canada benefits and services, including new benefits which launched on April 1, 2018.

If you are interested in attending, please click here to register for the event. https://www.facebook.com/VeteransAffairsCanada/photos/a.1438390596409983.1073741828.1437398476509195/2116180535297649/?type=1&theater

Information about the Town Hall can also be found on the Veterans Affairs Canada Facebook page. All are welcome.

Please share this information.

Location:

Royal Canadian Legion Branch #26
1380 Bertram Street, Kelowna, BC

Time: 5:30 p.m. (PDT)

SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Rifleman62 on September 18, 2018, 09:13:41
https://globalnews.ca/news/4447716/trudeau-liberals-leave-372m-meant-for-veterans-unspent/    (Videos at Link)

EXCLUSIVE: Trudeau Liberals leave $372M meant to help veterans unspent since taking office - updated - 17 Sep 18

WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government are doing what they damned Stephen Harper’s Conservatives for doing: leaving hundreds millions of dollars unspent at the Department of Veterans Affairs. David Akin reports.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has left more than $372 million meant to help veterans and their families unspent since taking office in November 2015, Global News has learned. The news comes seven months after an Edmonton town hall at which Trudeau publicly admonished some veterans groups fighting the government for improved benefits, saying they were “asking for more than we are able to give right now.”

WATCH: Before becoming prime minister, Justin Trudeau slammed Stephen Harper and the Conservatives for leaving funding for veterans unspent

Yet according to documents obtained by Global News, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VAC) – under Trudeau’s leadership – has failed to spend all the money given to it in each of the past three years – something Trudeau and many other Liberals slammed former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives for when they were still in office. “[The Conservatives] fired hundreds of front line veteran support staff, they closed nine local service offices, making it harder and harder for veterans to get the support they so badly need,” said then Liberal leader Justin Trudeau at a veteran-themed campaign stop in August 2015. “They left unspent more than $1 billion that Parliament allocated for veteran support. Canadians know that this is wrong. A government led by me would make it right.”

But since toppling Harper and the Conservatives, Trudeau’s government has continued this trend. In the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016, Trudeau’s first year in office, the Liberals left $80.9 million on the books at VAC. They then left another $143 million unspent in 2017 and $148.6 in 2018. Broken down annually, the unspent funds for vets under Trudeau’s leadership represented 2.2 per cent of VAC’s overall budget in 2016, 3.7 per cent in 2017 and 3.0 per cent in 2018.

ARCHIVE: Liberal Ralph Goodale says Conservatives ‘pocketed the cash’ meant for veterans

The department explains these discrepancies by saying funding at VAC is “demand driven,” meaning any veteran entitled to services will receive them, but if money is left over at the end of the year its because they “overestimated” demand. “Lapsed funding does not result in anyone receiving less than they should. It is simply an administrative process,” said Martin Magnan, a spokesperson for Veteran Affairs.

Liberals defend record

Seamus O’Regan, the current Minister of Veteran Affairs, is defending the Liberals’ record, saying there’s been “no stealing” from veterans under Trudeau’s leadership. “Much of what we do, in fact, about $4 billion of what we do, is statutory funding,” O’Regan said. “If something happens it means the government must find the money. And that obviously isn’t necessarily something you would find in the accounting books.” Since taking power, O’Regan says the Liberals have re-opened veteran affairs offices closed by the Conservatives, re-hired hundreds of front-line staff, improved benefits and increased overall spending for veterans by about $10 billion. The government has also committed an additional $42 million to help reduce the backlog of those waiting for disability benefits, he said. “There’s no stealing from veterans here,” O’Regan said. “All I can tell you, very simply, is we run the department on an extremely tight budget,” he said.

Pot calling the kettle black, say critics
Gord Johns, the NDP’s veteran affairs critic, provided Global News with the lapsed-funding figures for 2016 and 2017. He says it doesn’t matter whether it’s a Conservative or Liberal government in power, failing to spend money intended for veterans and their families is “immoral” and contrary to the will of Parliament. “When we allocate money for veterans we expect that that money is going to get spent,” Johns said. “These are people that put their lives on the line, made the ultimate sacrifice.”

WATCH: NDP Critic says is ‘immoral’ to leave funding for veterans unspent

While recognizing some money could always go unspent in any budget, the amount of funding meant for veterans that Conservatives and Liberals have left on the table is “unacceptable,” he says. “Just last year, where they didn’t spend $143 million, they seemed to find $37 million to fight veterans for the benefits they’re asking for… This is a big problem,” Johns said.

Meanwhile, Phil McColeman, Conservative veteran affairs critic, says this sort of “staggering hypocrisy” cannot go unchecked. And while O’Regan’s explanation may hold true in certain circumstances, he says, it’s “beyond belief” that Trudeau would publicly criticize the Conservatives for something and then do the same thing after being elected. “Where it becomes unacceptable is when we have the prime minister tell a veteran to his face that Canada does not have enough to give,” he said. “That’s the context.”

-With files from David Akin. © 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Halifax Tar on September 18, 2018, 10:20:08
Crickets from those ABC Vets groups... strange...
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: cowboy628 on September 19, 2018, 00:51:55
What are they going to say, WE WERE WRONG . Lol. Let's stay on topic before we get in trouble.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Jarnhamar on September 19, 2018, 07:33:17
$372 million will go a long way towards lawyer fees to fight vets in court.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Jarnhamar on September 20, 2018, 15:57:06
Quote
An extensive study commissioned by Ottawa has determined service dogs can help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. But the Trudeau Liberals won't commit to funding the animals, and veterans are demanding to know why.



https://globalnews.ca/news/4463518/veterans-with-ptsd-denied-service-dogs-despite-positive-study/


That 372 million could buy almost 25'000 service dogs.
Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Spectrum on September 20, 2018, 16:37:37
Service dogs are asking more than he can give us right now...

Title: Re: VAC in the News
Post by: Brihard on September 20, 2018, 16:40:59
Incidentally just the other day invitations went out for the next VAC stakeholders summit in Ottawa in October. It looks like the Mental Health Advisory Group at least still exists and is still being offered a seat at the table. Along with a couple of 'update' items (MH centre of excellence suicide action plan and tracking) I'm going to push to see the questions of service dogs raised, particularly in light of the new study that (I think contrary to VAC's expectations) validates psychiatric service dogs. In conjunction with some quality foreign research (the Dutch are really on the ball) that is an issue that should be getting pushed.