Author Topic: VAC in the News  (Read 19016 times)

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jollyjacktar

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2018, 10:22:22 »
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

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2018, 12:54:43 »
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:
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jollyjacktar

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2018, 13:11:48 »
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...

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2018, 13:46:01 »
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
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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2018, 10:18:03 »
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.


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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2018, 09:44:27 »
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.
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Offline Tcm621

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #31 on: February 09, 2018, 17:29:33 »
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.

Offline ctran

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2018, 17:31:16 »
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

Offline Teager

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2018, 20:05:31 »
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.

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2018, 09:59:54 »
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.”
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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2018, 11:03:38 »
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.

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2018, 11:57:52 »
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.
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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2018, 21:42:48 »
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.
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jollyjacktar

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2018, 22:31:39 »
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..

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2018, 10:36:52 »
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."
Never Congratulate Yourself In Victory, Nor Blame Your Horses In Defeat - Old Cossack Expression

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2018, 10:48:50 »
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.”

Never Congratulate Yourself In Victory, Nor Blame Your Horses In Defeat - Old Cossack Expression

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #41 on: February 15, 2018, 11:01:08 »
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.
Never Congratulate Yourself In Victory, Nor Blame Your Horses In Defeat - Old Cossack Expression

jollyjacktar

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #42 on: February 15, 2018, 11:56:15 »
It warms the cockles of your heart to know that the sitting government has your back, doesn't it?    ::)

jollyjacktar

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #43 on: February 15, 2018, 12:37:33 »

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.

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #44 on: February 19, 2018, 09:54:31 »
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
Never Congratulate Yourself In Victory, Nor Blame Your Horses In Defeat - Old Cossack Expression

Offline dapaterson

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #45 on: February 19, 2018, 10:29:08 »
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?"
...
This posting made in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 2(b):
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication
http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/charter/1.html

Offline Simian Turner

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #46 on: February 19, 2018, 11:20:28 »
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.
The grand essentials of happiness: something to do, something to love, something to hope for.  Allan K. Chalmers

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #47 on: February 19, 2018, 11:32:46 »
Please, that's not a quote from me. It is a quote I posted from a Liberal MP.
Never Congratulate Yourself In Victory, Nor Blame Your Horses In Defeat - Old Cossack Expression

Offline Occam

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #48 on: February 19, 2018, 15:10:54 »
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??

Offline Simian Turner

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Re: VAC in the News
« Reply #49 on: February 19, 2018, 16:36:54 »
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
The grand essentials of happiness: something to do, something to love, something to hope for.  Allan K. Chalmers