Author Topic: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises  (Read 4486 times)

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#FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« on: September 22, 2019, 18:28:33 »
Here's what's out there so far ...

Conservatives:
Quote
... Scheer highlighted that a new Conservative government will:

    Enshrine, in legislation, a Military Covenant between the Government of Canada and all Canada’s Veterans. This will guarantee that every Veteran is treated with respect and is provided services in a timely manner.
    Clear the current backlog of Veterans’ benefit applications within 24 months.
    Create a reliable, dependable pension system that, unlike the Liberal status quo, is fair to Canada’s most disabled Veterans.
    Strengthen transition services to support discharged or retired Canadian Armed Forces members.
    Strike an independent inquiry to provide answers about Canadian Armed Forces members who were administered mefloquine.
    Provide more service dogs to Canadian Veterans in their communities.
    Put vital commemoration projects, like the National Memorial for Canada’s War in Afghanistan, back on track ...
More in attached 2-page party backgrounder.

NDP:
Quote
Canadian veterans have made untold sacrifices for our country. To honour their service, we need to offer the best care and support possible when they come home.

Unfortunately, for too long, veterans have had to fight for the benefits they’ve earned. For a decade, the Conservative government denied and clawed back benefits, took veterans to court, and cut access to basic care. They closed nine regional offices that provided services for tens of thousands of veterans across Canada and argued in court that the government has no sacred obligation to care for Canada’s veterans.

While hopes were high that the Liberal government would improve veterans care, they’ve broken their commitments, failed to improve services, and left billions in money earmarked for veterans care unspent. Years of court cases and broken promises have deepened the disappointment and mistrust that’s felt by many of Canada’s veterans.

It’s time to do right by our veterans.

A New Democrat government will honour the special bond of mutual obligation between Canadians and veterans, and deliver the services that veterans need and deserve. As part of this process, we will launch a full review of benefits and work with veterans to determine the best way to provide fair benefits to all veterans, including tackling the issue of equal access to lifetime pensions.

Veterans shouldn’t have to wait weeks or even months to receive the services they need. We’ll get rid of backlogs and step up high-quality, personalized service delivery by providing one caseworker for every twenty-five veterans and improving services that are delivered by phone and online.

There’s also much more that we can do to ease the transition from service for veterans. A New Democrat government will give Canadian Forces members access to care and support before the transition and make sure that their benefits are in place before they are released from service.

To give more veterans access to post-secondary education and training that works for them, we will expand the education benefit to more people. We will also help support veterans and their families by reviewing the caregiver allowance and making it available to more people.

New Democrats will work with partners in community services and the veterans community to end veteran homelessness for good – because one veteran on the streets is one too many.

And to ensure that taxpayer money earmarked for veterans care actually gets spent on it, we will automatically carry forward all annual lapsed spending in Veterans Affairs to improve services. There should never be an incentive for any government to save money on the backs of veterans.

Greens:  screen grab attached

PPC:
Quote
... The government of Canada has an obligation to honour the nation’s sacred commitment to our military men and women and make sure our veterans receive the support they deserve.

A People’s Party government will:

    Recognize and respect the unique sacrifices of those who serve and have served in Canada’s Armed Forces.
    Enshrine in legislation the country’s obligations to our veterans in a Military Covenant between the government and those who serve in the Armed Forces.
    Reinstate the fair disability pension as previously provided for by the Pension Act. The pension will apply retroactively to 2006 and lump sum payments received since then will be treated as advance payments.
    Instigate a line-by-line review of the New Veterans Charter (including the Enhanced New Veterans Charter Act of 2011), to determine which policies and programs should be retained, simplify the system and make it easier to navigate.
    Reemphasize the legislative guarantee of the “Benefit of doubt” standard under the Pension Act.

Liberals:  nothing on their 2019 site as of this post

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2019, 20:00:46 »
I watched Scheer's announcement and the Q&A that followed where the former Conservative government was called out for closing VAC offices and cutting services.  Rather than answer the question, he deflected.  i would have liked to see him say "we made a mistake back then and we're going to make it right".
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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2019, 00:44:45 »
I understand the obligation to do right by people injured and disabled during military operations.  I understand the obligation to meet commitments regarding compensation and benefits.   In some cases, like the lump-sum disability payouts, reversion to earlier policies would be wise and just.

I don't understand a particular need to have any sort of "covenant" or "special bond" with all veterans.  It's an occupation (for some, a profession) among many.
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Offline JesseWZ

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2019, 01:01:19 »
As someone who is releasing very shortly and hoping to take advantage of 80 g's of fresh green education money, I am very much hoping whoever wins does not renege on that benefit. Regardless of the party that put it in place, that policy is a winner with me.
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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2019, 05:23:25 »
As someone who is releasing very shortly and hoping to take advantage of 80 g's of fresh green education money, I am very much hoping whoever wins does not renege on that benefit. Regardless of the party that put it in place, that policy is a winner with me.

Likewise. It’s a damned good benefit for those of us who put enough time in to hit one or both tiers.
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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2019, 11:43:53 »
I understand the obligation to do right by people injured and disabled during military operations.  I understand the obligation to meet commitments regarding compensation and benefits.   In some cases, like the lump-sum disability payouts, reversion to earlier policies would be wise and just.

I don't understand a particular need to have any sort of "covenant" or "special bond" with all veterans.  It's an occupation (for some, a profession) among many.

Because it's the only profession where your employer can order you to put yourself in a position where death is likely. Even firefighters and police, who enter potentially dangerous situations, aren't put in situations where death is the most likely outcome.

We have no right to strike, no right to assembly or protest. We have no right to withhold our labour for any reason. We trade all that for the expectation that the country will look after us.

Offline mariomike

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2019, 12:32:05 »
Even firefighters and police, who enter potentially dangerous situations, aren't put in situations where death is the most likely outcome.

We have no right to strike, no right to assembly or protest. We have no right to withhold our labour for any reason.

If comparing the CAF to the emergency services,

I was in a union. We did not have, and did not seek, the right to strike, or the right to refuse work, "where the circumstances are inherent in their work and/or if the work refusal would directly endanger the health and safety of another person."

Among other types of calls, that could include being assigned to a Rescue Task Force ( RTF ) at an Active Shooter / Hostile Event ( ASHE ) call.



« Last Edit: September 23, 2019, 12:46:25 by mariomike »

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2019, 12:45:37 »
>We trade all that for the expectation that the country will look after us.

Of course.  Hence "meet obligations", etc.  But "covenant"?  Is that just a fancy word for "meet obligations" (ie. unnecessary), or is there supposed to be more?
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Offline CloudCover

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2019, 14:34:09 »
I guess they are just trying to conjure up some form of “ sacred” trust in addition to a contractual or fiduciary obligation. Perhaps the “covenant”  is political in the sense of after they “fix it”, they won’t frig with it anymore.
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Offline Remius

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2019, 14:38:52 »
I think the Brits introduced the concept a few years ago.

I don't think they ever legislated it though.
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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2019, 14:48:57 »
I think the Brits introduced the concept a few years ago.

I don't think they ever legislated it though.
A bit more on that for reference from the UK's Parliamentary research arm ...
Quote
... The Armed Forces Covenant was introduced in 2011 and is a statement of the moral obligation which exists between the nation, the Government and the Armed Forces in return for the sacrifices they make. Its core principles were enshrined in law in the Armed Forces Act 2011, although the Covenant does not create legally enforceable rights for service or former service personnel.

It is the Armed Forces Covenant which provides the central focus of current Government policy towards veterans. As of 2015, there were an estimated 2.56 million UK armed forces veterans living in households across Great Britain. The Covenant outlines two core principles which influence the support and policies directed towards the veteran community;

    No disadvantage: no current or former member of the armed forces, or their families, should be at a disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services.
    Special consideration: special consideration is appropriate in some cases, particularly for those who have been injured or bereaved ...
More general info (usual Wikipedia caveats) here and @ the official UK gov't site here.
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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2019, 14:52:47 »
I watched Scheer's announcement and the Q&A that followed where the former Conservative government was called out for closing VAC offices and cutting services.  Rather than answer the question, he deflected.  i would have liked to see him say "we made a mistake back then and we're going to make it right".

Local office has been completely useless to me. Every time I go there, it seems like they just want to get you to leave as soon as possible. I had no explanation of benefits and no recommendation for what programs to apply for. I had to do the research myself and to apply. Also, most of the answers I got from them was to call the national number. What is the point of this office...

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2019, 16:05:20 »
I understand the obligation to do right by people injured and disabled during military operations.  I understand the obligation to meet commitments regarding compensation and benefits.   In some cases, like the lump-sum disability payouts, reversion to earlier policies would be wise and just.

I don't understand a particular need to have any sort of "covenant" or "special bond" with all veterans.  It's an occupation (for some, a profession) among many.

This election promise stems from this summer's veteran lawsuit: There is no ‘sacred duty’ to Canada’s veterans
The Liberal government lawyers argued there is no sacred duty to veterans.
The PC party election promise attempts to address this.
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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2019, 19:41:28 »
"No disadvantage: no current or former member of the armed forces, or their families, should be at a disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services."

I can simplify and improve that: "No citizen should be at a disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services."

"the Covenant does not create legally enforceable rights for service or former service personnel."

That's the potential problem in one direction - all hat, no cattle.  In the other direction the potential problem is a steady accretion of giveaways without any defining boundaries.

Give the propensity of governments to jerk veterans around, the vague feel-good language should be dropped and replaced with a specified list of easily litigated (if it becomes necessary) powers and entitlements (if any).
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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2019, 20:36:44 »
This election promise stems from this summer's veteran lawsuit: There is no ‘sacred duty’ to Canada’s veterans
The Liberal government lawyers argued there is no sacred duty to veterans.
The PC party election promise attempts to address this.
And just to be clear, that argument was first raised when the Conservatives were last in power:
Quote
Veterans don't have social contract, Ottawa says in lawsuit response
Federal government responds to class-action lawsuit aimed at New Veterans Charter
Kristen Everson · CBC News · Posted: Mar 18, 2014 5:00 PM ET | Last Updated: March 20, 2014

The federal government is arguing it does not have a social contract with veterans in response to a class-action suit brought by veterans upset with the compensation arrangement offered to wounded soldiers under the New Veterans Charter.
...
Both parties are quick to roll out the campaign promises but both are equally as likely to forget about us when they are in the seat. Any veteran or serving CAF member who makes a decision on who to vote for based on these kinds of promises is, quite simply, a chump.
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Offline CloudCover

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2019, 21:03:31 »
Yep. The Conservatives had almost 10 years to do something.
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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2019, 08:02:57 »
Both parties are quick to roll out the campaign promises but both are equally as likely to forget about us when they are in the seat.
And when they were in the seat  :'(
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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2019, 08:45:11 »
I understand the obligation to do right by people injured and disabled during military operations.  I understand the obligation to meet commitments regarding compensation and benefits.   In some cases, like the lump-sum disability payouts, reversion to earlier policies would be wise and just.

I don't understand a particular need to have any sort of "covenant" or "special bond" with all veterans.  It's an occupation (for some, a profession) among many.


I was told, a few years back, after 2006 and the New Veterans Charter, by a source I trust, that there was HUGE concern, in the senior ranks of the bureaucracy, about the concept of the government having a "covenant" or "sacred trust" of any sort with any group. The problem was that as soon as one group, veterans as an example, are singled out for some sort of "social covenant" then there will a long line up of other "special" groups wanting equally "special" and costly treatment.
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Offline Rhodesian

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2019, 08:53:27 »
Precedent has already been set with natives

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2019, 10:05:58 »
Precedent has already been set with natives
"Honour of the Crown" is based, in part, on Treaties signed way back -- no such instruments in place dealing with vets, though.
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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2019, 10:49:13 »
"Honour of the Crown" is based, in part, on Treaties signed way back -- no such instruments in place dealing with vets, though.

The legal concept of “The honour of the Crown” was the exact legal thrust of the Equitas veterans’ lawsuit against the New Veterans Charter. Federal Court ultimately ruled against them, and the SCC denied leave to appeal. Unless a government we’re to explicitly pass legislation enshrining a comparable obligation on the government (fat chance), it’s dead as a legal concept applicable to veterans. Law around veterans’ benefits has mostly closed the gap with existing civilian workers’ comp systems.
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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2019, 10:58:22 »
“You need have no fear that the government and the country will fail to show just appreciation of your service to the country in what you are about to do and what you have already  done.  No man, whether he goes back or whether he remains in Flanders, will have just cause to reproach the government for having broken faith with the men who won and the men who have died.”

Interpretation is often used in Treaties, I believe this quote from PM Borden can be interpreted as a sacred commitment (or whatever term we want to use)

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2019, 15:23:29 »
This is what the Liberal's are proposing and I personally like it.  This should have been changed years ago.  If a CAF doctor says you have a certain condition/injury, VAC shouldn't be second guessing it.

We will make it easier for veterans to get disability benefits.
No veteran should ever have to suffer in silence. To help ease the stigma that many may feel about starting a disability claim, and to make sure that every veteran gets the help they need, we will give our veterans up to $3,000 in free counselling services before a disability claim is required.
This will give veterans in need of help nearly six months of free support, provided directly by VAC or one if its service partners, and will help as many as 20,000 veterans each year.
And to simplify and shorten the process, we will move forward with automatic approval for the most common disability applications, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and arthritis, among others.



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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2019, 15:54:25 »
We will make it easier for veterans to get disability benefits.
No veteran should ever have to suffer in silence. To help ease the stigma that many may feel about starting a disability claim, and to make sure that every veteran gets the help they need, we will give our veterans up to $3,000 in free counselling services before a disability claim is required.
This will give veterans in need of help nearly six months of free support, provided directly by VAC or one if its service partners, and will help as many as 20,000 veterans each year.
And to simplify and shorten the process, we will move forward with automatic approval for the most common disability applications, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and arthritis, among others.
...
I've attached the 2 pages from the platform document just out including vet commitments - including this one - as well as a screen capture of how much money is being promised.

Big red flag:  the word "pension" appears 4 times in the entire platform document, but not once in the vets' section.

- OP edit to upload correct cost table with only vets' stuff highlighted -
« Last Edit: September 30, 2019, 16:30:10 by milnews.ca »
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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2019, 15:56:58 »
This from the just released Liberal Platform will make me vote Liberal in this election.  This is something ALL party's should be doing in my opinion.

We will make it easier for veterans to get disability benefits.
No veteran should ever have to suffer in silence. To help ease the stigma that many may feel about starting a disability claim, and to make sure that every veteran gets the help they need, we will give our veterans up to $3,000 in free counselling services before a disability claim is required.
This will give veterans in need of help nearly six months of free support, provided directly by VAC or one if its service partners, and will help as many as 20,000 veterans each year.
And to simplify and shorten the process, we will move forward with automatic approval for the most common disability applications, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and arthritis, among others."


Considering his treatment of Veterans since gaining office, notwithstanding his previous unfulfilled promises and statements, what makes you believe this?
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Offline Remius

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2019, 17:47:38 »
This is what the Liberal's are proposing and I personally like it.  This should have been changed years ago.  If a CAF doctor says you have a certain condition/injury, VAC shouldn't be second guessing it.

We will make it easier for veterans to get disability benefits.
No veteran should ever have to suffer in silence. To help ease the stigma that many may feel about starting a disability claim, and to make sure that every veteran gets the help they need, we will give our veterans up to $3,000 in free counselling services before a disability claim is required.
This will give veterans in need of help nearly six months of free support, provided directly by VAC or one if its service partners, and will help as many as 20,000 veterans each year.
And to simplify and shorten the process, we will move forward with automatic approval for the most common disability applications, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and arthritis, among others.


Good to see someone actually looking at a platform and voting FOR something. 

I’m ambivalent to anything defence or veteran coming from the CPC or the LPC as neither have a good track record.  This is a good step on paper but neither of them will sway my vote with anything related to defence or VAC.  The conservatives conned me once they won’t con me twice on that front.
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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2019, 18:20:53 »
This is what the Liberal's are proposing and I personally like it.  This should have been changed years ago.  If a CAF doctor says you have a certain condition/injury, VAC shouldn't be second guessing it.

We will make it easier for veterans to get disability benefits.
No veteran should ever have to suffer in silence. To help ease the stigma that many may feel about starting a disability claim, and to make sure that every veteran gets the help they need, we will give our veterans up to $3,000 in free counselling services before a disability claim is required.
This will give veterans in need of help nearly six months of free support, provided directly by VAC or one if its service partners, and will help as many as 20,000 veterans each year.
And to simplify and shorten the process, we will move forward with automatic approval for the most common disability applications, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and arthritis, among others.


They have made it harder in the last 4 years. Wait times have consistently increased since the Liberals came to power.

Most if us don't need counselling and for those that do, 6 month would be great but what about the other 12 months they are waiting.

I'm not hopeful they will help any better than the "helped" the last 4 years. They actively shut out the CF ombudsman and likely the Vets ombudsman as well (although we haven't heard a statement from him). They have had 4 years in power and things are worse than ever.

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2019, 19:11:33 »

We will make it easier for veterans to get disability benefits.
No veteran should ever have to suffer in silence. To help ease the stigma that many may feel about starting a disability claim, and to make sure that every veteran gets the help they need, we will give our veterans up to $3,000 in free counselling services before a disability claim is required.
This will give veterans in need of help nearly six months of free support, provided directly by VAC or one if its service partners, and will help as many as 20,000 veterans each year.

Except that this is a big steaming pile of bullpoop, and I'll tell you why.

I just went to my filing cabinet and checked an invoice to confirm something- going rate for a clinical social worker (therapist), $150 an hour. She's friggin' excellent by the way, and knows VAC stuff. But I digress. LPC is pledging $3000 before any sort of claim happens. $150 into $3k equals 20 sessions. At one per week (pretty normal) that is indeed almost six months (well closer to five, but close enough for government work). That math checks out really well on that.

Except that they already ****ing give this. It's called the Veterans Assistance Service. You call 1-800-268-7708 (yes, the same number as CFMAP- it's the pan-government Health Canada Employee Assistance Service) and identify yourself as a veteran, and you get 20 one hour sessions per issue, and 'per issue' can be defined pretty loosely.It used to be 6 sessions, then increased to 20. You know when that happened? December 2014 under Julian Fantino.
So the LPC are trying to buy votes by offering as new something that already exists and has for five years.

So yeah. Not impressed.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline stellarpanther

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2019, 20:47:35 »
I suppose I would like to know more about what is meant when he says "things such as PTSD and arthritis will be automatically approved", I had a conversation with a Liberal MP about 8 months ago and he was saying that one thing that was being considered was VAC just going by the what the CAF doctors.  The VAC Ombudsman has been trying for years under both CPC and Liberals to get that approved.

I really don't trust a lot of what politicians say regardless of party but I trust Cons less than the Liberals.  Something I find funny though is that 4 years ago everyone had a hate on for the CPC and jumped to the Liberals, now it's just the opposite happening.



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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #30 on: October 01, 2019, 10:40:15 »
I suppose I would like to know more about what is meant when he says "things such as PTSD and arthritis will be automatically approved"

Speaking from a few years of on again - off again engagement with VAC at DM, ADM, and Director level- I highly doubt that. There will always have to be objective assessment of eligibility; the laws governing how government spends money demands it.

What could potentially be achievable is a move towards presumptive causality similar to how a few provinces presume first responder PTSD to be linked to service for purposes of workers’ compensation; however the feel we’ve gotten from the departmental bureaucrats and lawyers is that ‘presumptive’ is a word they flee from.

Nobody is willing or wanting to start waving a magic ‘yes’ wand, although improvements have been seen in a lot of the ‘no s***, sherlock’ claims like hearing loss and musculoskeletal. The department is continuing to work to make sure adjudicators abide by existing provisions on benefit of the doubt (which were also just strengthened on Friday), so less time is being wasted arguing on why gunners are deaf or jumpers are in chronic pain.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2019, 07:24:14 »
An overview by CBC's military reporter, shared under the Fair Dealing terms of the Copyright Act ...
Quote
Canada's veterans, many of whom shifted their support in 2015 from the Conservatives to the Liberals, are being encouraged during this election campaign to take a closer, more critical look at the details of the parties' election pitches.

Advocates who represent them say veterans have learned the value of the old maxim: Read the fine print.

The Liberal pledge in 2015 to give veterans the "option" of a lifetime pension for injuries sustained in the line of duty was a key element of the party's efforts to capture their votes, the advocates say.

Rightly or wrongly, that promise left many former soldiers with the impression that there would be a wholesale return to pensions-for-life — and those allowances would be equal to what was paid out under the old Pension Act.

Since then, there has been an extraordinary and divisive debate about the Liberal government's pension-for-life plan, implemented last spring. Among the skeptics is the Parliamentary Budget Office, which said the program will be slightly more generous than the one it replaces, but not a match for the pre-2006 system.

That's why the details are so important to veterans now, said veterans advocate Aaron Bedard.

"There were just some fine details that people were willing to overlook [in 2015] for the sake of change," said Bedard, who was at the heart of a now-defunct class lawsuit over the disability pension system.

Bedard said that, in 2015, there was "nowhere else" for veterans disillusioned by the Conservatives to turn, apart from the Liberal Party.

The NDP and the Green Party will no doubt take umbrage at that claim, but Bedard said that, in the four years since, those parties haven't spent much time meeting with his group of former soldiers and advocates to understand their concerns.

However, the NDP and the Green Party now seem to be the ones most interested in upending the status quo on veterans. Both parties are calling for a review of veterans' services and benefits.

The Green Party platform specifically proposes "a national re-examination of veterans' issues" as well as a restoration of the pre-2006 benefit payment regime.

Conservatives promise changes

The Conservative platform, meanwhile, promises to create "a reliable, dependable pension system" that is fair to the most disabled veterans.

Defining "fair" should be a simple task, said one advocate.

Brian Forbes, chair of the National Council of Veterans Associations, said the disparity between the benefits paid to older and younger veterans is a key ballot box issue for his community.

"What we are looking for from these political parties is for someone to stand up and say, 'Look, we should not have two or three layers of pension benefits,'" said Forbes. "We should have one model for all disabled veterans."

Forbes pointed to the cases of two former soldiers, both double amputees — one wounded before the 2006 introduction of the New Veterans Charter (NVC) and one injured afterward. He said their compensation packages do "not resemble one another."

And many veterans still feel lingering resentment over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's comment during a 2017 town hall. Defending his government's handling of the class-action lawsuit by veterans, Trudeau said former soldiers were "asking for more than we are able to give right now."

"The outrage from that comment is still palpable," said Forbes. "There are veterans who've never forgotten that exchange."

For their part, the Liberals say they want to move beyond the pension-for-life debate and focus on wellness and care. They're proposing swifter and broader access to mental health services.

The party promises that each veteran would be eligible for $3,000 in free counselling services before they file a disability claim under a re-elected Liberal government.

The Liberals also say they would also simplify and shorten the benefits process to include "automatic approval for the most common disability applications, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and arthritis, among others."

Guy Gallant, a spokesman for the Liberals, said medical conditions that already have high approval rates (80 per cent or more) would be eligible for fast-track approval of benefits.

The Parliamentary Budget Office, in its recent analysis, warned that "the perception of automatic approval may increase take-up or application rates" for those programs. That could lead to bigger budgets for those programs.

The Liberal government appears to have laid the groundwork already by redesigning the post-traumatic stress disorder questionnaire filled out by medical professionals.

As CBC News reported last spring, the new form is shorter and more general, which troubles some psychologists. The  new, more generic application gives the bureaucracy more latitude to reject or approve the claim; when the new form was introduced, officials insisted they wanted to see swifter endorsements.

As of last November, the backlog of disability applications had grown to 40,000 — something both the New Democrats and Conservatives vow to fix. The Tories commit to doing it within 24 months.

The Liberals have acknowledged the problem, but defend their record.

"We have worked hard to ensure veterans and their families get the services they need and benefits they deserve," said Gallant.

The Liberals also promise to "move forward with a new rapid-response service staffed by social workers, case management counsellors and peer support workers."

They say their mission would be to "proactively reach out to every Canadian veteran to make sure that they know about the help that is available, and how to access it."

The party is vague on what that policy would entail. "This will likely involve the hiring of several hundred social workers, case management counsellors and peer support workers," said Gallant.
Promise more housing

There is a separate Liberal proposal for "building new, purpose-built accessible and affordable housing units, with a full range of health, social and employment support for veterans who need extra help."

It would be a $15 million per year commitment.

Jim Lowther is president of VETS Canada, an organization that works to get homeless veterans off the streets. He said he is intrigued but added the Liberals will have to realize that they cannot create "barracks-style" housing for former soldiers.

"As long as it is community housing," he said. "One of the things we've learned over the years is that veterans don't want to live together. A lot of veterans who are homeless have been out for 10 years and don't ... want to go back to a barracks setting."

Lowther said he believes a stipend to help veterans having trouble paying rent might be just as effective as investing in bricks and mortar. It would, he said, prevent veterans from becoming homeless in the first place.

No matter which party is elected, Lowther said, the next government is going to have to wrap its head around a different definition of veteran homelessness.

Work on homelessness

"People think of a guy holding a cup. That's not what it is like," he said. "That might be one per cent of what it actually is. Most [homeless] veterans are couch surfing and doing other things."

It has been tough, many veterans advocates say, to get all the parties to make the kind of sophisticated distinctions that Lowther talks about.

Which is why Forbes argues that, as veterans are making up their minds in the current election campaign, they should be asking all parties the same question: "What do you mean when you say you were going to take care of us?"
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

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Offline mariomike

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2019, 08:41:49 »
What could potentially be achievable is a move towards presumptive causality similar to how a few provinces presume first responder PTSD to be linked to service for purposes of workers’ compensation; however the feel we’ve gotten from the departmental bureaucrats and lawyers is that ‘presumptive’ is a word they flee from.

The fear, where I worked at least, was that if an honourable path existed to escape emergency operations, many would take it.

What we hear at our pensioner luncheons is, in our department at least, the PTSD presumptive legislation Act of 2016 has "taken off like wildfire".

Too late to do us old-timers any good.  :)

« Last Edit: October 03, 2019, 09:19:33 by mariomike »

Offline Brihard

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2019, 10:19:05 »
The fear, where I worked at least, was that if an honourable path existed to escape emergency operations, many would take it.

What we hear at our pensioner luncheons is, in our department at least, the PTSD presumptive legislation Act of 2016 has "taken off like wildfire".

Too late to do us old-timers any good.  :)

Anecdotally, it’s had a huge impact on a number of municipal services. A lot of guys and girls suffered for years and how have more of an opening to get help. And as tends to happen, the longer things have been pushed off, the worse it is when finally addressed.

But it means a lot of empty files.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline mariomike

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Re: #FedElect2019 VAC Promises
« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2019, 10:29:02 »
Anecdotally, it’s had a huge impact on a number of municipal services. A lot of guys and girls suffered for years and how have more of an opening to get help.

Professional help has been there since the early 1980's with full-time dedicated departmental staff psychologists who understand the job. They are well regarded by operational members.

But, it wasn't until 2016 when presumptive legislation was passed that one could get off emergency operations ( if that was your goal ).

Getting off operations was sort of a Catch 22 prior to 2016.  :)

That could possibly explain why, for the VA, " ‘presumptive’ is a word they flee from. "
« Last Edit: October 03, 2019, 20:42:48 by mariomike »