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View Harjit S. Sajjan Profile
Lib. (BC)
You hit on something that's very important. I'll say this again. Regardless of what position we or any Canadian holds in society, when something is not right at home, how can one concentrate on their work? Apply that to the context of the military where we ask them to do challenging things and very dangerous work. We want to make sure that they know their families are looked after.
In full transparency, even though I have served in the reserves and I have done a lot of overseas deployment, when I became the Minister of National Defence I got to see the really direct impact that relocation has on regular force families. The challenges are everything from a driver's licence, medical card or accreditation for a spouse.
We wanted to solve this, but this is one thing where.... Because we were very open to ideas on what we needed to do, Seamless Canada was actually a project codeveloped with the provinces, bringing in all the represented territories. Instead of going piecemeal one by one, we came together to have a look at what we have worked on. Through this, some provinces have already come forward saying they want to provide more doctors or try to deal with driver's licence issues or medical card issues. It has a significant impact. We actually brought spouses in to talk about their challenges.
We need to look at making this even better. I was speaking with the representative from Manitoba. The goal is, rather than just waiting for one meeting, to start looking at putting working groups together, so that when we come together we can talk about the progress that we have made. What are those challenges? How do we move forward? Where do I need to engage and get some changes done? Ultimately, this does have a significant impact on families.
We are working on a few initiatives, but I have a little more work to do with my team before we move forward on it.
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