Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
The Fiscal Monitor, published by the Department of Finance, says that, since the election, there has been a $5.4-billion deficit. The report says that a large part of that deficit is due to the increase of veterans benefits. If I understand correctly, a $3.7-billion amount will indeed be used automatically to cover the benefit increase. Is that correct?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I understand.
Let's talk about the reopening of offices. Some veterans would like to know about transparency. How will that be organized? Do you think those offices will provide treatment deliveries, or will they be limited to case management?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay.
I will give my remaining time to my colleague.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
General Natynczyk, it is a great honour for me to meet you and to be able to ask you questions. During the first years of my military service, you were my highest ranking superior. I would have three questions for you.
Firs of all, in 2014-2015, the Minister of Veterans Affairs at the time, Mr. Erin O'Toole, intended to introduce a card which was to be given to all veterans, regardless of their number of years of service. It was to be issued in two phases. During the first one, the type of service and number of years the member had served was to be established. In the second phase, an electronic chip was to be added which would contain information on the person's health.
I would like to know where that project stands and whether it is still going forward.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Do you think that this card could in future contain confidential information on the person's health?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Fine.
Several veterans told me that when they want to receive benefits, they have to demonstrate that they were injured in the course of their military service. The burden of proof rests with them in that regard. I am told that in the United States it is the opposite, since the authorities in that sector have the burden of proof. Is that correct? If so, would it be possible to change this approach in Canada, which would simplify life for veterans considerably?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Unfortunately, following a pilot project that involved several Canadian cities, we found out that over 2,000 veterans are homeless in Canada.
What was the nature of that pilot project exactly? What do you intend to do about the fact that there are that many homeless veterans in Canada?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much for being here, Mr. Parent.
I would like to talk about transition and the fact that it is a process of reintegration.
I also feel that the one-stop shop is a very good idea, but I wonder how we can be sure that the process will be done correctly and appropriately. It seems to me that we often talk about before and after, but not about the period during which veterans are unaware that eventually they will be needing services.
We often hear about the way in which they become clients—which is not the best term here—of Veterans Affairs Canada. But once they are, how can we respond to the different needs of the Veterans Affairs Canada process?
I would like to know how the identity card is going to help veterans who will need Veterans Affairs Canada's services in 10 or 15 years. How is the card going to help them get information from the department, to get into contact with it? The department should be communicating with them directly.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
For a year, I believe, at the recommendation of this committee, Veterans Affairs Canada has been able to make contact with members of the military before they leave the Canadian Armed Forces. In other words, the Department of Veterans Affairs can make contact with a member of the military who is going to leave the service for health reasons, either for physical or mental injuries, in order to make sure that the transition is done appropriately.
Is that actually the case? Does it work?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Last June, the critical injury benefit came into effect. A number of members are already taking advantage of it, both those still serving and those who no longer are.
In your opinion, would it be desirable for this benefit, a total of $70,000, to be deferred, like lump sums at the moment? I think the benefit is paid in one single payment.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
This is in the same vein as what Mr. Bratina said. My brother is in the army and I have just left the Canadian armed forces. I do not know if this creates some ethical problem. I think we are reasonable adults and that we are able to set aside family preferences. I don't see a problem, but if there is one, I would like the public servants concerned to let me know.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Wagantall and I are already scheduled to be there. If anybody else wants to come, that would be fantastic.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I just want to know who will be attending the subcommittee meeting on Monday. How do we choose?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
If I understand correctly, we have three days to decide on all our priorities for studies until the end of June.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
For instance, if we meet a certain group and then notice there's a problem we were not aware of, can we say that we're going to add this one to our studies and discussion on the way?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
—a general framework of where we're going, but there can be more clarification in the details.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
It's very important. Thank you.
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