Interventions in Committee
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View Colin Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Colin Fraser Profile
2016-10-20 16:15
Can you go into some of the differences between the transition process for a Canadian Forces member and an RCMP member and what benefits we might be able to change or recommendations we can make to make it easier?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
That's excellent.
Clearly then, if we're saying all of this should be in place prior to release, will this extend the amount of time members remain on the payroll with the Armed Forces, do you think?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Zimmerman, you talked about issues, and you put three of them forward, but you also talked a few times about injustice and unfairness. Could you expand more on this? Do you have a specific example of the unfairness of actions or of a delivery model that, according to you, is unfair and relates to some injustice?
View Irene Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
We've heard in a number of situations about the reticence to identify the need for help among either CF personnel or reservists, and that nobody wants to admit to that stigma. But you seem to be suggesting that it's more than that, but that an individual has now become a liability.
View Bob Bratina Profile
Lib. (ON)
No, no. It's similar in the municipal world with Ontario Works people who are getting assistance. When they get a job and they lose their assistance, they might lose their subsidy on their apartment and so on. I think that's something we need to consider and get even more documentation on.
With regard to the culture, I was in radio too. For 20 years I did football broadcasting. Military is military; the only thing that comes close is professional football. A starting fullback got on the plane to Winnipeg for one game, and shared with me that he had been diagnosed with a broken rib. He was afraid to tell the coach for a couple of reasons: one, you don't want to let the team down and not be there, and two, you're gone—“Next.” On another occasion, a player who finished the season with an injury was told, “We like you, and we're going to sign you to a new two-year contract.” Great; he signed the two-year contract. Then he was told that he now had to pass the physical.
The culture seems to be a problem in many cases that we've heard. We've heard a very positive approach to culture from Ms. Northey. Have you any suggestions on how the military could adjust that culture? It seems to be a tough one.
View Sherry Romanado Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
First, I would like to thank you for your contribution to our country. Thank you also for being here today.
We've just heard that 10,000 regular and reserve members transition out of the Canadian Armed Forces every year.
My question is for you, Madam Douglas. What percentage of them have a transition interview?
View Sherry Romanado Profile
Lib. (QC)
How soon after the decision to leave, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, does this transition interview happen?
View Sherry Romanado Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
Okay. Fifty per cent of releasing members do not have a transition interview, so they do not necessarily know what services are available to them, and you do not know if they're going to need help. It's a reactive approach rather than a proactive approach for half of the transitioning members, if I understand it correctly.
Now I'm going to switch gears, General. We talked a bit about universality of service and mental health. You mentioned that our CDS is very much dedicated to making sure that the issue of mental health in the military is not hidden and that folks do seek out support. I know for a fact that's not happening, because my son just lost two classmates, and they hadn't even seen service. There is still that stigma and there is still that fear of coming forward to say, “I need help now.”
I know that when folks join the Canadian Armed Forces, there are actual medical, physical, and mental requirements to be able to join. We're talking about the few who would probably not have mental illness who are actually being selected, yet we still have a lot of suicides.
I'm concerned that it is not getting down to the ranks, right down to the students who are studying at our military colleges, that they can seek help. I'd like to know what concrete measures are happening—rather than Bell's Let's Talk initiative or twice-a-year conversations—so that our students are not suffering in silence and our active members are not suffering in silence. Could you could elaborate on that, please?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you both for coming. I appreciate that.
You talked in your opening remarks about speeding up service. We've been talking a lot in this committee about service delivery and how we get it done. We're finding that service is taking a long period of time.
I'm wondering if you could share with us any further comments on steps that you think we could be taking. We've talked about how we identify the steps for the soldier right at the beginning and go through the steps with them. By the time they're done, they're familiar with everything out there and with what's available to them. As they step forward into Veterans Affairs, sometimes we see that files go missed. We lose things.
Can you comment on what you think might be a step, or one or two steps, that might speed that up so that we're not taking 16 weeks but are able to do it in eight weeks?
View Colin Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Colin Fraser Profile
2016-06-07 11:32
Thank you very much to both of you for appearing today and for your excellent presentation. One thing I noted in your presentation that we've heard over and over again—we've heard from a number of veterans before our committee already—is that it's those who have fallen through the cracks that you hear from.
I'm wondering if you can expand on that so that we understand how it is people are falling through the cracks and what measures we can recommend in order to stop people from falling through the cracks. That seems to be the crux of the issue: that some veterans do very well, but it's the few who don't do well at all who are falling through the cracks. We want to fix that.
View Irene Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
I wanted to switch horses a little bit here and talk a bit to you about the Deschamps report about sexual harassment and sexual assault in the military.
You stated in May 2015 in terms of your powers that you were excluded from looking at individual sexual harassment and assault issues. Now we've got the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre, as of September 2015. Does this centre fill the need for an independent organization—that is, independent from the military chain of command—to ensure that there's fairness in cases of reported sexual assault or sexual harassment?
View Irene Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
Do you think that the number of incidents reported has risen or that women feel more secure in being able to report incidents of harassment and assault by virtue of this centre being in place?
View Irene Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
You talked about those who are on the outside, the 28,000 to 30,000 individuals. Apart from that, is there any other change in terms of the model that you would like to see?
View Irene Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
Would that include coverage for women who are struggling to deal with, say, the assault they experienced? This is related to their service. Is it your sense that this is how it should be seen? This is related to their service or their reality when they were a member of the Canadian Forces.
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