Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
RSS feed based on search criteria Export search results - CSV (plain text) Export search results - XML
Add search criteria
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
This committee, over the years that I've been involved with it, has looked at issues of service delivery. A couple of comments that we've made have been dealing with the issue of being provided information from the moment you sign up and enlist. As you progress, that information is continually given to you as to what you can obtain if certain things should happen. As you progress, you continually learn that. Some of the recommendations that we've made in the past were to do with such information providing that service.
Do you see that as a value or do you see that as a hindrance?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
So, there are some significant issues there for some folks, obviously, as they're transitioning.
I have a quick question, too, with regard to making things better for them so they don't come to the point where you're needing to help them.
We heard testimony earlier from the Veterans Transition Network. You're probably familiar with the services they provide.
How important do you think it would be to have those kinds of services actually be the priority as our members are looking at possibly facing the decision to no longer be part of their service at an earlier time?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Also, in the business world you communicate a great deal with your customers to find out if they're happy or not. Do we do that to the extent that we should with our armed forces and our veterans?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you all for coming to visit us again. We appreciate your coming back and having the additional opportunity to chat.
I've spent the last 30 years of my life treating a lot of RCMP officers in my practice as a chiropractor. Fortunately, it's nice to see that lumbar disc disease is your fourth priority, as I've had to deal with that many times.
Regrettably, we see that PTSD is an issue. I'm wondering if you can comment a little more on that. It's obviously something we're very interested in, and in particular, when we're dealing with your officers when they return from theatre. I wonder if you could comment on that. Do you have any numbers you could provide us with, percentages you might see, and the steps or the procedures that you might follow with an individual?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
One of the things we've gone through in the studies is an introduction.... What we've heard a lot of times, when we're dealing with VAC, is how do we get this done beforehand. How do we educate the soldier right from day one about the process they have to access for services once they retire?
I come from Saskatchewan, so Depot is very familiar to me. In Depot, do you spend time educating your officers on the steps that would happen during that training program, or does that happen once they start into the force?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you so much for being here today.
My first question is on your road to mental readiness training. They start that right away when they're part of the force. We look at what our RCMP members do, and there are a lot of different roles they play. One of those is peacekeeping. We have a situation coming up where you're being asked to contribute to that as well, correct? There must be crossover between DND and your services in some scenarios where you're facing obviously similar circumstances. With mental illness and mental injuries, do you see a difference for those peacekeepers in comparison to the force at home as far as what they would need is concerned and whether this route you're taking is sufficient for them?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay, very good.
I am also from Saskatchewan—born in Regina—and my riding is very large, with a lot of rural. I have retired veterans and RCMP throughout. However, what we are finding is that there aren't services for our veterans in our province. You are talking about the university and working together. There would probably be a huge advantage to the RCMP veterans and our Canadian Armed Forces veterans having an OSI clinic in Saskatchewan with some kind of a satellite program to enable them to have the services we should have there for them.
One veteran told me last week that they pay for him to take a taxi to go three hours from his town, take a flight, and all these things, when, of course, he would much rather be served at home. We have no idea of the scope, of how many of those circumstances are taking place, so just a little more feedback on our rural areas...not just Saskatchewan. We have many.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
I don't know if you sense this or not, but when those services aren't available, it raises issues with mental health.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
I have another question.
You talked about how active servicemen use the DND OSI clinics, and the veterans use the veterans program. That's the same pool of people, eventually, because you are active, and then you're not. Do you have any feedback on their feelings about how they were served while they were with DND and then the type of service they receive once they move over to the veterans program?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay, thank you.
I have one more question, if I have time.
You mentioned the cost of absence. The cost is not the first priority; it's the individual. Can you explain to me what that cost of absence entails? What's provided to them while they are going through this whole process? What does it cost, in dollars, and what does it achieve, ultimately, for these individuals who are able to go back to work?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Even in our scenario, in one of our locations we have eight stationed there, but out of those eight, quite honestly, only four and sometimes only two are actually available based on maternity leave and all the other issues that of course are involved in quality of life and that type of thing.
We've heard that there will be an increase.... There's an understanding that we need more RCMP in our rural locations, and that impacts the mental health and the wellness and the protection of....
In your dream team, say for Saskatchewan, what would you be looking for by way of additional forces, realistically?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you all for coming today; we greatly appreciate it.
As you're aware, we are doing this study on service delivery. We can look at what's been there, what we can and can't do, and recommendations we can make for improvement.
Mr. Mac Culloch, you mentioned a little about health care and providing services for your veterans. I'm a chiropractor, and I spent many years providing services for veterans. I went into practice and I learned from the school of hard knocks. I would send a bill to Blue Cross and they'd send it back, saying I hadn't filled it out right, and then I'd finally figure out how to fill out the paperwork and get it sent in. Other than the length of time getting payment, there was never any issue as to someone in Blue Cross saying yea or nay to what was requested. That may be because the veterans I was serving didn't have complicated files; I buy that.
A lot of health care practitioners aren't trained in how to deal with veterans. We go through school, we learn diagnosis, we learn how to treat, we learn how to make prognostic assessments, but we're not given the paperwork, in many cases, on how to do the actual administrative work of providing those services. I see that as being of value in providing that service. Can you comment on that and what you see? Would it be of value? Mr. Gannon, as well, after Mr. Mac Culloch, do you see that as being of any value?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Gannon, do you feel comfortable commenting on providing services and training your caseworkers so they're continually getting further training and they're up to standards as things advance?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
Ms. Michaud, you mentioned two categories of veterans, which are, I'm assuming, those who are released for medical reasons and those who aren't. Are those the two categories you're classifying or are they the two categories in terms of the old and new Veterans Charters?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Good afternoon, and thank you so much for being here.
I have a few unique questions that come from conversations with veterans just last week in my office about the dynamics that they're facing. I'm not sure whether it fits into this or not, but one of the concerns is with service delivery and with medical services.
They have a card, an older card, that has all the information on it, and it is very clear about what services they receive and whatnot. Now veterans have a new card that has a strip on it, and that's what they're to give to get their medications or whatever. However, that card doesn't have anything on it that explains who they are or what they are. The card also requires a reader that the business must have to be able to provide for the veterans now.
Are you experiencing dynamics with that? There's a lot of frustration. Is this something you're familiar with or not, Mr. Mac Culloch?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay. Should we be looking at trying to somehow combine this into something that serves the veterans and the businesses?
I know drugstores have to have a reader. I'm from Saskatchewan, as we discussed. Even if there is an office in Saskatoon, that's four hours south of me, and my riding goes four hours north. Anyone getting to that one location has a long distance to go. We need to be able to receive our services wherever we live in the province, and we find that we are lacking significantly in access.
That brings up my next question. From both of your perspectives, Mr. Gannon and Mr. Mac Culloch, what are we looking at in access for more remote areas? It's really poor, from my perspective. You talked about expanding our OSI clinics to serve more people. They're serving more people who aren't necessarily veterans in an area, yet for my veterans to get their services, the government's prepared to pay for a taxi to drive them three hours to Regina to get on an airplane and then come all the way back.
Surely we could provide a mobile OSI clinic, or something like this, in areas that are more remote.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
With regard to hiring and to the issues with getting the number of case managers that you need, I understand your frustration with those who have been hired so far. Very few are actually coming from new money; they're still from the old.
Are you finding the quality of case managers that you need? Is the training being put in place to handle what would hopefully be significantly more case managers? Where would veterans themselves fit into providing these types of services? I am asking because often we ask everybody else, but we don't actually use the people who probably would be most able to provide the services that we need.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Your first recommendation indicates that members shouldn't be released until all benefits from all sources, including Veterans Affairs, have been finalized and put into place.
By the way, I think this is a very encouraging report.
We've heard in the committee a little bit about the challenge, that a lot of times a veteran's needs develop over time. How does that fit into the idea of everything being in place before they're released?
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 Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
In lines 132 to 134 of your opening remarks, it says that no member is released before all benefits from the CAF and VAC are in place, so both VAC and CAF would have to agree that “now is the time.”
I'm trying to envision it. Would both sides sign off and say, “Okay, we both agree that everything is in place,” and go forward from there? Is it the Canadian Armed Forces that would decide, “Okay, we're ready”, and pass the member on to VAC, or is there an interaction and an agreement between the two that a soldier is ready to do that transition?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
There's also the issue of family. We've heard a lot about the challenge of the spouse going through this process and also the need for the family to have care. At this point what I'm seeing, I believe, is there to deal with the veteran.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you both for coming back to visit us and thank you for your reports. After I read them I said to myself, were they sitting in all our committee meetings? A lot of the information we've heard here.
Your report is very good, and I appreciate it and your comments on medically releasing members, not releasing them until such time as all the benefits are in place and all the processes are there.
Throughout this committee we've heard from a number of organizations that have presented to us on the services they've been providing for veterans and for our releasing soldiers. A lot of these services are volunteer. Not to negate your proposal of having a concierge service, because I think that's a great idea, but the thought that pops into my head right now is, if all of a sudden you're creating what we would like to see being done, what about all these volunteer organizations that are out there providing a lot of these services, that are helping veterans go through the steps that they need to go through, the endless paperwork with someone actually sitting there with them to do that paperwork, or dealing with getting the services that they need and are entitled to? Can you comment on where you see that role might be for those organizations, and how they might perhaps roll into part of what you're doing?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
Your third recommendation talked about a tool to be there. I'm not a computer guy, but there are a lot of people who are. There are a lot of veterans who aren't. The younger generation is much more attuned to that, and so they find that those issues are much easier for them.
Can you describe that tool for us and what you see it doing? We've talked about providing the information on the benefits that soldiers should be getting from the day they enlist and having some program that's following them through as they go to the very end.
I'm assuming that the tool would probably be part of that. It would have some of that information on that. I'm assuming we're talking that this would be a secure tool that only the soldier could access continuously to know where they are as they progress through the command.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
That's what I'm trying to lead into, amalgamating your tool with VAC's tool so that it's a smooth transition right there. We've talked about having a number that the soldier gets from the moment they enlist following them right through to the end so they don't end up changing numbers, because that is confusing. Do you see a potential there? Is there a way that it might be something to start, if it hasn't been started?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, all of you, for your service to your country and to us. That comes from my heart.
Mr. Doucette, you mentioned that it takes about a year to get through the transitioning process, if I'm correct in what you were saying. We've heard an awful lot throughout our meetings on service delivery about how long it takes a veteran to get from transitioning from the Forces to the veteran and going through VAC. One of the suggestions we heard was to start educating the soldier from the moment they enter into the military on the process, the steps they would need to follow, the process that will happen, and what they will be entitled to as they come through, so that by the time they actually finish their career and transition, they're well aware of that.
Do you have any comments on that, whether you think that's a good idea or not?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
We've had a lot of talk about family, and I appreciate you bringing up the issue of bringing your wife with you. I think we're all becoming very aware.
Just so that you're aware, I come from a family background with the military, and I truly believe even though I didn't serve. My father did, my brother did, my sister did, and I've grown up with that mentality and understanding the language and understanding the culture. It is a culture, and the family is part of that culture.
When we talk about the two programs—and I'll address this to Captain Garsch and Mr. Bungay—your programs are great. It's good to see that. You have talked about putting the family into the program. Captain Garsch, you have put that into your presentation to us.
Can you comment on how important you see that role?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Unfortunately, you do lose that, as you say. Sometimes that happens before you get to that stage. Including the family earlier would be beneficial.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
It is encouraging to hear about some of the potential we have to deal much better with our veterans in meeting their needs in a real way.
First of all, Trevor, you talked about the paid professionals you have working with you. I saw excitement when you were talking about them and the volunteer side of what they do. These are people employed by your business. Correct?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Around this table we've heard that it's difficult in a lot of situations for OSI clinics and things to find the people willing to serve in those roles, and yet here you are...
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay. As a businessman you're able to do that and be successful, and yet it seems that we have issues on the other side of paying. The challenge is that these are people who are professionals. They can earn a good income over here, and you know the usual situation of earning less here. You see the value then in making sure that they're paid well, even though from your perspective it's too high.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay. They're committed to their roles and your business. You seem pleased with how they're meeting your expectations.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Right. Okay.
You mentioned that you were having trouble getting on this list with VAC to be a referred source.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Right. I don't know if this committee is aware of how many groups are on that list, how they got on there, and what the criteria are. Were you given—
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay. I have another challenge, I'm from Saskatchewan. We don't have an OSI clinic in our province. We have people who need help, and their travel is not covered to get to see their psychiatrists or psychologists. It's interesting that in the circumstances—
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
That's good to hear. We'll have to follow up on that.
Andrew, it looks like parts of the Shaping Purpose could be done earlier. We were talking about preparing soldiers or Armed Forces—and I understand the role is to become Armed Forces—but at some point life is going to transition.
I look at gifts, and passions, and values. Those are things...could they be discovered well in advance, so that you're not left...or do you feel it has to start happening once they're in that process of being released?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
This is in between processing from the career transition assistance program, and then there's the vocational rehabilitation program. The word “rehabilitation” in there sounds like you are sick, rather than making a transition. That's just something I noticed. Who will be paying for this? It's all tax dollars; it's all the government, between DND and VAC.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much.
Thank you for the chance to ask you again.
We heard it from Mr. Doucette, and comments from all of you.... The comment was about second-guessing by VAC after DND has made decisions on health care issues. Is that a common consensus from the people you talk to?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Correct. Would you like to start, Mr. Bungay?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Ms. Dussault, Mr. Simard, I do not speak a lot of French, but I am learning. I learn a new word each day. Thank you for your presentation.
That's as far as I'm going to go, because if I do, then we'll never get any questions in.
What we've talked about a lot in our committee has been about dealing with family members, and in your presentation I see there's some talk about family members.
If I understand you correctly, there are not a lot of family members who are participating in your program. Is that correct?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
As I think has been alluded to by others, often when family members participate in a program, there seems to be a better success rate with more acceptance and understanding.
When you accept people into your program, they come through various systems, but can family members come up and say they think a spouse needs to be part of this program? Is there an opportunity for that?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
I assume when you're talking about training, you're talking about training your staff. How long does that training program take? Does it include veterans who might be able to take up some of those positions? I ask because we often hear that when certain services are provided, there is a better response when a veteran is there because the veteran understands. Mr. Allen spoke to it a little earlier too, on the reality. A veteran understands the language, and if a veteran is part of your training program, he or she understands what's happening there and might be able to be of a little more assistance.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
Mr. Allen and Mr. Thorne, I appreciate your being here today. Some of us had the privilege of seeing Contact! Unload; it was a very powerful and inspiring presentation, and your support of it is tremendous. A lot of what you talk about, I think, is very evident in the presentation and in the play. As l said earlier, I think Canadians need to see that so that Canadians get a better understanding. We see the one young gentleman in the play who is suffering, and he is suffering not because he was in combat, but because he was on a radio and had to make an order for something that transpired. We see those things, and it's very powerful.
You said you're in a number of provinces, and I'm from Saskatchewan. We have veterans there too. I think this is a very powerful thing, and your treatment is impressive. Do you anticipate going to Saskatchewan in the future?
A Voice: Or are we already one of the seven?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
I want to come back to the short discussion we had about dealing with things in a more preventive way instead of having to deal with them after the veterans have been released and having to find them and all this type of thing.
We're responsible for studying service delivery, and a big part of that would be finding ways to need less of it on the more difficult end of things. In the Canadian Armed Forces we have VAC and this seam that we're trying to close. You talked about basically teaching them to listen and speak again, I'm assuming, because you've gone in.... There's a responsibility in the armed forces. You respond. You're part of a team. It's a different dynamic.
I'm so pleased that there's a possibility for this treatment much sooner in this whole process. Would you see it as important for us as a committee to recommend that these types of services be available? The responsibility is more on the armed forces side of it, before they're released, so that they have that understanding of their new value as they're going into a totally different lifestyle.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
I appreciate that you mentioned the navy as well, because I did spend one night on the Fredericton learning about what they do and what they do on our behalf, and the potential. It's not like the movies. I didn't know how a ship is destroyed by a submarine. They were explaining all of this to me, and I just asked, “How do you deal with that? You're out here in the middle....” It was interesting, because there was a sudden quietness, and one of them just said, “We try not to think of that, ma'am.”
That's trauma to me already. Mentally, you're dealing with the knowledge that there's always that possibility. We need to make their transition easier from being taught to try not to think about that. That transition is really important, I think.
Thank you; that's huge.
There's one more thing. You mentioned about needing places to set up. Of course, Saskatchewan's dear to my heart. I've met veterans. I know they're veterans, but they're very quiet. They don't have that camaraderie that you're talking about in our province, because they're spread out all over the place. We're fine with travelling. We travel for everything, and we don't get mail delivered to our door. However, a place called the Thorpe Recovery Centre approached me. It's a phenomenal place. They're right on the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan. They called and said they had empty beds. They had had two veterans come to them because the Legion had paid for them to go there. They asked, “Is there not a way that our services could be used more?” I would encourage you to check them out. They're not quite as into Saskatchewan as I would like, but if we have opportunities to share those kinds of things with you, that's really positive.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
It's great to be back, stepping up on this committee, and doing the things we want to do, which is to try to help our veterans and improve their lives with what they deserve.
Thank you, all, for your presentations, and I appreciate that.
I'm going to ask Nora a couple of questions, and to start off, please fill me in a little more about what you do. You're a charitable organization. Your funding comes from...?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay. Can you tell us roughly what that might run to? I don't need your financial statements or anything, but just an idea.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay.
You said you do research, presentations, and that sort of thing, and you're involved in social media, etc. Is that more in one part of Canada, or is it all across the country?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
I am a product of a military family, and I grew up in a military family. Until I became a member of this committee, I didn't realize to what extent...and now I have a chance to reflect on what went on. I am pleasantly surprised and happy to hear that someone is starting to express what a military family goes through, because a lot of time people don't realize that when a soldier signs up, the whole family signs up, even though they don't realize they're signing up. The country doesn't know that, and we need to make sure we educate people so they understand that.
We're talking about veterans here, and I believe the more we educate people, and the more we educate our veterans, the easier the transition is going to be. The whole purpose of what we're looking at right now is timeliness and that whole step from when they're in the service to when they become a veteran.
How do you see what you're doing is going to improve that timeliness?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Knowledge translation is the important part here. A lot of times that's what happens. The knowledge is there, but it never gets translated. That's our biggest concern, I think, with Veterans Affairs. We're not seeing that translation when we have these great ideas and how we're moving that to our veterans so they can be provided with what they do.
Do you get involved with CIMVHR, with that organization at all?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
I really appreciate having you here today. From both perspectives here, the amount of work that's being done independently and yet with VAC is really encouraging to me, especially what you're doing, Debbie, as volunteers with that personal...and yourself Russell. You know like none of us how to deal with these circumstances and to see the big picture.
The whole homeless issue.... I'm from the Prairies. We have veterans. This younger generation is very hard to find, even for our Legion, although they're out there working hard. I heard someone say that a lot of them are so hard to find because they do not want to be found. That's obvious, right? They've made that decision for some reason. Do most of them come from a scenario where there are, as you said, family members, referrals, or people who they could be interacting with, but where it may just have become too much, and they felt, for whatever reason, that they had to go to the streets?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay, thank you. I appreciate that.
How many has your organization been able to...?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Are these success stories for you, or are they in-process like any other scenario?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
You mentioned some good things. Turnaround time is much better. There are fewer forms to deal with. You did say as well, though, that it seems the time frame has changed somewhat, because now cases seem to be more complex. Do you have any idea why?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Right.
I'll just mention I was on the HMCS Fredericton for a day, a night, and a day. I would recommend that you all—
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
I had the most green moments of my life for a while there. I didn't realize that the majority of the people on that ship are nauseous most of the time. I just thought anybody out there obviously doesn't have that problem. Why would you go do that otherwise, right?
So yes, if you haven't had an opportunity, I would really encourage you to take that on.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Yes. The submarine, I'm still...but anyway. You have such a high level of respect when you have a chance to really engage, at least a little bit.
I have one more thing. We're here to study service delivery. There's both National Defence and Veterans Affairs, and we're trying to develop that seamless transition. You mentioned how frustrating it is when someone's injury has been determined and assessed, they know what it is, and then they go to VAC, where it's reassessed...and they said they don't. We've heard witnesses from both directions, that they were released to VAC way too soon, that they weren't ready, and then of course the other situation.
Do you see a way that this could be resolved? I still don't understand who makes that final decision. If it's National Defence, should it be both sides coming to a decision together —i.e., everything's in place, the house ready for someone with no legs, they're not addicted to anything? I'm wondering what your perspective is, because you have that experience.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Now come the tough questions. Actually, Ms. Mathyssen alluded to this a little earlier. We had the pleasure on Tuesday night of seeing Contact! Unload. It is a very powerful play, done by soldiers who have the experiences. It is extremely powerful.
For someone like me, who comes from a rough-and-tumble world, it struck me immensely. I encourage you to see it, if you get the chance. Hopefully, the Vanier Institute might even take a look at that as something to use in their presentations, to show Canadians what this means. It is a very powerful thing.
It brings up the issues of how you deal with military families and the experiences they have, how they relate to their life experiences when they come back from the theatre, how everyone deals with things totally differently, and what they experience.
Mrs. Lowther, you are in the process of trying to deal with a lot of these soldiers who haven't necessarily recognized or don't want to recognize at this point in their life that there is an issue with mental issues they are dealing with. You are looking at ways to solve that problem.
I, too, come from Saskatchewan. I live right on the U.S. border. I have a number of veterans who are saying to me, in Saskatchewan that we do not have psychologists for our veterans. They have no access to it, yet two hours south of us is Minot air base, in North Dakota, which has a huge, immense service in that area. They are asking, “Should we be going there to access that service?”
I realize that maybe you can't answer that part, but how do you access these mental health services for these people?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
We heard earlier in our studies from a number of individuals who suggested that we need to educate our soldiers from the day they sign up on how they are going to transition out of the military, and those steps.
When I look back at my life—I am an army brat, and I have travelled all over the world, base to base and country to country, because of what my father did—I don't recall my dad ever actually talking about how he was going to transition out.
My question is for you, Colonel. Can you give us your experiences as you went through that transition? Do you feel that if you had had those services earlier, that would have been of some benefit for you?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
Very quickly, we need to make recommendations as a committee, and we want them to be substantive. We hear about the issues concerning trust. I know one of them is with never seeing anything really happen. You don't turn a dinosaur around on a dime, but things need to happen to change the culture.
You talked about DND and VAC working together. Would there be value in us, as a committee, recommending that a case study be done of a scenario where we say there are joint case workers in this circumstance here and here, and try to put some framework to that and suggest we give that a try as a case study—obviously you're not going to implement it right away—to see if that would make a substantive difference?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
So it's a case study, then a pilot project.
I had my staffer try to go on My VAC—he can't set up an account—and he was pulling his hair out. This is a smart young man with eight languages, and he just said it was impossible. Would it be wise for us to also do a case study where we had an individual who had to work through that process come alongside us so we could experience it with them to see part of that? I don't know.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Good morning and thank you very much for being here. I appreciate the role that you play, and how important it is for veterans to have this avenue of opportunity when they are turned down initially.
I have a question. First of all, when you were discussing—it's point number three in the handout we have from you—when the advocate and client feel there is merit in proceeding to a review hearing, what I'm hearing is that both the advocate and the client have to be in agreement to move forward to an appeal hearing. Is that what that's saying?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay. Thank you.
Point four, which may apply in the same way, states, “...sometime after the review hearing the client will receive the decision of the board. If the decision is unfavourable or partially unfavourable, there may be an opportunity to proceed to an appeal hearing....”
Again, “there may be”; what determines whether or not it does go forward?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
This little chart here shows the claims completed and the claims counselled out. For the ones counselled out, then, the decision has been made that there won't be an appeal hearing?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
I'm just thinking; in our discussions we've been talking about the fact that a lot of proof of injury has been the responsibility of the armed forces individual, and looking at changing some of the dynamics of that. If you're a parachuter, clearly it would be your knees over time, and that type of thing.
Could that impact that in the future, then, if those rules are changed?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
The percentages of satisfaction that come back in your poll following your services look very, very good. I'm just wondering if you have clarification of “98% were satisfied”. This is of individuals who actually did return your survey. Do you know the percentage of people actually responding?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay.
Are you aware of how many are people who were happy and their claims were completed versus those who were counselled out?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Well, with those who are responding, is there a way to know with that survey if the individuals were satisfied and received the response they wanted or if the individuals did not get to have their claim?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you very much for being here today. Your report is excellent. Thank you for providing that for us, because it makes it harder for us to ask questions when you've got all the answers in the report.
You mentioned that initially after WW II we had a lot of vets who came back, became lawyers, and got involved in this process. Do any of those lawyers now have military experience, and to what extent?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
You've provided us with some stats, 300 to 350 cases, and you expect to have 195 cases per year. I'm a health care practitioner. Are these excessive loads for the individual lawyer?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
You answered this next question a bit with Mrs. Romanado's question. Do you have stats that indicate the length of time that it takes to finish a file?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
If you have those statistics, could you send those to us so that we have just an idea?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
You indicated 10,000 files and you mentioned that the bureau goes deeper into those files on the clients' issues. Would you be suggesting that every veteran, once they get a disability assessment, should send it in to you to see if they can get more out of it?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay.
We talked a little bit about electronic medical records and how they might be compatible or not compatible. Once you get that information, who do your advocates get to assess that information from a medical point of view, to give them the answers so they can understand them? I'm assuming they aren't MDs or psychologists or psychiatrists with those specialties.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you both for coming.
Mr. Zimmerman, you gave us three points to focus on. The third point you talked about was deliverables that support families, and you answered it a bit earlier. That family dynamic is one I'm sure you've had to deal with as a chaplain and you've had to deal with that many times. You did mention about increasing the spousal pension to 70%, etc. We're here looking at deliverables versus that part, but I'm wondering if you can comment more on some other family dynamics that are deliverable services we might look at and a way to have them available in a more timely manner.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
We've heard from many veterans and people throughout our studies about identifying those services right from the get-go, and that's from the moment they sign up, versus at the end, in that last six months before they do it, and identifying as they progress through their career what services are available. Any comments on that at all?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
We talked a bit about respect and how veterans felt once they were out there was a lack of respect. One veteran talked about sharing his stories, and an opportunity to share his stories, and where to do that. We've talked a bit about how World War I and World War II and Korean War vets tend to use the Legion for that avenue. He's looking for an opportunity, but I think he's looking at trying to share his stories amongst fellow veterans, and not so much sharing them with Canadians. I'm under the opinion that maybe it should be both. Any comments?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
I am Robert Kitchen. I am a member of Parliament for Souris—Moose Mountain. My riding encompasses the southeast corner of Saskatchewan, roughly 43,000 square kilometres.
I come from a very strong military background. I am an army brat. I spent many years travelling around with the military and while I was in the cadets, and then worked as a civilian instructor.
I think I bring a very rural focus to the committee rural focus. I dealing with a lot of veterans, whether they're aboriginal or first nation, who are returning to their communities. I focus on how we encompass and include them in the program and to make sure that their wishes are followed through.
I'm extremely honoured to be on this committee and I look forward to hearing what you have to say to us.
Thank you very much for coming.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thanks to both of you for your presentations.
Hopefully throughout this we can hear a little bit more from you, Brenda, and you can expand on your comments. I look forward to hearing more. Hopefully, the questions will prompt some of that.
Walter, we've heard throughout this about the medical incidents that are not reported, especially in our reg force. When they're not reported, they never happened. You alluded to that a little bit in your talk. I'm wondering if you can expand on the reporting mechanism that you recall was available to you at the time.
I assume with the reservists it was the same thing, or were the forms different? Were they the same forms, whether you were a reservist or reg force, with that same concept that if you fell and hurt yourself, and you didn't report it, then it never happened?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
I hope you don't mind my mentioning that we had a chat beforehand. You indicated that part of your service was almost as if you were a first responder, in the medical aspect of it as a first responder. We talked a bit about first responders and the service.
Again, I realize you're doing a Ph.D., so I'm going to sort of pick your scientific brain.
Do you see a potential where there might be a form, or some way that we could provide a way for that to be reported right away?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you, Mr. Argue, for coming. I'm very appreciative that you came up to talk to us.
One person once said to me, never say sorry if you've done nothing wrong. I want to say that to you. Never say sorry if you've done nothing wrong, and you've done nothing wrong. I appreciate your being here.
I am wondering if you could tell me a little bit more, if you don't mind, and should anything I say at any point in time...just give me that sign and I'll move to something else.
You talked about your knee injuries. I'm just wondering if you could expand on that a little bit for me.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
You mentioned places to share your stories and for people to come together and do that. I've talked with a number of people around the table about the issues of.... When we talked about our World War I, World War II, and Korean War vets, often they had the Legion where they had a chance to share those stories. We don't see that as much today. Whether it's a result of technology or not—there will always be debate as whether that's right or wrong—we're not seeing that. Can you expand on what you think might be of some value?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
They have. It's so true. We see that with our Canadian Olympic team and with other things in Canada where everyone signs a flag or we do these things. I think what I'm hearing you suggest is something that I'd call a “living wall”. We have memorials and why not have a living wall where people can post that information as you suggest. People are inclined to do that. It would provide different opportunities, whether it's in written or technological form, such as Twitter, etc. That's a great idea. Thank you very much.
Mr. Callaghan, many of the questions I had for you have been answered by other people, but I have one last question. You talked about filling out forms with doctors. I hate to tell you that I am a doctor, and so I know the answer to this question already. Who pays for those forms?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
Having been a doctor filling out forms, I say in response to the question of who sets my regulations that it's the regulatory bodies. Then it's a question of who's going to pay what I expect to get paid, so I understand that part and I appreciate your comments.
There's one last thing I'll just ask Ms. Northey. I'm very interested in your concept of outcomes, and I know you sort of answered some of that in response to Ms. Lockhart. You talked about demographics, and a lot of the research might be more demographic in nature. I'm interested in knowing the parameters a little bit more in depth. Ms. Lockhart, you sort of answered my question, but in your outcomes, what sort of parameters are you looking for?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
I think it does. Your answer, in a way, to Ms. Lockhart, was more about expectations of the client and purpose of the outcome type of thing. I think you answered what I was looking for, which I didn't feel I got from the earlier answer, so I appreciate that.
Results: 1 - 100 of 229 | Page: 1 of 3

1
2
3
>
>|