Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I've read your brief many times, and you talked to me about it a little, but I still have a hard time understanding why the medical corps has an ethical problem with putting on paper that the injuries are related to the service.
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 Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
The only problem is that the common force of veterans is weakened as a result of the fact there are so many groups going their own way, but that's the reality.
You talk about denial by design. I would like you to maybe talk about that a little bit.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay. Yes, of course.
Mr. Eldaoud, I would like to go back to the medical reports, the CF 98 form, and the surgeon general.
I have also met with Ombudsman Walbourne. I understand that you really want to protect the doctors' privilege to provide a diagnosis. Their role is to provide care, not to be part of the decision to grant benefits or not. However, your ombudsman seems to tell us that, despite that, we have to do things differently.
At the moment, when the surgeon general makes a diagnosis, even though he is very aware that a knee injury happened in Kandahar on such-and-such a date, for example, he does not put that on the CF 98 form, the medical report. Am I right on that?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Gentlemen, thank you for being here this morning. It is very much appreciated.
Thank you for your military service.
Mr. Gaillard, I just wanted to clarify that the RCMP veterans who have access to VAC benefits, programs, and services are the RCMP veterans who have physical or mental injuries. Is it only them? I mean, your normal retirement pension is another story; it's not from the VAC ministry.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay.
In those two cases, for the maximum and minimum benefits that a veteran could receive, what are the most common challenges? Based on your observations over the years, what types of benefits have been most often denied by the Department of Veterans Affairs or, at least, the type of benefit that has caused the most problems to veterans?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Why are those six types of benefits denied most often by the department? Is it because it is difficult to prove the injury? How do you explain the fact that those are the types of challenges that keep coming back before your board?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay. I won't be quick myself. That's the problem.
Voices: Oh, oh!
The Chair: You have two minutes.
Mr. Alupa Clarke: Okay. I want to ask a question that's outside the box.
The new Veterans Charter is nothing but a new public policy, and public policy experts suggest that we wait five or 10 years before evaluating public policy. That's what we're doing right now and what the other committee was doing in its work. I think we can probably partly conclude that this public policy has a lot more failure than success.
The old system that was the invalidity pension was there to serve the financial needs, and I think it was quite simple. It worked. I might be wrong. The new Veterans Charter served two goals: to meet the financial needs of the veterans—so that was the same as the old pension—but also to meet the needs for the physical and mental problems, which was a new aspect in 2006.
To get to the outside-the-box question, should we just go back to the old system? Is this public policy just not good at all? Do we need to just go back to the invalidity pension?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Gentlemen, thank you for being here with us today. We appreciate it very much.
My first question will be addressed to the representatives of the Royal Canadian Legion and to those of the Equitas group.
I think we can agree that there is a big issue with regard to information-sharing between the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs. It is very unfortunate for veterans who must face this difficulty alone when they have to prove that their physical or mental injuries are due to their military service.
I have often asked this question in committee and I would like to put it to you as well. I was told on several occasions that in the United States the veteran's burden of proof, that is to say having to prove that the injuries are service-related, rests with the department responsible for veterans. And so there, it is the department of veterans affairs that has to determine whether the veteran's injuries are service-related or not. If we functioned like that in Canada as well, am I correct in thinking that the veteran would not have to work to transmit the information, but the department, with all the means at its disposal, would work to go and get that information?
I yield the floor to you.
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