Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Bungay, would you say that the delay-and-deny response is based on reality, or that it's more perception?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Would you say it's based on a problematic administrative process, or on some intentional workings?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You say that veterans talk to you. I am not blaming the department but, very often, veterans complain to the committee that their relationships with the department are quite horrible. Those are usually complicated cases.
What are the comments you most often hear from veterans about the problems they are experiencing, about the documents they have to complete and, in some cases, about the transition steps they need to take?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Are you and your colleagues prepared to help veterans to fill in forms or do paperwork?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Along those lines, do you believe that it would be a good idea for the department to fill in forms for veterans or, conversely, do you believe that it is good to leave that task to them, even those with sometimes complex mental health issues?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Ms. Lowther, when you said that policy proposals are above your pay grade, it's not true. Policy proposal belongs to all Canadians, so if you have some, there's an email and there's a clerk here.
Colonel Mann, I will have to move along very quickly, unfortunately.
Even if the culture of denial at Veterans Affairs is a myth, it seems that the trust has been broken.
Do you think the members of our committee are influenced by the people they meet who are in complex situations, people who are in a state of panic or crisis? Do you think the vast majority of veterans believe in that myth?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Callaghan, you said you received a bunch of papers each year.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
That was my next question, whether your paper work was from SISIP or the ministry—
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
My wife is an anthropologist. I just wanted to ask, is it hard to fill out the papers as a Ph.D. candidate?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Are those all part of the bunch you received this morning, for example?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You said also that you find there's a lack of information coming from VAC to you, but they ask you for a whole load of information.
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)
So if the system is designed to find any possible way to deny the benefits, that means there is an unofficial rule, implicitly. Is that what you're suggesting?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Also, you talk about the disgusting practice like there being no stamp. I agree with you. I would be very, very mad if I had to add a stamp to send my information to the government, even more in the case of a veteran. Could you share with us other practices that you find disgusting?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
The most common ones that you see often. There's the stamp.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I have the stamp, denial by design, language use, and stigmatization from this language. Are there any other practices you have in mind that you want to share today, right now?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Madam Migneault and Madam Murray, thank you very much for being here.
I'm just brainstorming on my question, so I'll try to figure it out. For six months I've been thinking a lot about all the issues for veterans. Last week I think I started to understand something, and what you said today corresponds to this vision that came into my mind. You talked about stopping the circus, blowing it up, and starting from scratch, and then talking about the real issues.
What I've been seeing since the beginning is that there's the stakeholders group and there's the veterans. There are two things.
Also, in terms of what the ministry does, there are also two things, the financial benefits and the services. I think since the new charter of 2006, we are in a paradigm, which is to either create new benefits or increase existing benefits and allowances. That is good, and it had to be done, but it seems to me that this is kind of the circus, because even if it was done under the previous Conservative government—and I was wondering why, when we have all these new benefits, veterans still say we did nothing—I now see this new government following our path and just doing the easy stuff, which is to have new benefits and increase allowances.
I want to talk about the real issue, which might not be the real issue, but I'm trying to find out now.
Madam Murray, you talked about structural flaws in the ministry. I'm wondering if maybe it's not flaws but it's the structural culture of this ministry. I have a straightforward question, because veterans have been talking to me about this. Are you aware of non-official rules that the ministry is imposing on its case managers? I'll listen to you first, please, Madam Murray.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Structurally broke, or maybe structurally they want it to be that way also. That's what I want to find out, actually.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Beaudin, given the situation, I am stunned to hear you say that the Department of Veterans Affairs is functioning very well.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You say the department works properly when one knows how it works.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I'm very happy that you're here with us. You're the first French Canadian group representing veterans to come before us.
I have some questions for the other witnesses.
Ms. Fimrite, on the second page of your document, it says that the culture change at the department reflects a new philosophy of care, compassion, and respect that is starting to take shape and is a hopeful sign that radical changes will be made.
What are those radical changes you're talking about?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
So if the caseworkers don't fill out the forms and they're not reviewing all the processes, what are they doing, actually? What are the caseworkers doing right now? Are there any other radical changes that you have in mind?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you all for being here this morning. I understand it's not easy and we're all aware of this.
I don't have a specific question. However, I would like to ask a question of Mr. Mitic. I'm sure we don't have enough time, but if you could start at least, we all need to know exactly what the process is like when you're released. What is your first step, second step, and third step, in terms of paperwork and so forth?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Maybe one of the other members of the committee could ask the same question of one of the witnesses about medical release for mental health.
Thank you, sir.
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