Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Welcome, Mr. Jarmyn. I am happy to meet you.
It seems to me that the challenges that come before your board are only for the refusal of benefits. Is that the case?
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)
My question is along the same lines as the others.
At the end of the year, do you submit reports to the Department of Veterans Affairs to advise the department of the benefits that your board most frequently denies regarding a given problem?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I attended a few sessions of your board in Quebec City. I very much appreciated my experience and I thank you for allowing me to attend those hearings. I noticed that you provide legal counsel to veterans who challenge a decision.
I also noticed that, in a number of challenges by veterans—without naming anyone—they said that they didn't have access to doctors to obtain the evidence requested by the department or, at least, by your board. You provide legal services. Do you think medical services—perhaps not by your board—should be provided to veterans who need that medical expertise?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I read in the document prepared by this committee that, since 2011-12, you have been receiving parliamentary budget allocations, which have helped you to operate at arm's length.
Who made the decision to provide you with the budget allocations?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
In 2011-12, the government decided to give you budget allocations so that the board could become more independent, correct?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You are saying that we can consult the decisions that were made. Is it possible to see the names of the veterans?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I'll just finish with this kind of question-comment.
It says that 10% of the 30,000 decisions made by VAC go to the tribunal, and of those 10%, 50% of the contested decisions were modified by your court. That means that you're judging that 50%, or half of the decisions made by the ministry, are wrong.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Jarmyn, you said there are five vacant positions. Does that contribute to delays or...?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I have read since 1931 there's been a body in Canada that reviews contestations coming from veterans. Your tribunal was created in 1995, and there's been a great improvement because before, with the Canadian Pension Commission, there was a wait of 542 days. Now it's 112 days. But perhaps we can compare your tribunal with, for example, the CSST that we have in Quebec, for injuries at work. How many days would someone wait in those kinds of commissions?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Are the veterans who decide to go to your tribunals compensated in any way financially? Do they have help?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
People from the legion in Quebec City told me that sometimes some veterans will get aggressive. Does it happen often that security must remove veterans because they are violent, physically or verbally?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
How do you see the future of your tribunal? Will it expand or reduce, because we just went through the Afghan war, the longest war in Canadian history. It was quite different from the Second World War, but in terms of duration it was quite long. How do you see the future of your organization?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Jarmyn, in response to what Mr. Vandal was asking, you said that it's the statute. I don't want to put you in an uncomfortable position, but could you share with us what you think should be changed in the statute that directs your body?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you for joining us today.
Veteran Affairs Canada's mental health action plan called for quarterly meetings to be held between Veterans Affairs Canada and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. Two weeks ago, I went to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, in Quebec City, to find out what kind of cases came before the board. Of course, I did not look into any specific cases.
I saw that one of the issues that came up the most frequently was a lack of access to medical expertise. In many instances, for a case to have a positive outcome, the individual had to provide expert medical evidence. However, some of those individuals said many times to the judge that they had gone to numerous places, be it in New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec or even as far as Winnipeg, without being able to obtain expert medical evidence.
Can you talk to us about this problematic situation?
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