Hansard
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 15 of 25
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Serge Cormier Profile
2019-06-20 10:06 [p.29463]
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, a document entitled “2018-19 Annual Report for the Office of the Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces”.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2018-12-11 10:16 [p.24690]
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, a document entitled “Annual Report 2017-2018 Ombudsman National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces”.
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2017-11-03 12:26 [p.14949]
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, two copies of the 2016-17 annual report of the Office of the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman.
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, as the member of Parliament for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, which includes the largest army base in Canada, I am proud to participate in today's adjournment debate. Over 5,000 soldiers at Base Petawawa and their families know I have their backs when it comes to keeping the government accountable. We owe it to our soldiers to keep them safe in whatever we ask them to do to perform in the service of our country. That obligation continues when the service is completed.
Earlier this year, I asked the Minister of National Defence why his party refused to implement the recommendation made by the Canadian Forces ombudsman to ensure that before a serving member of the Canadian Armed Forces was medically released from the military all benefits were in place. I am pleased to confirm for the benefit of the military families watching this adjournment debate my strong support for this recommendation by the military ombudsman. The record at committee shows the numerous times I have brought this issue forward only to be stonewalled by the Liberal majority.
It was with some scepticism that I noted the change of position by the government to include a line in the announced defence policy that included the word “ensure” that benefits would be in place before a soldier was released. On a number of occasions, I brought to the attention of the House the case of now retired Warrant Officer Roger Perreault. The time I first brought attention to this case, 27-year veteran retired Warrant Officer Perreault was still a serving member of the Canadian Armed Forces. Warrant Officer Perreault was seeking justice that was being denied him in his application to receive the critical injury benefit.
He was injured in 2006 in a blast from an improvised explosive device, while serving in Afghanistan. He has had three back surgeries, two hip replacements, and other complications. That case has still not been resolved.
I ask Canadians who are following this debate to question if it was just a coincidence. Roger Perreault was medically released two days before the Minister of National Defence announced, with great hoopla, the government would "ensure that all benefits would be in place before a member transitions to post-military life." Warrant Officer Roger Perreault was discharged from the Canadian Armed Forces with nothing in place, no pension, no medical benefit, no critical injury benefit, nothing.
The Liberal Party had known for over a year that this soldier was being medically released and still he was released with nothing in place. What is happening today? Roger has heard nothing about the critical injury benefit, except that his case may be heard in December. The pension that soldier paid into for almost 27 years and was entitled to receive, finally kicked in after months of complaining by his local member of Parliament. Roger is thankful for his local Conservative member of Parliament, for he is certain he would still be waiting for his pension had I not intervened.
The permanent impairment allowance, career impact allowance, or whatever it is being called this week, as the government keeps changing names of allowances to pretend it is providing a new benefit when in fact it has just renamed an existing benefit, has yet to show up. Ironically, if Roger wanted to smoke pot to alleviate his pain and suffering, he could get a pot licence from the Liberal government right way.
I hope it was this sorry record of treatment that led to the dishonourable discharge for the minister of Veterans Affairs from that portfolio in the last cabinet shuffle.
Now retired Warrant Officer Roger Perreault and thousands of military families just like his, face a new crisis. Thanks to the bad spending by the government and the need to raise taxes today to pay for the bad debt tomorrow, the futures of military spouses are now in peril. For many military families posted on a regular basis, the military spouse, who kept the home fires burning, would not have had the opportunity to accumulate a work pension. The guaranteed income supplement provides an additional monthly non-taxable benefit to the old age security pension recipients who have no other source of income.
When the Conservatives were the Government of Canada, in cases where couples that were previously not eligible for the guaranteed income supplement based on their total family income and who were involuntarily separated, for example, one spouse being admitted to a long-term care facility, the spouse remaining—
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2017-09-18 18:53 [p.13193]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question. I know she cares deeply about the health and well-being of our military personnel.
We value the core duties and roles of the Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces very highly. I would like to reassure the member that the administrative arrangement the ombudsman's office shares with the department does not affect its ability to conduct efficient independent investigations. The model we have in place mirrors almost all other similar offices across government and meets the test of proper stewardship of resources. The Department of National Defence is committed to maintaining a positive and productive working relationship with the ombudsman. That is why we have encouraged him to come forward if he faces any barriers to carrying out his mandate.
My colleague mentioned an ombudsman's report about soldiers released for medical reasons. As the member knows, the government considered several options to improve the transition process.
Through our new defence policy, we are transforming our approach to managing our women and men in uniform. This includes ensuring that we provide the best possible care and support to our military personnel as they transition out of uniform.
As such, a new transition group of approximately 1,200 personnel will be set up to provide flexible and personalized support to members leaving the forces as well as those recovering from illness or injury, with the goal of returning them to active duty.
Furthermore, we will re-establish a personnel branch of experts in military human resources management to ensure that pension administration is complete before military personnel move on to post-military life.
These are complex initiatives that will not be implemented overnight. The Canadian Armed Forces will take the time that is necessary to get this right while ensuring that services to transitioning members continue to be delivered.
We have also been working closely with Veterans Affairs on pursuing ways to streamline and improve coordination between our two departments. Serving our veterans is one of the highest priorities we have as a government and we will not let them down.
Our collaboration will ultimately improve the transition experience for Canadian Armed Forces members. The goal is to help releasing members with a range of harmonized and integrated services as they transition.
This means clear guidance, timely access to benefits and services, and coordinated case management between National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada. We look forward to the ombudsman’s continued support in making improvements that benefit the military, departmental civilians, and all those who form part of the defence team.
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, the spouse remaining in the marital home could apply to be reassessed as a single individual rather than as part of a couple. Singles receive a higher benefit than individuals living as a couple. That policy was quietly changed earlier this year. Military spouses will face the immense economic burden of living below the same poverty level guidelines used for the calculation of the guaranteed income supplement.
It is an unfortunate fact that medical challenges as a result of military service contribute to a shortened lifespan, which may include an extended period living in a facility that provides specialized care. What this will mean for military couples is that the spouse at home will lose the family pension if his or her loved one is institutionalized. Military families do not deserve this worry.
The Liberal Party shamelessly campaigned on the backs of veterans to inflate expectations. It was another broken promise.
This veteran sacrificed his health and family in service to his country. It is all about fairness.
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2017-09-18 18:58 [p.13194]
Mr. Speaker, we consulted widely with all Canadians in order to come up with a defence policy that reflects who we are. This policy was based on the recommendations of Canadians who asked us to care for our military personnel and make sure they have the training and equipment they need, but also to care for their health and well-being. That means ensuring a seamless transition from military to civilian life.
In that regard, after the huge budget cuts made by the previous Conservative government, we invested new money in Veterans Affairs in order to support people reintegrating into civilian life. That is why our policy stipulates that no soldier will leave the military without receiving his or her pension, and that we will create a group of experts to lead that transition. The health and well-being of our military personnel is a major concern—
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2017-05-29 20:59 [p.11597]
Mr. Chair, this evening I would first like to focus on some issues around the ombudsman's office.
He has been put forward a case for a permanent and independent ombudsman's office and a recommendation that the Minister of National Defence support the enactment of legislation aimed at giving the office of the defence ombudsman organizational permanence and independence from the Department of National Defence with respect to all functional authorities. Could the minister please respond as to whether or not he is in favour of this recommendation?
View Harjit S. Sajjan Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Harjit S. Sajjan Profile
2017-05-29 21:00 [p.11597]
Mr. Chair, I would like to thank the ombudsman for his work. I am committed to maintaining a positive and productive working relationship with the ombudsman, and I have encouraged him to come to me should he face any issues carrying out his mandate.
The administrative arrangement between the ombudsman and the department mirrors similar offices across government and meets the test of proper stewardship of resources. This arrangement also respects the findings of the Auditor General in 2015, who recognized the need for better oversight by the department. It does not affect the ombudsman's ability to conduct independent investigations that benefit the defence team.
View Irene Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
View Irene Mathyssen Profile
2017-04-04 14:51 [p.10144]
Mr. Speaker, the military ombudsman has reported that DND retaliates when reports critical of the department are released by his office. DND has also called the ombudsman “low influence, low interest” in initiatives to fix the failed transition process. It is unacceptable for a department to interfere with the work or be dismissive of the ombudsman. Will the minister honour the ombudsman's request and make the office independent from the department so he reports directly to Parliament to fulfill the mandate and effectively serve the military and veteran communities?
View Harjit S. Sajjan Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Harjit S. Sajjan Profile
2017-04-04 14:52 [p.10144]
Mr. Speaker, the ombudsman's office does really good work for men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces. In fact, I met with the ombudsman on a number of occasions based on his report. A lot of his recommendations we put into place, especially when it came to the Valcartier cadet incident from 1974 and some of the great work that has also been done regarding the transition. We have incorporated a lot of those recommendations into the defence policy. The independence of his office is very important for that office to do the work and continue to do so.
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, the minister is allowing his officials to bully the military ombudsman. Six months ago the ombudsman recommended that medically releasing soldiers have their incomes and medical treatments in place prior to leaving the military rather than waiting months for an income and struggling for years for their health benefits.
The attack on the military ombudsman is really an attack on the people the minister was appointed to serve. Why will the minister not implement the recommendation?
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2017-04-03 14:59 [p.10059]
Mr. Speaker, the office of the ombudsman was created to act as a mediator, to conduct investigations, and to produce reports neutrally and objectively on issues related to the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces.
Last week, the ombudsman submitted a report on governance calling for greater independence. The minister committed to maintaining a positive and productive working relationship with the ombudsman. The minister encouraged the ombudsman to come to him and said he should not encounter obstacles in fulfilling his mandate.
View Irene Mathyssen Profile
NDP (ON)
View Irene Mathyssen Profile
2016-11-01 18:58 [p.6454]
Mr. Speaker, back in September, I asked the Minister of Veterans Affairs about the report from the National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman calling for significant changes to the process of transition for medically releasing members of the Armed Forces.
Many medically released veterans are falling through the cracks as they transition out of the military. Paperwork is not completed because of its complexity, veterans may be unaware of the services available, new approvals need to be sought, new doctors need to be found, and new medical assessments need to be done. Mistakes in the paperwork end with rejection and no indications of how or what went wrong. Just a letter is sent in the mail.
Contact with case managers continues to be challenging. It is very frustrating for veterans to use a 1-800 number when trying to get answers.
On top of all this, the Liberal government made clear promises to veterans in the last election. Now a year later, these promises are being delayed, ignored, or even broken. These promises included re-establishing lifelong pensions; hiring 400 new service delivery staff, thereby doubling the numbers already committed to by the Conservatives; two new centres of excellence in veterans care, providing greater education, counselling, and training for families; increasing the veteran survivor's pension amount from 50% to 70%; eliminating the marriage after 60 clawback clause; and doubling funding for the Last Post Fund.
We are a quarter of the way through the government's mandate and the minister has let veterans down. To add insult to injury, the government is taking veterans back to court and arguing that the government does not owe veterans a sacred obligation.
If the government is not interested in fulfilling the commitments made to veterans only a year ago, perhaps it will be willing to at least listen to the ombudsman who is speaking in favour of fixes for veterans that will improve the lives of medically releasing military members.
The ombudsman recommends three things, and I quote from his testimony before the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs:
My report recommends that the Canadian Armed Forces retain medically releasing members until all benefits and services, including Veteran Affairs, have been finalized and put in place prior to releases; that one point of contact be established—if you will, a concierge service—for all medically releasing members to assist in their transition; and that the Canadian Armed Forces develop a tool that is capable of providing members with information so that they can understand their potential benefit suite prior to release.
These are three simple initiatives. They are not costly and would help the veterans who need it most, namely, those who are wounded and very much need our help and assistance on the road to recovery and becoming civilians again.
Will the government take concrete steps to help veterans, in particular those who have been wounded during their service? Will the government fulfill its promises? Will the Minister of Veterans Affairs implement the ombudsman's recommendations?
View Karen McCrimmon Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Karen McCrimmon Profile
2016-11-01 19:01 [p.6455]
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today to answer my colleague's questions about how we are addressing the needs of Canada's veterans. I appreciate her concern for veterans.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the brave men and women who have served Canada so well in times of war, in times of conflict, and in times of peace. The debt is even greater when a member of the Canadian Armed Forces becomes disabled as a result of doing his or her job. There is no doubt that we can always do better for them and their families, and we shall.
To be clear, in addition to implementing new benefits for veterans, Veterans Affairs processed over 37,000 claims last year. The 11,500 claims referenced in the report are in the process of being addressed. Some of them have actually come in very recently.
In the last year we have seen a 22% increase in the number of new applications for disability benefits. This is a good thing. It means that our efforts to reach out to veterans and encourage them to ask for the benefits they so rightly deserve are working.
Currently, of those applications in the queue, there are a few, 3,500, that are taking longer than we would like. We are taking action to resolve this. So far we have hired 250 new front-line staff to provide service to our veterans, and we are working on adding 150 more to improve our service level and thus reduce waiting times.
We are also streamlining both the process for applying for disability benefits and the decision-making process so that Canadian Forces members and veterans are approved faster for certain common conditions. In the past year, we have processed 27% more disability claims than in the previous year.
We have many initiatives under way to improve the services veterans and their families receive, and we are going to make them even more veteran-centric.
We are conducting a review of the financial benefits offered to veterans to determine how best to meet their needs and the needs of their families and to ensure that they have access to the right programs and services at the right time.
We will continue to work with the Department of National Defence to address closing the seam and addressing the transition period, because that is something we see as absolutely critical to their future.
In closing, we are working hard already to make sure that veterans and their families get the benefits they need when they need them. There is a lot of work to do. We have done a lot of work already. We are going to just keep going until we get it done.
Results: 1 - 15 of 25 | Page: 1 of 2

1
2
>
>|
Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data