Committee
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 100 of 252
View Seamus O'Regan Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Chairman, fellow members of Parliament, good morning and thank you for the opportunity to appear before the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs for the first time. I appreciate the good work that members do on behalf of Canadian veterans and their families. I want to thank you for the hard work that went into your most recent reports, “Reaching out: Improving Service Delivery to Canadian Veterans” and “Mental Health of Canadian Veterans: a Family Purpose”. The former already precipitated a great deal of change since it was tabled a year ago and the latter is very near to my heart as a long-term advocate for mental health awareness.
We have been taking action on your recommendations to ensure the programs that we deliver are efficient, valued, and meet the needs of our veterans. As I'm sure you're aware, our own internal report, “Delivering Service Excellence”, released earlier this year, complemented many of the recommendations that you made. We are committed to improving our current system. We have a plan in place to address the recommendations. We are hard at work implementing them. We are overhauling how we deliver services. While it will take five years to successfully complete the transition, 90% of the recommendations will be completed within three years. A few of the things that will take longer rely on other government departments or policy changes that are outside our authority.
Those changes are key improvements to the many systems, services, support measures, benefits and programs that veterans need to successfully transition to civilian life. I am proud to take office during this pivotal time in order to help implement them.
I talk many times about my own connection to the Canadian Armed Forces: the fact that I grew up at CFB Goose Bay, and that my brother Danny is a lieutenant commander in the Royal Canadian Navy. Actually, growing up at CFB Goose Bay—I don't know if I've ever told you, Mr. Chair—I was taught at a very early age that Trenton was nirvana. All the CAF forces at CFB Goose Bay couldn't wait to get back to Trenton. I said, “Someday I have to visit it.”
In discussions with my brother, he made me aware of some of the challenges even before I came into this role. It was quite fitting and an honour and a privilege to be named Minister of Veterans Affairs and the Associate Minister of National Defence, and to work alongside members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP, veterans, and their families. This has given me the opportunity to take on these essential tasks of improving service delivery, closing the seam between the Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada, and ensuring financial security for the most seriously ill and injured veterans.
We are here today to talk about what my department is doing, how the supplementary estimates reflect our approach to veterans' well-being, our accomplishments, and the work that remains to be done. Specifically, Veterans Affairs will receive an additional $26.1 million in these supplementary estimates, a 0.6% increase to $4.7 billion.
Before I speak to where we increased our estimates for new programs, it's important to point out that 90% of that budget figure represents payments directly to veterans and their families. For many veterans, this means the pain and suffering disability award in recognition of her or his injury. More than that, though, it goes to the earnings loss benefit of 90% of their pre-release salary, paid out during vocational rehabilitation. It also goes to the vocational rehabilitation that works with the veteran through the injury, which might be a barrier to finding her or his new normal.
If that veteran cannot re-establish after rehabilitation, it provides through the extended earnings loss benefit of 90% of pre-release salary paid out until the age of 65. It also goes to the career impact allowance if the veteran has a severe and permanent impairment, and to the career impact allowance supplement if that impairment results in a diminished earning capacity.
When a veteran turns 65, it goes to the retirement income security benefit or the supplementary retirement benefit.
Ultimately, all veterans who come to one of our many area offices can now be assured that most of our funding is used to recognize their pain and suffering and to set up and maintain wellness programs that provide a safety net during their recovery.
Let me say this again because it's an important point. Ultimately, for any veteran who comes to the door of one of our many area offices today, they can rest assured that the majority of our funding is going towards recognizing their pain and suffering, and establishing and maintaining the well-being programs that provide a safety net while they are mending.
But we still have work to do. We are enhancing the financial security and wellness elements of the new Veterans Charter to help veterans and their families transition to civilian life and make choices about what they want to do next, whether it be work, education, or other activities.
These supplementary estimates (B) primarily include funding for several budget 2017 initiatives. This funding and our overall guiding focus is about improving the lives of Canadian veterans, whether it be through enhanced education and employment services, the new caregiver recognition benefit that will provide $1,000 a month tax-free to the informal caregiver, or other critical programs we introduced in budget 2017, which will be implemented on April 1, 2018.
Of course, some of the funding went to the Invictus Games Toronto 2017, where veterans and active military members alike embraced the power of sport as they pushed through barriers and proudly represented our country. While it was an incredible event for the millions of spectators, I know there are many veterans who need more support from us, and that's why we're here today.
We are on the right track to improving our support for veterans. For example, of the 67,000 individuals who received the disability award increase reflected in these estimates, which put approximately $700 million in the pockets of our veterans, around 37,000 received their amended payment immediately, as a result of our move towards a fully automated system.
Having already done so much in reinforcing the benefits that make up our wellness model and bolstering the successes of the new Veterans Charter, we will announce more details on our monthly pension option for veterans shortly. We know this is an eagerly awaited announcement. We are committed to giving veterans and their families the best options to ensure their financial security and getting them the best possible support in their post-military lives.
We are all here to serve Canada's veterans. At the end of the day, those who need our assistance now or in the future need to know that we are here to assist them, and that we will continue to expand and adapt to the needs of our growing and diverse veterans community, especially with the help of this committee.
Thank you for your time.
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-10-20 16:25
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Welcome. Thank you for your presence and the valuable information you will provide to us. That will help us improve the services.
I am a new member of this committee. So I am not as knowledgeable as my learned colleagues.
I see that you do a lot of prevention work. So far, I am under the impression that you are working on prevention much more than National Defence. That's an impression. Could that be?
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-10-20 16:26
Okay. You are saying that you already have that program. I probably missed that.
I have two questions, and the answer to the first question will guide me in the second one.
Unless I am mistaken, there are two pension plans for someone who is retiring, voluntarily or not, if they have not accumulated the 35 years of service required for a full pension. If they have not worked for 35 years and have a physical disability or a mental illness, they will receive a pension from the RCMP and, later on, a pension from Veterans Affairs Canada.
One of the problems that has been discussed many times has to do with the transmission of the medical report. Veterans are asked to consult a physician and to prove that they have a physical or mental health problem.
On page 8 of your document, it says that some people undergo a health assessment every year, and others are required to undergo it every three years.
Are those reports transmitted to Veterans Affairs Canada, or do RCMP members have to consult a physician to prove their situation?
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-10-20 16:28
Okay.
That seems much simpler for RCMP members than for military members. According to what we have been told, military members must see their physician, but they have difficulty obtaining their medical information. The ombudsman has actually recommended that the armed forces transmit the medical report.
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-10-20 16:29
I would like to raise one last point.
From what I have read, you are satisfied with the services provided to you by the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada. You quote the ombudsman's report. It seems that you receive a large number of services and that the level of satisfaction is good.
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-10-18 16:38
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I thank the witnesses for being here with us and for providing all of this information to help us improve the services provided to veterans.
As I said earlier to Ms. Michaud, I am a new member of this committee and I would like to understand the bureaucratic aspect better. I will tell you what I understood, and you can correct me if I'm wrong.
Centres are going to be opened. However, I see that they will mostly be in provinces other than Quebec. If I understand correctly, the Quebec system is slightly different, and you deliver it through the military family resource centres. I also believe I understood that there are three in Quebec, in Valcartier, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Montreal. Finally, we often hear that some people deal directly with Veterans Affairs. That happens less in Quebec than elsewhere, since they go through the resource centre.
If I misunderstood certain points, could you clarify them?
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-10-18 16:41
Very well. That was very clear.
As for training, I am a bit surprised by what I heard. Earlier you said that most veterans had a high school diploma and had trouble finding work. It seems surprising, given all of the expertise that people acquire in the armed forces, that they cannot obtain equivalences or a certificate. Could that option be looked at, so that these people don't find themselves at a disadvantage when they return to civilian life? Could the army not consider the experience they acquired in the forces so that it can be recognized afterwards?
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-10-18 16:43
I am going to try to be more specific.
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-10-18 16:43
I understand what you are telling me. You try to obtain equivalences for people once they have left the army. But could that not be done in the course of...
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-10-18 16:43
Yes, I am talking about their career path in the army. If a soldier is a plumber, electrician or policeman in the army, training could be provided at the same time as he is doing his military service. When he or she returns to civilian life, they would already have vocational qualifications.
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-10-06 16:16
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'd like to thank the witnesses for being here today.
First of all, Mr. Walbourne, I want to congratulate you on your report. It is very reasonable and, most of all, what it contains can be realized quickly. I have a question for you about that.
When you said that the Armed Forces already keep medical reports for members who leave the military for health reasons, there is one question that crossed my mind. Wouldn't there be a conflict of interest there? To reduce costs, is it possible that the recommendations in the military's reports aren't necessarily favourable to the veterans?
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-10-06 16:18
Thank you. Your answer is most reassuring.
I will turn things over to my colleague.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Vice-Chair.
Mr. Walbourne and Ms. Hynes, it's very good to see you here.
I would like to start with the joint personnel support unit. This is directly in your branch, as the ombudsman of DND.
Am I wrong or right that there are two end results possible with JPSU? You either rehabilitate through the services or you get out of the army. My understanding is that we keep it as an unknown end, for the most part. It's not clear from the beginning. But should there be a diagnosis right at the beginning that this member will most probably never come back and thus we should engage right away in filling in the forms and getting ready for the release? That way, as soon as the two years end, the benefits would start coming in and the services would start right away.
I might be wrong, but it seems to me like there's an unknown waiting time.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay. Did you ever hear any comments on the VAC and the DND staff? Do they work closely together? How is the relationship? Do you have anything to say about that in the JPSU?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Do you think the JPSU should not be on the base? As Madam Lockhart said, it was a problem for many in the military to go to the base.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
What's the percentage of army recruits in a year who will eventually be medically released? Do you have any numbers on that?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I'm not sure if it's part of your mandate, but do you believe we should invest more in service delivery or in benefits? The $3.7-billion retroactive for disability awards could have been used for service delivery, processing or enhancing that service delivery window. What's your opinion?
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 Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-10-04 16:34
Hello. Thank you for being here. I'm a new member of the committee.
My questions are more factual, and they are for Mr. Garsch.
You said you were released. As Mr. Doucette mentioned, a military career is generally thought to last 35 years. However, based on what you told us, you were released very suddenly.
First, can you explain what happened?
Second, I want to know how long a military member remains in the army once he has been released.
Third, was the pension you received afterward established based on the number of years of service or your salary?
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-10-04 16:36
How is the pension calculated, for example, if you accumulated 10 years of service or less? Is it based on your salary or the number of years spent in the Canadian Forces?
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-10-04 16:37
Now it's 90%.
If you have not done 10 years—
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-10-04 16:37
Thank you.
Mr. Doucette, there seems to be transition issues. I'm also a member of the Standing Committee on National Defence, and two issues were brought to our attention regarding integration into civilian life. First, people aren't aware of the services provided, and second, it's difficult to obtain those services.
Regarding the first step, which is to be aware of the services provided, couldn't the Department of Defence prepare military members, for example, six years before the transition? That way, people wouldn't be presented with a fait accompli when they return to civilian life and need to find all the necessary information.
Could that be a solution? Could the Canadian Armed Forces prepare military members for their new life?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Bungay, Mr. Garsch, Mr. Estabrooks and Mr. Doucette, thank you for being here.
We, as committee members, are fully aware of the courage it takes to come here and share with us your personal stories, so thank you very much for taking the energy to do this. For us, you're very precious as witnesses today because I think you all are doing something right now in life that puts you in contact with a lot of veterans each day, every day, so I have some general questions that I would like all of you to answer, one after the other. Maybe we can start each time with Mr. Doucette.
Because you hear veterans every single day of your life and hear their problems and concerns, can you please tell me what, according to you—because here we're studying service delivery, so sometimes we have to ask specific questions on that—is the number-one problem with service delivery, that is to say, from what you've heard?
Monsieur Doucette, please.
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)
Mr. Garsch, what is the number-one problem with service delivery?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Bungay, if I correctly understood, you said there are two problems with the JPSU. First, it's on the base. Second, they are closed-minded; for example, they don't accept your services.
Now the question is for everyone, starting with Monsieur Doucette, please. What's wrong with JPSU, besides those two things?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Estabrooks, what would you add that is wrong with the JPSU?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Robert, thank you very much.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you all for being here with us today.
To the Veterans Transition Network, I visited your installation in Vancouver when I was there last May.
I am very pleased that representatives from the Maison de la Vigile came to meet with the committee. I live near the Maison de la Vigile in Quebec City and I can say that you are doing a great job. Thank you very much.
We may have to interrupt you sometimes because we have a number of questions for you. Do not be taken aback by that.
Inevitably, you work with veterans very often. In fact, you work with them every day and I imagine that many of them express their discontent, rightly or wrongly, with case managers and with the way the Department of Veterans Affairs operates.
What do you think of the administrative process and the organizational practices of Veterans Affairs Canada? What is your relationship with case managers? How do you see the department’s way of operating? Are the administrative processes followed properly? Are there things that need to be replaced?
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)
Your document points out that veterans’ family members do not necessarily have easy access to the department’s case managers. This committee has, on several occasions, come across that problem of family members’ lack of access to case managers. Does that complaint come up often?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Speaking of La Vigile’s services, at what point do you feel that they really should be available on a broad scale? Clearly, there is a need. Is the department having discussions with you about possibly expanding your services?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Can a member of the family call you to say that someone needs your services, for example?
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-09-29 16:34
Thank you.
My thanks to the witnesses for joining us.
I have two questions for the people from the Maison La Vigile. I will ask them together so that the person answering can put the focus where they see fit.
The number of Veterans Affairs Canada's clients increased by 19% between 2013 and 2015. In the first part of 2016, that figure went to 29%. In Quebec, are the services available to veterans sufficient to meet the needs?
You mentioned that one of the main problems for veterans is alcohol and drug use. Do veterans also have difficulty in getting into the labour market after their military careers? How do they adapt to their new lives? Is it a widespread problem that veterans, after their careers in the military, have difficulty finding jobs and getting into the labour market? How are they adapting to their new lives?
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-09-29 16:36
You have seen an increase in the number of veterans, your clients. As you perceive the market, are the needs being met? Are there sufficient resources and services available in Quebec to meet the needs of veterans?
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-09-22 15:30
Thank you.
I am a member from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.
My whip asked me to be a member of this committee to replace Madame Romanado. I will be the link with defence as I am a member of the defence committee. I've heard about your committee and it looks very interesting, so I am pleased to join you.
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-09-22 16:31
Thank you for sharing your knowledge on what is a new experience for me.
You said that all over Canada there are different needs and different experiences for organizations. They don't have the same experience. If we talk about French speakers in Quebec and French speakers outside Quebec, that's two million people. Do you see a difference between the English family and the French family?
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-09-22 16:33
I think there is less of a military culture in the province of Quebec. Mrs. Lowther, you said you help 12,000 veterans. How many of those people are from Quebec? Another thing, you spoke about volunteers. Is it easy in Quebec to find volunteers to help veterans? Is the Legion an organization that is involved with veterans as well?
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2016-09-22 16:35
I won't give the answer, but in part history can explain that—but it is changing a lot.
On the question about the Legion, is the Legion a good reference for veterans?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I would like to thank the three witnesses with us here today.
Wearing a uniform in Montreal is not easy, but it is not as difficult in Quebec City.
My first question is for Ms. Spinks.
Your institute deals not only with veterans' families, is that correct?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay.
In families other than veterans' families, have you seen the same kind of symptoms and crises as in veterans' families?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much but, unfortunately, due to time constraints, I have to move on to my second question.
When you talk to veterans' families, what are the three recurring problems they face with respect to service delivery?
You may also wish to provide your answers in writing and by email.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you.
Ms. Lowther, you said you are constantly dealing with veterans in crisis. What type of crisis do you see most often?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
We always hear about the delay-and-deny culture inside VAC, and that happens wherever I go to meet veterans, in whatever province. Is this based on a false impression? Is it based on incomprehension on the part of our veterans in terms of how the system is working? Is it because of their PTSD? According to you, is it true that in some cases there is a delay-and-deny culture?
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)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Hello, Mr. Saez. I am very pleased to have you with us today.
A few months ago, I attended a Veterans' Review and Appeal Board hearing. I was impressed by the passion shown by the lawyer defending the veteran's case. Quite clearly, their heart is in the right place.
Your office was created in 1971. I would like to know how many lawyers you had on staff at that time.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
That's interesting.
Does Veterans Affairs pay your lawyers' salaries?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
In general, do your lawyers stay with the organization for a long time or is there significant staff turnover?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you.
Of course, the new veterans' charter came into effect in 2006. Would you like to share any observations on the impact of the charter on the type of cases you handle? I would like to hear your observations please.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you.
Has the number of lawyers in your office increased since 2006?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Has your office seen an increase in requests for your services since 2006?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
That's interesting.
In closing, I would like to point out that the name of your organization, the Bureau of Pensions Advocates, does not necessarily reflect current realities. In fact, the new system does not deal with pensions alone.
View Sherry Romanado Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you to you and your team for what you're doing to help our veterans.
You mentioned that there are 30 lawyers, approximately 350 cases a year, and 195 completed per year. As my colleague was mentioning, there is obviously a bit of a backlog.
What is the average amount of time from when a veteran applies for the review through your service until the initial analysis is done and the decision is made as to whether it will be counselled out or it will go ahead? What is the timeline for that?
View Sherry Romanado Profile
Lib. (QC)
In terms of staffing, you mentioned approximately 100 people working at BPA, 30 of them being lawyers. Do you have legal aides assisting lawyers as well?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Hello. Thank you for being here with us this evening.
Yesterday evening, when we were in Toronto—yes, that's right; we have moved around so much that I nearly forgot where we were last night—, the veterans we met mentioned some of the department's practices that they consider disgusting.
Are you aware of the department's good and not so good practices in its daily dealings with veterans?
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)
You both talked about the option of restoring the disability pension. I would like to hear your views on that. Would you like it to be similar to the 1919 pension model or are you thinking of a different model?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Good evening, everyone.
Thank you very much for being with us tonight. It's an honour to have you here.
My name is Alupa Clarke, and I'm the MP for Beauport—Limoilou. It's a riding in the beautiful Quebec City, the oldest city in Canada. I'm also the official opposition critic for Veterans Affairs. I come from a military family. My father was military, my brother went to Afghanistan, and I just released last November.
My goal, and our goal, is really to be able to see what has happened since 2006 with the new Veterans Charter, how the system improved or did not improve the situation for veterans, and to make sure that we make a report that will put forward new changes to the NVC so that veterans have the delivery of service they should have. I also think it's very important that we take a look at the internal workings of the department to make sure there's a culture that's open to veterans.
These are some of the subjects I would like to hear about tonight, if you have anything to say about them. Thank you very much for being here. I very much look forward to hearing what you have to say.
Thank you.
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)
Okay. From the beginning until last year, before Bill C-59, were you receiving money from SISIP?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Then since last summer, you started to receive earnings loss benefit from the new bill. Is that right?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Callaghan, obviously you're well educated, with a Ph.D. in anthropology—
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)
You said the diagnosis of the PTSD you are suffering from was not accepted by the ministry?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Just before turning to Madam Northey, I have a last question for you. I would first like to let you know that it would be good if you could send us the list of each of those papers that you have to fill out. I would like to know what exactly those forms are.
My other question for you is in regard to your saying you have concerns about the OSI clinic. You said you didn't really want to talk about it because you don't want to put it in jeopardy, but it will not be in jeopardy; it will stay there. I would like to hear those concerns you have about the way it is run.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Could you please write those concerns to the committee and send that through the clerk? Thank you very much.
Madam Northey, I'd like to hear what you have to say concerning the effectiveness of VAC. I think it might be true that they're not plan-centric, outcome driven.
I would just make note of this brainstorming here, so you know. There is the law that has services and benefits. On the other side, you have the veterans who are recipients of these delivery services or benefits, and you have VAC in the middle.
I'm mean I'm just going out there to try to find solutions. When I meet with VAC employees, they're all good people. I might say bad things right now, but it has nothing to do with the people working there.
Sometimes it seems that the ministry is more of an organization there to deal with the restraint budget and to allocate, in the most restrictive manner, the allowances and benefits and the service delivery. It seems it is that instead of being an organization which has to make sure that the people who most need it will receive the benefits and services and that they reach out to the most possible number of veterans.
In a way, its logic is more serving the state than it is serving the beneficiaries, who are the veterans. I think that's what you're saying.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Madam Northey, the last five minutes were really interesting because, for a few weeks on this committee, we talked about the fact that before it took one year, and now it takes 16 weeks. You said that weeks are important in the waiting time for the approval or disapproval of benefits. You said it's important to calculate the outcomes and the expectations of results, but it's not necessarily what should be looked at first. That's very interesting, because it's like we're stepping out of the paradigm right now.
You said that the most important thing is to see if the expectations of the veterans—in this case it's veterans—are satisfied. But again I feel that's not the goal of the ministry, and maybe it should be looking at what's going on right now. I don't think they're trying to satisfy the expectations of veterans, but trying to satisfy the way the state wants to deal with veterans.
That was just an aside.
About the Legion, sir, I was at the 46th congress of the Legion in Newfoundland this weekend. I was talking to a lot of commanders in the province and everything. They are also getting sick and tired of civilians in the Legion. They say good things about that, of course, but they feel that civilians have turned the Legion into a social club to fill in times when they're bored, more than an organization for getting together and talking about problems that are realized and things of that sort.
I simply want to tell you that some officials in the Legion feel the same way as you do about the Legion.
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)
I have one last comment for you. I don't know if, in your research, you have looked at autochthone Canadian veterans. We have had some of those groups at our committee. They have a whole other way of dealing with those mental issues, through their communities. I don't know if you saw that in your research, if you looked at it.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you for joining us this morning. It is an honour to have you with us here at the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs. All the more so because, if I am not mistaken, this is the first time that we have with us both Canadian Armed Forces personnel and a number of representatives from Veterans Affairs Canada.
We have so many questions to ask you that it is difficult to decide where to start. I would specifically like to talk to Ms. Douglas, Ms. Pellerin, and Mr. Cormier.
I am sure you are aware that a number of veterans have come here in recent months; they have had many complaints about the programs and services provided by your department. They have mentioned benefits, red tape and other problems.
Transition interviews have been held for two years. I myself was released from the Canadian Armed Forces a few months ago, and I had my transition interview by telephone the day before yesterday. It was a very interesting experience. I found it was very well done.
I have noticed that most veterans who have come to tell us about their concerns and their complaints about the treatment they have received were released more than two years ago.
Can you share with us your data, if you have any, about veterans who have been released in the last two years and who have gone through transition interviews? Have the interviews made a difference? Have they improved the situation for veterans?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I am sorry to interrupt you. I understand the end goal of the transition interview, but I'll be more specific. Have you been receiving fewer complaints since you have been doing these kinds of transition interviews? We want to know if this transition interview is actually stopping a lot of the problems.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much.
Ms. Langlois, you are responsible for the joint personnel support unit. Someone told me that there were not enough senior military personnel, officers, in that unit.
Has that problem been solved?
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)
However, your surgeon general cannot mention when the event took place in his report.
View Sherry Romanado Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
First, I would like to thank you for your contribution to our country. Thank you also for being here today.
We've just heard that 10,000 regular and reserve members transition out of the Canadian Armed Forces every year.
My question is for you, Madam Douglas. What percentage of them have a transition interview?
View Sherry Romanado Profile
Lib. (QC)
How soon after the decision to leave, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, does this transition interview happen?
View Sherry Romanado Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you.
Okay. Fifty per cent of releasing members do not have a transition interview, so they do not necessarily know what services are available to them, and you do not know if they're going to need help. It's a reactive approach rather than a proactive approach for half of the transitioning members, if I understand it correctly.
Now I'm going to switch gears, General. We talked a bit about universality of service and mental health. You mentioned that our CDS is very much dedicated to making sure that the issue of mental health in the military is not hidden and that folks do seek out support. I know for a fact that's not happening, because my son just lost two classmates, and they hadn't even seen service. There is still that stigma and there is still that fear of coming forward to say, “I need help now.”
I know that when folks join the Canadian Armed Forces, there are actual medical, physical, and mental requirements to be able to join. We're talking about the few who would probably not have mental illness who are actually being selected, yet we still have a lot of suicides.
I'm concerned that it is not getting down to the ranks, right down to the students who are studying at our military colleges, that they can seek help. I'd like to know what concrete measures are happening—rather than Bell's Let's Talk initiative or twice-a-year conversations—so that our students are not suffering in silence and our active members are not suffering in silence. Could you could elaborate on that, please?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Welcome, Mr. Ombudsman, Ms. Hynes. I am very pleased that you are appearing before the committee this morning. Thank you for the exceptional work you are doing.
Mr. Ombudsman, you mentioned integrated personnel support centres, or IPSCs. Were you talking about non-military personnel? Did I understand what you said correctly?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Some veterans have said that there are not enough senior military people. In those integrated personnel support centres, there were a lot of people in the ranks, but not many officers. I have been told that the lack of senior military people indirectly leads to suicides, in the sense that there are not enough superiors to take direct charge of the soldiers and to supervise them closely. An officer cannot really observe who among his troops is not doing well when he has to handle 50 people rather than 30, which is the normal number for a lieutenant, for example.
Are you aware of those problems? If so, what have you told the army so that they can rectify the situation?
Results: 1 - 100 of 252 | Page: 1 of 3

1
2
3
>
>|
Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data