10 Years of Recommendations – Is the Government Making Sufficient Progress?

Ottawa, ON - July 31, 2018

As the Veterans Ombudsman I am committed to advocating for the fair treatment of all Veterans and their families.  I work to ensure that adequate benefits are available, that these benefits are sufficient to meet needs, and that benefits are quickly and easily accessible. Through the evidence-based research of my office, I inform discussion, encourage debate, make recommendations for improvement, and monitor progress. 

Today I am posting a Report Card of all of the recommendations made by my office since 2008.  This updates my February 2017 Report Card where I noted that 37 of 57 recommendations had been addressed. 

Since my 2017 status update, I have added 17 recommendations to the reportRecommendations Addressed: 2017 = 65%, 2018 = 72% card, bringing the total number to 74.  The Government has addressed 46 of these, either fully or partially, and in reviewing all recommendations made since 2008, I have determined that 10 are no longer relevant or were overtaken by events, leaving 18 still to be addressed.  So the final score is 46 / 64 recommendations addressed.

While progress has been made since my update last year, I am still concerned about a few areas.  Of the 18 recommendations yet to be addressed, among the most important from my perspective are the following:

  • ensure that the reimbursement of treatment expenses under the Veterans Well-being Act is retroactive to the date of the original application, as it is under the Pension Act.
  • amend the Veterans Well-being Act to permit a single Canadian Armed Forces member with no dependent children to designate a family member to apply for and receive the Death Benefit.
  • provide the same access to the Treasury Board Pensioner Dental Service Plan as provided by VAC under the Public Service Health Care Plan.

I encourage you to look at the Report Card, grouped according to 5 themes: Financial Security; Transition Planning and Preparedness; Finding Purpose; Health Care & Support; and Service Experience.

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