Veterans Ombudsman Releases New Veterans Charter Action PlanOctober 1, 2013
Ottawa, Ontario – Today, Canada's Veterans Ombudsman, Guy Parent, released his Report on the New Veterans Charter accompanied by an Actuarial Analysis. The report puts forward evidenced-based recommendations that address shortcomings in three New Veterans Charter program areas: financial, vocational rehabilitation and assistance, and family support. This is the first time that recommendations for improvements to the New Veterans Charter have been supported by an actuarial analysis that pinpoint exactly where the current suite of New Veterans Charter benefits are failing some Veterans today, and will continue to fail them unless changes are made quickly.
“I believe that this report breaks new ground on how we view the New Veterans Charter,” said Mr. Parent. “There are no hypotheses or speculations in my Report, just evidence-based facts and analysis with recommendations. If it is given the consideration that I believe it deserves, it could well be a game changer by serving as the baseline of how the Charter should be evaluated today and in the future.”
Mr. Parent is encouraged that the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, agreed to his recommendation for a comprehensive review of the New Veterans Charter, including all enhancements, with special focus placed on the most seriously injured, support for families and the delivery of programs by Veterans Affairs Canada.
Notwithstanding the enhancements brought about by the Enhanced New Veterans Charter Act, Bill C-55, in 2011, Veterans and their families continue to face problems. “I urge the government to use my Report on the New Veterans Charter and its Actuarial Analysis as the blueprint for action for the upcoming parliamentary committee hearings this fall, and to move quickly to address the transition support shortcomings put forth in my report.
“I also urge the government to institute a regular two-year Charter review to demonstrate to Veterans and their families, and to all Canadians, that the parliamentarians who unanimously voted in the New Veterans Charter in 2005 are going to steadfastly stand up for the promise that they made to our Veterans.”
In the last 16 months, the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman has conducted the most comprehensive and intensive research and analysis work that it has undertaken. “In addition, I have personally tested our growing body of recommendations with almost all Veterans' organizations across the country, as well as with other stakeholder groups with an interest in Veterans' issues,” said Mr. Parent. “I have also had multiple working consultations with Veterans and their families and have briefed parliamentarians on my team’s findings."
“The bottom line is this,” said Mr. Parent, “We either deal with these issues now or we are going to have to deal with the human cost later ... when it will cost us much more. Concrete and urgent action is required to implement the recommendations in my Report. Our Veterans deserve no less in return for their service and sacrifice to Canada.”– 30 –
Media inquiries:Lucille Hodgins
Office of the Veterans Ombudsman