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  • Battle of Passchendaele (N/A, Ontario ) - November 10, 2021 November 10, 2021
    Canadians have a proud history of bravely serving in the cause of peace and freedom over the years. A name from Canada's First World War military heritage that still stirs emotions is “Passchendaele.” On a muddy battlefield in northwest Belgium, Canadians overcame almost unimaginable hardships to win an impressive victory in the fall of 1917. […]
    Government of Canada; Veterans Affairs Canada
  • Battle of the Scheldt (N/A, Ontario ) - October 2, 2021 October 2, 2021
    The Battle of the Scheldt was a military operation in northern Belgium and southwestern Netherlands that took place during the Second World War. On September 12, 1944, the First Canadian Army was given the task of clearing the Scheldt of German occupiers. The first attacks began on September 13, with little success. Click here to […]
    Government of Canada; Veterans Affairs Canada
  • Dieppe Raid (N/A, Ontario ) - August 19, 2021 August 19, 2021
    The Raid on Dieppe, France, on August 19, 1942, was a pivotal moment in the Second World War. With virtually all of continental Europe under German occupation, the Allied forces faced a well-entrenched enemy. Some method had to be found to create a foothold on the continent, and the Raid on Dieppe offered invaluable lessons […]
    Government of Canada; Veterans Affairs Canada
  • The 76th Anniversary of end of war in the Pacific - Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association (Ottawa, Ontario ) - August 15, 2021 August 15, 2021
    The Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association will be hosting a commemorative ceremony on on August 15, 2021 at 0930am, to honour the Veterans of the Defense of Hong Kong and to mark the 76th year of Victory over Japan and the end of the Second World War.   The ceremony will be held at the Hong […]
    Government of Canada; Veterans Affairs Canada
  • VJ-Day / End of the Second World War (N/A, Ontario ) - August 15, 2021 August 15, 2021
    August 15, 1945 marked the end of the war in the Pacific and the end of the Second World War. Click here to discover more on the Second World War: Second World War - Veterans Affairs Canada
    Government of Canada; Veterans Affairs Canada
  • Veteran's Appreciation Golf Tournament (Milton, Ontario ) - August 15, 2021 August 15, 2021
    Come and show your appreciation and support for our Veterans! All veterans will have the entire day compliments of Granite Ridge Golf Club and The Albatross Restaurant. Non Veteran Fee is $75 (includes dinner and golf)
    Government of Canada; Veterans Affairs Canada
  • Battle of Hill 70 (N/A, Ontario ) - August 15, 2021 August 15, 2021
    Canadian soldiers saw heavy action in the First World War and the names of some of their major battles—like Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele—still resonate today in our country's collective memory. An important chapter in our wartime history that is less well remembered, however, came at Hill 70 in France where the Canadian Corps won an […]
    Government of Canada; Veterans Affairs Canada
July 27, 2021

Veterans News

Remember Everyone Deployed

Notes for Remarks by Craig Dalton Veterans Ombudsman to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs (ACVA) on 2019 Report Card and Future Priorities

4 min read


Chair, Committee Members:

Thank you for inviting me here today and for providing me with the opportunity to share the results of our 2019 Office of the Veterans Ombudsman (OVO) Report Card. I would also like to take this opportunity – my first such opportunity to appear before you – to highlight some of our ongoing work as well as outline my priorities going forward. I am joined today by the Deputy Veterans Ombudsman – Sharon Squire.

As you know, the mandate of the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman is to respond to individual complaints from Veterans and their families and, in cases where Veterans are treated unfairly, to work for fair outcomes. We are also mandated to investigate systemic issues and, where appropriate, to make recommendations to improve Veterans Affairs Canada programs and services. The OVO Annual Report Card, first introduced in 2017, is a tool that we use to capture, track and report on action taken in response to recommendations that we have made to Veterans Affairs.  

The aim of the Report Card is twofold. Firstly, it is to acknowledge and highlight progress – to recognize where government has acted on and implemented OVO recommendations to improve services to Veterans. Secondly, and most importantly, the Report Card provides us with an opportunity to shine a light on areas that need further attention; to highlight areas where more work needs to be done to ensure fair outcomes for Veterans.

The 2019 Report Card does just that. Over the past year, the Government has fully implemented 6 and partially implemented 4 additional OVO recommendations. Of particular note, the following changes have been implemented to improve programs and services for Veterans:

1. Veterans will now be retroactively compensated for treatment benefits from the date of disability application as opposed to the date of decision;

2. at the age of 65,  Veterans with a diminished earnings capacity will now receive 70 percent of their  Income Replacement Benefit; and,

3. issuance of a Veterans Service Card

These are much needed and well-received improvements. At the same time, it is also important to shine a light on areas that have not yet received the level of attention necessary to effect change. At present, there are 13 outstanding OVO recommendations that have yet to be implemented. The majority of outstanding recommendations are in the areas of “Health Care Supports” and “Service Delivery” – the two areas that continue to make up the majority of complaints that we receive from Veterans. Of these outstanding recommendations, I have recommended the following as priority action items to the Minister of Veterans Affairs:

  1. Expanding access to caregiver benefits that assist injured Veterans with meeting their daily needs, ranging from activities like household tasks, transportation to medical appointments, and child care.
  2. Providing fair and adequate access to long term care and the Veterans Independence Program.

  3. Covering mental health treatment for family members in their own right.

The OVO will follow the Government’s actions closely on remaining recommendations and will keep you and Canadians informed as we continue our work to support fair outcomes for individual Veterans and make recommendations to improve programs and services.

I would also like to take this opportunity to share my priorities with you – priorities that have been developed over the past few months based on what we have heard from individual Veterans and their families and through engagement with Veterans organizations, Veterans advocates, the Veterans Ombudsman Advisory Council and a variety of stakeholder and partners.

My priorities are:

  1. OVO direct support to Veterans – to enhance front-line ombudsman services to Veterans and their families (this work is ongoing);
  2. Health Care Supports – to examine health care supports provided to Veterans and their families with a particular emphasis on those with a mental health diagnosis;
  3. Transition – to begin with an evaluation of vocational rehabilitation program and service outcomes;
  4. Families – to evaluate the effectiveness of VAC programs and services provided to families;
  5. Women Veterans –   to evaluate the effectiveness of VAC programs and services provided to women Veterans;
  6. Reserve Veterans – to evaluate the effectiveness of VAC programs and services provided to Reserve Veterans (this work is ongoing); and
  7. Financial Security – to monitor implementation and complete a financial analysis of Pension for Life (this work is ongoing).

 

In summary, the 2019 Report Card highlights a number of improvements to Veteran programs and services. It also highlights areas where more work needs to be done. We, at the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman remain committed to doing our part and to working with Veterans and with any and all Veteran stakeholders and partners to continue to advance fairness for Veterans and their families. Thank you. I look forward to your questions.

 

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