• 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 28, 2021

Veterans News

Remember Everyone Deployed

Speaking Notes: Sharon Squire, Deputy Veterans Ombudsman – Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs

3 min read

Chair, Committee Members,

Thank you for your invitation to appear today to discuss Bill C-15, The Budget Implementation Act, as it pertains to Canada’s Veterans.

I am appearing on behalf of Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent. Yesterday, he shared his opinion on Bill C-15 at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. However, today he was committed to be in Quebec City for the Annual Director General Meeting of Military Family Resource Centres, so I am appearing for him.

The Veterans Ombudsman and his team frequently meet with and listen to the concerns of Veterans and their families across Canada. Whether in individual meetings, at town halls, events, or via Twitter chats, we hear upfront what is and what is not working for Canada’s Veterans and their families.

We believe that Bill C-15 addresses several of our key recommendations in both the 2013 Report on the New Veterans Charter and the 2014 Report on the Permanent Impairment Allowance and the Permanent Impairment Allowance Supplement.

Although it is too early to provide you with an evidence-based analysis on the effectiveness or fairness of the proposed legislative changes in Bill C-15 – because we simply do not have the details – we do consider it to be a movement in the right direction, albeit with some reservations.

Division 2 of The Budget Implementation Act takes steps to help Veterans and their families by:

  • Increasing the Earnings Loss Benefit to 90 percent of an eligible Veteran’s military salary. According to Veterans Affairs Canada’s numbers, this will provide increased short-term financial support to approximately 3,000 Veterans while they participate in the Department’s rehabilitation programs. It will also provide increased long-term financial support to around 2,000 of the most seriously impaired Veterans for life. However, what we do not know is for those Veterans in receipt of the SISIP Long Term Disability Benefit – which is at 75 percent of their pre-release salary– will this be increased to ensure fairness?
  • Changing Permanent Impairment Allowance grade determination. Although we do not have the details of what this change will be, we are hopeful that it will better support Veterans with career-limiting service-related injuries by providing access to higher grade levels. Also, we are pleased to see the program renamed Career Impact Allowance in order to better reflect the original intent.
  • Replacing “Totally and Permanently Incapacitated” with “Diminished Earnings Capacity”. There is no definition of Diminished Earnings Capacity, so it is difficult to assess the impact of this change without knowing the details. However, we need to clearly understand how it will be defined and applied to ensure it meets the needs of Veterans.
  • Raising the Disability Award to $360,000. This change will align the Disability Award with what Canadians can receive through the courts. It will also provide retroactively to approximately 55,000 Veterans a one-time increase to the Disability Award that they have already received.
  • Increasing the Death Benefit to $360,000. Once implemented, this will provide better support to the family members of those who have paid the ultimate price.

These changes, especially those to the Disability Award, will have a positive impact on all Veterans receiving benefits under the New Veterans Charter. Other changes, such as those to the Earnings Loss Benefit and the Permanent Impairment Allowance, will provide greater life-time financial security to the Veterans who are the most vulnerable and have the greatest need for support.

However, although many of the initiatives announced in the Budget may indirectly support Veterans’ families, no action was taken to provide financial compensation for family members who give up their employment to become the primary caregivers for severely impaired Veterans. And, it is paramount that we define and achieve the desired outcome for Veterans for lifetime financial security. These are priorities for the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman and are critical to ensuring that our most vulnerable Veterans and their families are supported.

In closing, we believe that Budget 2016 is a promising start; now we need a clear action plan and an evidence-based evaluation approach to determine what the impact of these changes will be on Veterans and their families. Veterans and their families deserve no less.

Thank you. 

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