Report on Saskatchewan Outreach Activities

Ottawa - May 4, 2012

I have recently returned from Saskatchewan, where I spent a week meeting with Veterans in Moose Jaw, Regina and Saskatoon. I was pleased with the turnout to our public events and enjoyed meeting with the many military and RCMP members, Veterans, families and others who came together to host my team and I.

We spent one day in Moose Jaw, where I met with the mayor, Glenn Hagel and LCol Brian Murray, acting commander of 15 Wing. I wanted to make sure that they were aware of the assistance that the Office can provide, as well as invite them to the town hall that we held in Moose Jaw that evening.

I then drove to Regina to meet with almost 40 RCMP members and staff. Many RCMP members and Veterans do not realize that I represent them. There are currently 16,500 RCMP Veterans and 22,000 serving members of the RCMP who may potentially be eligible for benefits from Veterans Affairs Canada. I make sure that I reach out to the local RCMP detachments every time I travel for an outreach event to ensure that they are aware of the assistance and support that the Office can provide to them. This was especially important to do in Saskatchewan, given the high number of RCMP members and Veterans in the province.

While in Regina, I met with the Provincial Ombudsman, Mr. Kevin Fenwick. Issues such as long-term care and health care fall under provincial jurisdiction. In instances where the Office needs to intervene on behalf of a Veteran on issues under provincial jurisdiction, we may engage with the provincial ombudsman to bring about change. I also spent several hours at the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre where I had lunch with staff of the Extended Care/Veterans Program. My team and I then spread out and met with most of the 52 residents living in the two Veterans' wings, as well as some of their family members.

We held an afternoon meeting with representatives of the Saskatchewan First Nations Veterans Association to discuss some of the challenges that they are currently facing. I also met with employees of Veterans Affairs Canada to debrief them, as I always do, on the key issues raised at the local town halls.

In Saskatoon, I met with the mayor, Mr. Donald Atchison, as well as the Saskatoon branch of the RCMP Veterans Association and employees of the Saskatoon VAC office. In addition, some of my team met with Dr. Susan Brock, a noted psychologist who specializes in the treatment of trauma within the military and first responder communities.

Guy

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Comments

Scott said:

A Bad Dream!!! Thank God it was a bad dream….I woke up in a sweat… my heart was beating a mile a min. I was looking for the nearest window to jump from…..then I looked up and there was our leader Mike Thanking the Minister of Veteran Affairs (Bang Bang Bang Blaney) for acting so quickly on the Veteran’s Ombudsman recommendations. Thank God it was a bad dream…how many soldiers gave up hope, committed suicide, battered their families from the side-effects of Agent Orange. How many soldiers ate out of garbage cans, how many soldiers cried themselves to sleep because they cannot feed their families and VRAB just told them that their Doctor’s report was not good enough? VRAB has accepted all of the changes and will have them done within 30 days. If it is that easy to make changes why did VAC and VRAB wait until their backs were against the wall…why did they not listen to the Veteran’s cries and tears and pain from their heart. How dare anyone thank the Minister for something that could have been done months ago? Murray Scott Edmonton Alberta

May 9, 2012 1:38 AM