As I mentioned previously in my blog, the Office has adopted the theme of One Veteran for the period of my mandate. As this theme suggests, I feel very strongly that all Veterans, regardless of their service, should be treated fairly by Veterans Affairs Canada. To the same end, it is crucial that the many voices within the Veterans community come together to share the same goal: to ensure that those who have honourably served our country have access to the benefits and services they need, in recognition of their service and of the individual sacrifices they and their families have made.
In many ways, the concept of coming together to work as one team applies to the Office. With a team that is split between two different locations—one in Ottawa and one in Charlottetown—it is extremely important that geographic distance does not take away from the quality of the work we do to ensure the fair treatment of all Veterans. Our two office locations strive to maintain good communication so that we are able to work together as one team.
While modern technology has simplified the task of working across provinces, it is important to solidify working relationships face-to-face. One way that we have had success in cultivating an efficient working relationship between our two work locations is by holding annual retreats, where Office staff from both locations gather for two days to share information, discuss processes, and connect with colleagues whom they don’t regularly work with face-to-face.
During the second week of June, my team will assemble for an all-staff retreat. This will be an opportunity to foster communication and plan strategically for the year ahead. We will use this time to plan for upcoming outreach tours and systemic reviews, identify possible areas of concern, and generally ensure that the team is working together towards a common goal—the fair treatment of all Veterans. I expect that this retreat will be very informative and productive, and I will be sure to provide an update following our return.
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I read the One Veteran, One Team comment on your site. I completely agree there should be fair and equal treatment of ALL veterans, whether they be Regular, Reserve or RCMP. On that note could the Ombudsman please explain why the RCMP have manged to retain the disabilty pension benefit while still accessing other benefits of the NVC. I am a disabled and medically released CF regular force member and I was shocked to find out the RCMP still get the disabilty pension while CF memeber get the lump(chump) sum. In fact the CF is the only government dept involved in "peace and order" that gets only a lump sum. Why has this happened and why are the RCMP still getting the disabilty pension? This certainly goes against the One Veteran, One Team approach.
June 7, 2012 9:48 AM
Office of the Veterans Ombudsman
The RCMP opted not to sign onto the New Veterans Charter and as such, injured members and Veterans of the RCMP continue to receive benefits under the Pension Act and Part I of the Veterans Health Care Regulations through the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superannuation Act. The Veterans Ombudsman discussed this issue in his blog Building a bridge, one block at a time, (http://ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/blog-blogue/post-eng.cfm?160) and reaffirmed his conviction, encapsulated in the One Veteran theme, that injured Veterans and members of the Canadian Forces and the RCMP should have access to the same benefits and services regardless of the nature of their service and where and when they served.
June 21, 2012 12:49 PM
D Day Veteran's Son said:
My Father, like so many other of his generation, left their families to volunteer and defend this Nation. After landing on D-Day, he was wounded in the Battle of Normandy and the Campaign in North-West Europe. His claim continued to be denied despite wounds that included shrapnel in place for over 55 years. With so many Veterans calling out for assistance, I pray that every Veteran will receive the respect they deserve and your office will be granted the power to meet their needs. It is too late for my Father, however, on this 68th Anniversary of D-Day, the sacrifices of those who have gone before us must be honoured and passed to Veterans who follow. Thank you for taking on this critically important role.