Ottawa – January 21, 2013
As this is my first blog in 2013, I want to begin by offering each and every one of you my very best wishes for the New Year. I also want to remind you to call the Office if you have questions or concerns about the benefits and services provided by Veterans Affairs Canada. My team is there to assist you, so please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-330-4343. As I have said before, and it’s worth repeating, one call to the Office can help resolve issues for hundreds of Veterans. You’ll find examples of cases resolved or issues that the Office is working on as a result of calls received in our recently released annual report.
I am eager to resume outreach activities, starting with the Ottawa-Gatineau region during the last two weeks of January. There will be a town hall in Aylmer on January 28 and one in Ottawa on January 29. I am looking forward to these town halls and hope that many of you in the region can attend.
The last town hall was in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu in November, and what a town hall it was! There were very interesting exchanges on a variety of subjects, including the challenges of transitioning to civilian life, particularly for those with mental health issues. Again, it was nice to see Veterans of all ages participating in the discussions.
I also attended last November the third annual Military and Veterans Health Research Forum, organized by the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research in Kingston, Ontario. The Institute serves as a focal point for over 25 Canadian universities to work together on research related to the needs of military members, Veterans and their families. I find it reassuring to see the level of interest among researchers and policy-makers who work on a variety of projects with one common focus: the health and well-being of current and former members of the Canadian Forces. I expect, and hope, that within a few years we will be able to rely a lot more on Canadian information to establish causality between illnesses and injuries and service rather than medical information from the United States.
Back to outreach plans – after Ottawa-Gatineau, Newfoundland and Labrador. As soon as the plans are finalized, I will let you know.
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