Improving the New Veterans Charter, the Way Ahead
Ottawa - April 16, 2013
On April 4, 2013, I released my report, Improving the New Veterans Charter: The Parliamentary Review. Its purpose is twofold: to focus discussion for this fall’s parliamentary committee review of the enhancements to the New Veterans Charter that resulted from the coming into force of Bill C-55 on October 3, 2011; and to act as a catalyst to broaden the review of the New Veterans Charter.
The report focuses on three key transition issues: financial instability and decreased standard of living caused by reduced post-release income and insufficient financial support after age 65; limitations in vocational rehabilitation and assistance support, which can affect second career aspirations and employment options; and difficult family environment situations due to insufficient family support.
Why did I focus on these transition issues in my report? It is because, after analyzing the more than 200 recommendations for improvements to the New Veterans Charter proposed in various reports since 2006, I found that 145 dealt with these three key transition issues. I believe that they need to be addressed urgently because they can potentially affect a Veteran throughout his or her life.
I encourage you to read the report and send me your comments. The parliamentary review is an opportunity to ensure that the New Veterans Charter is truly a "living" charter that evolves over time to meet the changing needs of Veterans and their families. It is important that your voice is heard.
Through this spring into early summer, I will be meeting with Veterans and their families and Veterans’ organizations across Canada to discuss the parliamentary review. When my consultations are complete, I will publish a follow-up report with specific evidence-based recommendations to address the Charter’s shortcomings in the support provided to injured or ill Veterans and their families as they transition to civilian life.
The full report is available online at www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/reports-rapports/reviewcharter01-examencharte01-01-2013-eng.cfm.
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