Veterans Vocational Training = Sound Economic and National Security Policy

Ottawa – August 29, 2013

On August 26th I released my report entitled Investing in Veterans Vocational Training. The report examines the delivery and adequacy of Veterans Affairs Canada’s vocational rehabilitation and assistance services and presents recommendations to ensure that Veterans Affairs Canada maintains its commitment to effectively re-establish Veterans into civilian life.

There is no question that successful rehabilitation and vocational training are integral to the success and self-fulfillment of Veterans and their families. The positive effect of being able to provide and care for oneself and family cannot be understated. Providing the best opportunities to those who have put their lives on the line for Canada and are now impacted by their service is an obligation that is recognized and needs to be fulfilled. In addition, successful transition from military to civilian life has important implications for Canadian society that go beyond the individuals directly involved.

Former Canadian Armed Forces members are well-trained and highly skilled, and have a great deal to offer to the Canadian workforce and economy. Capitalizing and leveraging this human capital resource by providing effective transition services makes a great deal of sense as a strategic reinvestment to strengthen Canada’s economy.

It also addresses a national security need in that the care Canada provides for its Veterans has a direct effect on the Canadian Armed Forces’ ability to recruit and retain the best that Canada has to offer, as well as on the morale of the men and women who serve. Both of these elements inevitably influence the Canadian Armed Forces’ ability to conduct operations both domestically and abroad. As George Washington said: “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.”

Very shortly I will be publishing the New Veterans Charter Report and Actuarial Analysis, which will provide key means of mitigating the economic loss of being released prematurely as a result of injury or illness by providing recommendations to Veterans Affairs Canada which, if implemented, would provide Veterans with positive opportunities for their future welfare.

Providing effective vocational rehabilitation assistance to Veterans is a fulfillment of our recognized obligation to support those who stand on guard for Canada and a matter of sound economic and national security policy. Our Veterans deserve no less.

Guy

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