Stakeholder Engagement Highlights Nanaimo, BC

The views expressed in this summary are those of individuals and do not represent the views of the Veterans Ombudsman and his office.

On July 4, 2017, the Ombudsman held a stakeholder meeting in Nanaimo with representatives from various groups and organizations that support Veterans and their families.

Highlights:

Homelessness

  • Many Veterans do not realize that they are considered Veterans. Many of these Veterans are living on the street and do not realize that they are eligible for certain benefits.
  • There is no affordable housing in B.C. for homeless Veterans.
  • There is a disconnect between municipal and provincial governments on the issue of homelessness, which makes it difficult to create affordable housing.

Veterans Experience

  • VAC’s benefit matrix is very complicated.
  • Many Veteran families are unaware of the benefits that are available.
  • There are Veterans who feel like they are denied without explanation, and they areoverwhelmed by the endless paperwork.
  • The educational benefits are difficult to access.

Health (Continuum of Care)

  • The question of long-term care for the next wave of Veterans who will need care was raised. It is important to start thinking about what infrastructure will be available for the next wave of aging Veterans with PTSD, etc.

Marijuana

  • There is a concern that reduced access to medical marijuana means turning to street drugs.

Representation

  • There is a lack of Veteran representation on the Prime Minister’s Homeless Committee.

Attendees:

  • Mayor of Nanaimo
  • Korea Veterans Association of Canada – Nanaimo Branch and Sergeant at Arms for the Canadian Aboriginal
  • Veterans Association
  • VETS Canada, Victoria
  • Comox Peer Support Coordinator, OSISS
  • Royal Canadian Legion (Vancouver Island)
  • Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs
  • Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead Care
  • Royal Canadian Legion Branch 257
  • Royal Canadian Legion Branch 10, Nanaimo
  • MP Nanaimo-Ladysmith
  • RCMP Veterans Association
  • PPCLI (Mid Island branch)
  • Veteran Transition Network
  • MLA Nanaimo
  • Equitas Society Veterans Council
  • Together We Can
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