Stakeholder Engagement Highlights Yellowknife, NT

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

On September 6, 2017, the Veterans Ombudsman held a stakeholder meeting in Yellowknife. Representatives from various groups and organizations that support Veterans and their families in the North attended the event.

Highlights:

Transition

  • The military needs to be more involved in the transition process.
  • The families of transitioning members experience unique challenges and often require specific types of support, for example, when it comes to finding employment.
  • There is no universality of service and no mandatory retirement for Rangers, which means:
    • there are serving Rangers in their 80's with 50+ years of service who don’t transition because they aren't being released; and
    • it is difficult to link a Ranger’s injuries to their service.

Communication

  • Veterans need a one-stop shop for information on benefits. Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) is seen as the go-to for injured Veterans, but if you're not injured, you don't know where to go.
  • VAC needs to do outreach in the North, with Veterans as well as serving members.

Accessing programs and services

  • Veterans have difficulty accessing specialized medical support, in particular, mental health support, having to travel to Edmonton for access to some specialists.
  • Third parties are sometimes in a better position to be nimble. They can provide services, programs, and new or alternative treatments, where there may be insufficient empirical evidence for VAC to provide funding.

Attendees:

  • Joint Task Force North
  • RCMP
  • Yellowknife Senior Society
  • Yellowknife Association for Community Living
  • Wounded Warriors
  • Yellowknife Disabilities Council
  • Military Family Resource Center (MFRC)
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