Veterans Ombudsman Responds to Minister of Veterans Affairs' Announcement on Opening New Veterans Charter to Review

September 26, 2013

Ottawa, Ontario Guy Parent, Canada's Veterans Ombudsman, is pleased that the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, has agreed with his recommendation to conduct a comprehensive review of the New Veterans Charter, including all enhancements, with a special focus placed on the most seriously injured, support for families and the delivery of programs by Veterans Affairs Canada. "I congratulate the Minister of Veterans Affairs for having the fortitude to take this most important step forward," said Mr. Parent.

"In the last 16 months, the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman has conducted the most comprehensive and intensive research and analysis work that it has undertaken since it opened in 2007," said Mr. Parent. "In the last six months, I have also personally tested our growing body of recommendations with almost all Veterans' organizations across the country, as well as with other stakeholder groups with an interest in Veterans' issues. I have also had multiple working consultations with Veterans and their families and have briefed parliamentarians on my team’s findings."

On Tuesday, October 1, the Veterans Ombudsman will publically release his Report on the New Veterans Charter with an accompanying Actuarial Analysis at a national news conference. "I believe that the Report breaks new ground on how we view the New Veterans Charter and I believe also that it could well be a game changer by serving as the baseline of how the Charter should be evaluated today and in the future."

This is the first time that an Actuarial Analysis will accompany any report that has ever been done on the New Veterans Charter. "There are no hypotheses or speculations in my Report,” said Mr. Parent. "I will be presenting to the Veterans Community and to Canadians next Tuesday just evidence-based facts and analysis."

The Actuarial Analysis backs the recommendations that the Veterans Ombudsman will be putting forward and shows exactly where the weaknesses are in the New Veterans Charter, what they are, and what it is going to take to fix them. Its analysis of benefits and programs pinpoint exactly where the current suite of New Veterans Charter benefits are failing Veterans today, and will continue to fail them and their families tomorrow unless changes are made quickly to save them from hardship and poverty.

"Notwithstanding the enhancements brought about by the Enhanced New Veterans Charter Act in 2011, Veterans and their families continue to face problems," said Mr. Parent. "Now that the Minister of Veterans Affairs has agreed to my recommendation to open up the New Veterans Charter for review, I urge him to establish the review's ground rules quickly and also institute a regular two-year Charter review to demonstrate to Veterans and their families, and to all Canadians, that the parliamentarians who unanimously voted in the New Veterans Charter in 2005 are going to steadfastly stand up for the promise that they made to our Veterans." 

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