Parliamentary Report on New Veterans Charter a Turning Point, says Veterans Ombudsman

June 3, 2014

Ottawa, Ontario – Canada's Veterans Ombudsman, Guy Parent, today welcomed the release of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs’ report on the New Veterans Charter. The New Veterans Charter: Moving Forward backs the call for action last fall by the Veterans Ombudsman’s in his report, Improving the New Veterans Charter and Actuarial Analysis.

“The recommendations in the Committee’s report are an important step forward to resolve current gaps in the New Veterans Charter,” said Mr. Parent. “I believe that the Committee’s action is a turning point for Veterans’ issues and I am encouraged by the Minister of Veterans Affairs statement today that the Government is prepared to consider many of the report’s recommendations. If Veterans Affairs Canada moves quickly on their implementation, we will be on the road to making the lives of many Veterans and their families easier as they transition from military to civilian life. The Office of the Veterans Ombudsman stands ready to offer assistance to the Department to move implementation forward as quickly as possible.”

Mr. Parent said that he is pleased that the Committee took up most of his recommendations and, in particular, that the Veterans Bill of Rights be included in the New Veterans Charter and in the Pension Act and that the Charter be liberally construed and clearly recognize the obligation of the Government of Canada and all Canadians to its Veterans and their families.

The Veterans Ombudsman began calling for a comprehensive review of the New Veterans Charter in the spring of 2013. Extensive consultations with Veterans and Veterans’ organizations confirmed the findings of the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman’s evidence-based analysis of the Charter, which identified substantive gaps in the key areas of financial, vocational rehabilitation and assistance, and family support. In the fall of 2013, the Minister of Veterans Affairs directed the Committee to make the review all-inclusive.

“If the Government follows through on these recommendations, then the New Veterans Charter will be viewed much more positively by injured or ill Veterans. It will also better meet their needs by helping them to re-integrate successfully into civilian life and by helping them to achieve what every Canadian strives for: a good job, financial independence, a reasonable quality of personal and family life, along with the best possible health.  Importantly, if their medical condition or illness does not allow them to return to work, then these Veterans will be confident that they will receive the support they need to live their lives with financial security and dignity.”

Mr. Parent leaves today to participate in the 70th Anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy in France. When he returns, he will offer a more in-depth analysis of what the report means to Veterans and their families. As well, the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman will closely monitor progress in the implementation of the recommendations.

— 30 —

Date modified: