Government of Canada Partners with Legion to Support Veterans

TORONTO, Dec. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today brought holiday greetings to Veterans in long-term care at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and launched a partnership with the Royal Canadian Legion to visit Veterans in long-term care (LTC) facilities across the country. The Long-Term Care Outreach and Visitation Initiative helps to ensure Veterans who live in long-term care facilities across Canada get the care and support they deserve.

"The holiday season gives all Canadians a reason to reach out to one another in the spirit of compassion and generosity," said Minister Fantino. "As a Government, we place the highest priority on ensuring Veterans have the support they need, when and where they need it, including those in long-term care facilities."

"Today, I am very pleased to share in that holiday cheer with those who wore Canada's uniform, and to build on our long-standing partnership with the Royal Canadian Legion in order to better serve Veterans in communities clear across Canada," added the Minister.

Through the Long-Term Care Outreach and Visitation Initiative, close to 4,000 Veterans in long-term care facilities will have the option of a social visit and conversation with a fully trained and qualified Royal Canadian Legion volunteer. By tapping into the Legion's national network of volunteers, the Government of Canada is able to ensure a broader reach in maintaining contact with Veterans. The partnership provides Veterans who may not have other opportunities to be in touch with Veterans Affairs Canada employees with another avenue to identify needs that can then be followed-up on and addressed.

Through this initiative, Royal Canadian Legion volunteers will visit up to 1,630 facilities across the country to have conversations and make social visits with Veterans who have agreed to participate in the initiative. The volunteers will then submit a report to the Legion's Dominion Command within three weeks of completing each visit, and the formal findings will in turn be passed along to the Department for appropriate action.

"We are proud to partner with the Royal Canadian Legion on this important project," said Minister Fantino. "Through our joint venture, we are demonstrating yet again how together, we are changing to keep pace with the needs of the men and women we serve. Canada's Veterans deserve no less."

For more information on the long-term care support available to Canada's Veterans, veterans.gc.ca/eng/services/residentcare.

Veterans Affairs Canada's support and services offer the right care at the right time to achieve the best results for Veterans and their families. Find out more at veterans.gc.ca.

SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada

For further information:

Media inquiries: 

Janice Summerby
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
613-992-7468

Bruce Poulin
The Royal Canadian Legion
613-591-3335 ext. 241

Joshua Zanin
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
613-996-4649