Government of Canada committed to doing more for Veterans
PRINCE GEORGE, BC, Aug. 29, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, joined Veterans and their families in Prince George, British Columbia, today to announce that the previously closed Veterans Affairs Canada office will reopen by May 2017.
The new Prince George office will be located on the 4th floor at 299 Victoria Street, and once opened, will employ approximately five staff who will serve approximately 1,200 Veterans. Staff at the Prince George office will answer questions about VAC services and benefits; arrange pension medical examinations; and assist Veterans to complete and submit applications and receipts. Case-managed Veterans will also be able to meet with their case manager.
The Department is continuing to hire up to 400 new employees to help ensure that Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members, RCMP personnel, and their families are provided with the best possible services when and where they need them. Hiring new employees will permit the Department to reduce case managers' caseloads to a maximum of 25 Veterans.
As part of today's announcement, Minister Hehr reaffirmed the Government of Canada's commitment to do more for Veterans. Budget 2016 committed $5.6 billion to improve Veterans' benefits and services, including increased payments under the Disability Award and the Earnings Loss Benefit, and expanded access to the Permanent Impairment Allowance. Veterans Affairs Canada has also expanded its Commemorative Partnership Program to allow funding for the building of new war memorials, and increased the survivor estate cash exemption under the Funeral and Burial Program.
"I am extremely proud to be reopening doors that were previously closed to Veterans and their families here in Prince George. They have selflessly answered the call to serve our country, and now we are answering their call by enhancing financial benefits, restoring and expanding access to critical services, expanding service in British Columbia and the territories, and hiring more frontline staff. This was part of our commitment to Canadians, and we stand by this promise."
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
- Reopening the nine Veterans Affairs offices that closed is a top priority in the Minister of Veterans Affairs' mandate letter.
- The office in Prince George will reopen by May 2017 on the 4th floor at 299 Victoria Street, Prince George, BC.
- The Veterans Affairs Office in Corner Brook reopened to Veterans on July 5, 2016.
- By May 2017, offices will reopen in Charlottetown, PE; Sydney, NS; Windsor and Thunder Bay, ON; Saskatoon, SK; Brandon, MB; and, Prince George and Kelowna, BC. A tenth office will open in Surrey, BC, and outreach will be expanded to Veterans in the territories.
- As of May 2016, more than 250 new frontline employees have been hired.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Contacts : Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468; Rob Rosenfeld, Director of Communications and Issues Management, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649