Government of Canada committed to doing more for Veterans
WINNIPEG, Sept. 23, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, joined Veterans and their families, along with newly hired employees in Winnipeg, Manitoba, today to provide an update on the Government of Canada's mandate commitments to improve the lives of Veterans and their families.
The Minister held a meet and greet Friday morning with more than 50 new frontline and support staff, including case managers, who were attending an orientation and training program. By hiring more frontline employees, the Department will ensure each case manager has a caseload of an average of 25 Veterans.
In 2015-16, the Department has made significant progress in: enhancing financial benefits and wellness programs; reopening Veterans Affairs Canada offices across the country; opening a new office in Surrey, BC; expanding outreach to the territories and other northern communities and; hiring new staff to provide service and care for the well-being of Veterans, members of the Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP and their families.
As part of today's announcement, Minister Hehr reaffirmed the Government of Canada's mandate commitment to do more for Veterans. Budget 2016 committed approximately $5.6 billion in additional financial benefits to Veterans and their families, including increased payments under the Disability Award and the Earnings Loss Benefit. Budget 2016 also committed an additional $100 million in support, such as improving service delivery for Veterans and their families.
"I am extremely proud of the work that has been accomplished to this point to help better the lives of our Veterans and their families. Through Budget 2016, we have been able to implement many different initiatives for Veterans, from reopening offices and hiring more frontline employees to enhancing our suite of financial benefits for Veterans. The Government of Canada has made a commitment to Veterans and to Canadians, and we will stand by this promise and continue to work toward a better future."
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.
- All nine offices will reopen and the new office in Surrey, B.C., will be open by May 2017.
- VAC is expanding outreach to Veterans in the territories and other northern communities. Every month, frontline employees will travel to meet face-to-face with Veterans and their families and share information on benefits and inform those who may not be aware.
- As of June 2016, VAC is funding a new operational stress injury clinic in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
- To date, more than 250 new frontline and support employees have been hired.
- Stakeholder advisory groups have been formed to focus on issues facing Veterans including policy, service excellence, mental health, families, care, support and commemoration.
- Budget 2016 delivers $5.6 billion in additional financial benefits and takes major steps to treat Veterans with care, compassion and respect.
- The Disability Award will increase to a maximum of $360,000 from the previous maximum of $310,000.
- The Earnings Loss Benefit will increase up to 90% of a Veteran's pre-release salary.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468, firstname.lastname@example.org; Sarah McMaster, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649