OTTAWA, July 5, 2018 /CNW/ - Veterans and their families have earned the respect and gratitude of all Canadians. The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that our Veterans receive all the benefits they are entitled to for their service to Canada.
The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, today announced the appointment of Christopher McNeil of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia as the new Chair of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. Jacques Bouchard of Mermaid, Prince Edward Island has been appointed Deputy Chair. The Board hears appeals of Veterans' disability benefits decisions.
Mr. McNeil is the former Deputy Chief of the Halifax Regional Police. He was first appointed to the Board as a Member in 2015 after having retired from the police force in 2013 with more than 30 years of service. Mr. Bouchard is a Veteran with 36 years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces. He was first appointed to the Board as a Member in 2017. The Minister also announced the appointments of the following individuals as Board members:
- Julie Bossé of Gatineau, Québec
- Marc-André O'Rourke of Ottawa, Ontario
- Constance E. Robinson of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
These appointments were made under the Government of Canada's new approach to Governor in Council appointments. This approach supports open, transparent and merit-based selection processes that strive for gender parity and reflect Canada's diversity, to support Ministers in making appointment recommendations for positions within their portfolio.
"The appointments of these remarkably accomplished Canadians demonstrate diversity that reflects Canadian values. By accepting these appointments, they have committed to provide Veterans and their families with a fair, respectful and equitable appeal process for disability benefits."
The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
- With these appointments, the Board continues to achieve gender balance among its members with nine women and seven men.
- The Veterans Review and Appeal Board is the administrative tribunal that provides Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police members, and their families, with an independent appeal process for disability benefits decisions made by Veterans Affairs Canada.
- The Board provides Veterans with two levels of hearings: Review and Appeal. Each hearing is new and the case is looked at each time with fresh eyes.
- Board members conduct Review hearings across the country where Veterans can give oral testimony and present new evidence in support of their case. This is their first and only opportunity to appear before decision makers and tell their story.
- To help them with the appeal process, Veterans have access to free legal advice and representation from the Bureau of Pensions Advocates (an organization of lawyers within Veterans Affairs Canada). Service organizations, like the Royal Canadian Legion, also represent Veterans at Board hearings.
- Veterans Review and Appeal Board
- Biographies – Board Member Appointments
- Role of Board Members
- Governor in Council Appointments
Follow the Veterans Review and Appeal Board on Twitter: @VRAB_Canada
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468, [email protected]