OTTAWA, Oct. 16, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today announced that Wilfred Jephson and Mary Tobin Oates will join the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, which provides Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) members, and their families, with an independent avenue of appeal for disability benefit decisions made by Veterans Affairs Canada.
Wilfred Jephson of Ottawa, Ontario, has a strong background in policing and recently retired from the RCMP after 25 years as an investigator and general duty officer. During his career, he spent six years as a staff relations representative, advocating for the well-being of serving members and the development of the RCMP. Mr. Jephson is fluently bilingual and holds a Master of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Management from Royal Roads University.
Mary Tobin Oates of Ottawa, Ontario, has worked as a legal advisor for more than a decade in various federal departments including the RCMP, Finance Canada, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, and Justice Canada. Ms. Tobin Oates previously worked as a lawyer for Canada's income security programs, where she gained experience with administrative tribunals and the hearing process.
- Mr. Jephson is appointed for a three-year term.
- Ms. Tobin Oates is appointed for a two-year term.
- Appointments to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board are made by the Governor in Council through the Board's merit-based selection process.
- The Veterans Review and Appeal Board is an independent body created in 1995 that conducts hearings across Canada to provide Veterans with the opportunity to bring forward new evidence, give oral testimony, and have supporting arguments presented on their behalf.
- The merit-based selection process for new Board members prefers candidates with military, medical, policing or legal backgrounds in recognition of the people served by the appeal process and the nature of the work.
- The last 11 members appointed to the Board have military, medical, policing or legal backgrounds. More than three-quarters of the Board's current members have these backgrounds (18 of 23).
- Mr. Jephson is the third RCMP Veteran to be appointed to the Board. All three were appointed since 2011.
"I welcome today's appointees to the Board and thank them for their dedication to Canadian Veterans. Both have the requisite knowledge and experience to ensure that this open and non-adversarial process continues to contribute to fairness in the disability benefits system for Veterans and their families."
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs
"On behalf of our President Dave Leblanc and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Veterans' Association, I want to express my sincere delight at these appointments. We are very pleased that the RCMP continues to be so well represented on the Veterans Review and Appeal Board."
Cal Small, Former President of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Veterans' Association
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Barbara Mottram, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649; Media Relations, Veterans Review and Appeal Board, 902-566-8575