Statement from Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence Kent Hehr and Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan on the International Day of Families

OTTAWA, May 15, 2017 /CNW/ - The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, today issued the following statement on the occasion of the International Day of Families:

"On the International Day of Families, it is the privilege of Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to acknowledge military and Veteran families for the role they play.

"Military families are the strength behind the uniform. While it is the serving member who signs on the dotted line, their family is joining them on their journey from training to deployment to whatever else a life in service to the nation might have in store for them.

"Military families have the chance to travel across Canada and around the world. They are part of dynamic and tight-knit communities. They have access to outstanding recreational programs and cultural opportunities.

"Families and caregivers are the backbone of the support releasing CAF members and Veterans need during their transition to post-military life and afterwards. We recognize that when a member serves, the whole family serves. The challenges of a military life are not always well understood by others in the community.

"VAC, DND and the CAF have worked hard over the years to put in place resources to support military families. The Military Family Services Program, now in its 26th year, provides a range of services at the Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs) located on bases, wings, and units, and abroad in the United States and Europe; by phone or email through the 24/7 Family Information Line; and online at

"As part of Budget 2017, an announcement was made regarding added support for medically releasing members and their families. Budget 2017 will expand access to all 32 MFRCs across Canada following the success of a pilot project that allowed access for medically released Veterans and their families to seven MFRCs. Previously, these services were only available for still-serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

"Today, we pay tribute to the military families whose commitment and support make such a difference to our serving women and men. Their personal sacrifices, often unnoticed, deserve our heartfelt thanks."

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Budget 2017 - Expansion of the Veteran Family Program
Minister of National Defence Video Message for the International Day of Families


SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada

For further information: Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468,; Sarah McMaster, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649; Jordan Owens, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of National Defence, (613) 996-3100, Email:


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