New VAC office dedicated to advancing gender equality and inclusion for Veterans
OTTAWA, March 3, 2020 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, announced the Office of Women and LGBTQ2 Veterans at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).
The idea for the Office stems from discussions held during the first ever annual Women's Veterans Forum held in Charlottetown last year. Since then, the Department has had numerous conversations with Veterans and stakeholders to identify barriers specific to women and LGBTQ2 Veterans and their families. We know from these discussions that the specific needs of women and LGBTQ2 Veterans have not been properly addressed, and that more needs to be done to understand and support these individuals.
Veterans have diverse lived experiences and different service-related needs. The office aims to identify these needs and work with Veteran communities, partners and other federal departments and agencies to help ensure fair access to treatment and services based on these needs. We are committed to ongoing dialogue with various stakeholder groups to share, learn and work collaboratively to address barriers for Veterans, regardless of their biological sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or other identity factors. We will continue to help influence research, develop ideas and solutions to challenges, and promote strong collaboration among Veterans and stakeholder groups.
Women and LGBTQ2 service members have represented Canada in uniform for more than a century. This office will help the Department fulfill its responsibility to provide all Veterans the care and support they deserve. There is much to be done, but the work of the new office and discussions with women and LGBTQ2 Veterans will help to positively shape the future of our Department.
The second Women Veterans Forum will be held during the spring of 2020 and details will be released shortly.
"Women and LGBTQ2 service members continue to represent Canada in uniform, as they have for more than a century. It is our responsibility to provide them with the care and support they earned and deserve. I know this Office will help us do just that."
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
- Women account for 14% of the estimated 670,000 Veterans in Canada.
- The Canadian Armed Forces goal is to increase the number of women personnel by 1% annually, with a target of reaching 25% by 2026.
- In 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a formal apology to LGBTQ2 federal public servants, Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP members harmed by federal legislation, policies and practices that led to the oppression of and discrimination against two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Canada.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Veterans Affairs Canada, 613-992-7468, [email protected]; John Embury, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, [email protected]