Parliamentary Update on Veterans Affairs-May 9, 2016

Veterans Affairs Committee:

Last week at Veterans Affairs committee we continued our study on Service Delivery at Veterans Affairs Canada.  We heard from several veterans including Jody Mitic and his wife Alannah Gilmore on their experience with leaving the Military and accessing benefits at Veterans Affairs.  We also heard from witnesses about the transition program at DND and how it is not functioning well The program struggles to get CF members the help they need so they can regain their health and return to their military career or are able to transition to Veterans Affairs. 

We also heard from a number of Veterans organizations who outlined the issues with service delivery that their members face when trying access services.  One of the key issues outlined was the difficulty and gaps in service when transitioning from the Canadian Forces to Veterans Affairs. 

To listen to the questions and testimony or read the transcripts from committee please visit: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Committees/en/ACVA

Auditor General:

Last week the Auditor General reported to Parliament his findings on several department programs including the Canadian Army Reserve, VIA Rail and the Drug Benefit program at Veterans Affairs. As the critic for Veterans Affairs I was particularly concerned about the findings of the drug plan for Veterans.  The Auditor General found that Veterans Affairs Canada is mismanaging drug benefits for Veterans. It’s worrying that the Department isn’t considering veterans’ needs, current health practices, clinical research, and cost-effectiveness while administering the drug plan. The explosion of medical marijuana use with no monitoring leaves veterans at risk of being overmedicated and under-served.  In cutting frontline services and lack of mental health supports for PTSD, there is a large and vulnerable group of veterans that are still not being helped – and this government had nothing to announce in the budget to help with mental health.

To see all the reports you can visit: http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_201605_e_41227.html