Veterans Affairs Canada
Department of the Government of Canada
The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), also known as Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), is the department within the government of Canada with responsibility for pensions/benefits and services for war veterans, retired and still-serving members of the Canadian Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police, their families, as well as some civilians.
Canada operated a benefits program similar to the American G.I. Bill for its World War Two veterans, with a strong economic impact similar to the American case. A war veteran's eligibility for certain benefits may depend on his/her "overseas" status, defined by Veterans Affairs as having served at least two miles offshore from Canada. In the Second World War (1939–45) Canada did not yet include Newfoundland, which became a Canadian province only in 1949. Thus WWI or WWII veterans who served in Newfoundland (with Royal Newfoundland Regiment and Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve) are considered by Veterans Affairs to be "overseas veterans" (and as such may be referred to the British Service Personnel and Veterans Agency).
An important division of Veterans Affairs is called "Canada Remembers". This is responsible for all war commemoration activities, such as Remembrance Day, and coordinates and funds various "pilgrimages" for Canadian war veterans to foreign battlefields and international ceremonies (e.g. the 50th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands in early 1995, the 60th anniversary of D Day on June 6, 2004, etc.)
The year 2005 was declared Year of the Veteran in Canada, to teach, remember, thank, honour and celebrate. The image of a poppy overlapping a gold maple leaf became a special symbol during the campaign, on posters, pamphlets, bookmarks and documents. In 2007, the Veterans' Bill of Rights stated that Veterans Affairs Canada must show veterans respect.
Current Veterans Affairs structure
- Minister of Veterans Affairs
- Deputy Minister
- Associate Deputy Minister
- Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Service Delivery
- Assistant Deputy Minister, Human Resources and Corporate Services
- Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy, Communications and Commemoration
- Deputy Minister
On November 9, 2008, the Honourable Greg Thompson, the-then Minister of Veterans Affairs, attended a Service of Remembrance at the Canada Memorial in Green Park, London, England. Canada recently assumed responsibility for the Memorial, which pays tribute to the nearly one million Canadian men and women who served in the United Kingdom during the First and Second World Wars.
Veterans Affairs privacy issues
In October 2010, Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart uncovered evidence that widespread privacy abuses had been occurring at Veterans Affairs Canada. Among the cases where privacy issues were investigated is that in which highly personal information of an outspoken critic of Veterans Affairs, including confidential medical and financial information, was included in briefing notes prepared for then-minister Greg Thompson.
Darragh Mogan, an executive director at Veterans Affairs wrote an e-mail to his colleagues in 2006 claiming that the same Gulf War veteran was spreading misinformation to the public and wrote: "Folks, it’s time to take the gloves off here”
Veterans' privacy audit report coming in 2012 http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/11/07/pol-veteran-privacy-breach.html
VAC Stakeholder Committee Members
Veterans Advocacy Issues
- VRAB Meeting - Canadian Veterans Advocacy – January 25, 2012
- CVA Letter, Minister Blaney Pascal Lacoste - Scientific Advisory Committee
- Veterans fight for their rights decades after two world wars
- Veterans Affairs Canada Agent Orange Benefits
- Sunnybrook Veterans Centre facing provincial, federal audits in wake of neglect allegations
- Depleted Uranium and Canadian Veterans: A Review of Potential Exposure and Health Effects Final - January 2013
Veterans Affairs Canada Discrimination
- Fight for the ResF - Letter From the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman to Veterans Affairs Canada
- Soutien pour la Reserve - Lettre en provenance du Bureau de l'ombudsman des vétérans destinée au Anciens Combattants Canada
- Thomas Lemieux, and David Card. "Education, earnings, and the 'Canadian GI Bill,;" Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique (2001) 34#2 pp: 313-344. online
- The Royal Canadian Legion, "VETERANS’ BILL OF RIGHTS," April 3, 2007, URL accessed 3 April 2007.
- Veterans Affairs critic’s confidential medical information given to minister, The Globe and Mail, September 21, 2010 accessed October 9, 2010
- Privacy Commissioner finds evidence of systemic abuse at Veterans Affairs, The Globe and Mail, September 28, 2010 accessed October 9, 2010
- Vet alleges government cut off his therapy to discredit him, Toronto Sun, October 10, 2010, accessed October 10, 2010
- Privacy watchdog blasts Veterans Affairs, The Globe and Mail, October 7, 2010 accessed October 9, 2010
- Veterans Affairs Canada Official Website
- Canada Remembers
- Watch Fields of Sacrifice, a documentary produced for Department of Veteran Affairs