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Our injured vets deserve better

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Our injured vets deserve better

Post by Guest on Sun 25 Sep 2016, 06:17

Our injured vets deserve better.

SEPTEMBER 24, 2016

Military men and women released from the Canadian Armed Forces because of injury or illness face huge hurdles to getting the support they deserve. There can be dozens — yes, dozens — of steps in the process. It’s unacceptable.

This week, veterans ombudsman Guy Parent and Guy Walbourne, the ombudsman for national defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, released detailed diagrams showing how veterans leaving for illness or injury are shuffled through the system. The two ombudsmen are carrying out a joint investigation into the much-decried benefits system.

The diagrams show an astonishing collection of boxes and lines and arrows. It’s incredible to think anyone manages to navigate such a maze.

Regardless of how or why regular service members, and reservists, leave the military, they can all be bounced around the bureaucracy. Each year, this system of obtaining services and benefits affects 1,800 service members.

“The burden has taken its toll on members transitioning from military to civilian life and their families. It is evident that a streamlined process is needed,” warned Walbourne in a statement.

So far, efforts to simplify the system, which would help men and women who’ve donned a uniform for this country, and help their families, have failed.

This must change. The Liberals, after all, compiled almost two pages of promises to Canada’s veterans in their 2015 election platform. “Canada must be a world leader in caring for and supporting our veterans,” they wrote.

Indeed. There’s no need to pile an administrative load on people who’re already struggling with injury and illness. Thousands have complained about the system over the years.

Veterans, of course, aren’t the only folks being buffaloed by federal structures right now. There’s the Phoenix pay system and the Shared Service Canada IT sinkhole. These major red-tape monstrosities threaten to overshadow other systemic problems.

But Canadians of all generations have given time and energy, and risked their lives, defending our country. They should be prioritized and repaid with respect and dignity. That they must wait and be subjected to a burdensome bureaucratic nightmare is unbecoming, and not the proper way for Canadians to show our thanks.


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