The angry veteran has been replaced by engaged stakeholder

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The angry veteran has been replaced by engaged stakeholder

Post by Guest on Tue 13 Dec 2016, 12:15

The angry veteran has been replaced by engaged stakeholder

The Trudeau Liberals are committed to shifting the strategy to, now more than ever, stoke fresh dialogue and work with interested stakeholders to better serve our veterans. The days of small, opaque, and angry veteran stakeholder meetings appears to be over.


Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr has repackaged the issues facing veterans into more manageable parts by establishing six ministerial committees to advise him on specific policy concerns, writes Joshua Juneau. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

By JOSHUA JUNEAU
PUBLISHED : Monday, Dec. 12, 2016 12:00 AM

OTTAWA—In November 2015, the federal Liberals were elected on a platform of change, and a campaign slogan of “real change for veterans.” On the veterans file, 2016 has seen dramatic change, with many new stakeholders being consulted, and newfound optimism emerging.
Not all the problems have been fixed, but this is year one of a four-year mandate. Veterans should be confident because the groundwork laid in year one will likely yield dividends as the Liberal mandate proceeds. More diverse voices being heard and more meaningful dialogue is happening with predictable results—stakeholders are generally satisfied. This article will examine the positive actions taken by the Trudeau Liberals during their first full year in office.

Stakeholder engagement

The days of small, opaque, and angry veteran stakeholder meetings appears to be over. This year, the Trudeau government has transformed the way that they are engaging with the stakeholder community, which now includes consultation with charities and military families.

Even the most vocal critics of veterans’ affairs should be happy with these changes. In March 2011, Sean Bruyea, a seasoned writer on veterans’ issues, published a column in The Hill Times criticizing the (then) Conservative government for narrow consultations, challenging their definitions of “widespread, broad and extensive consultations [with ‘stakeholders’].” It appears that the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has responded to this criticism.

In his mandate letter, Trudeau instructs Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr to approach the veterans’ file in a different way, writing: “As minister, you will be held accountable for our commitment to bring a different style of leadership to government. This will include… constructive dialogue with Canadians, civil society, and stakeholders, including business, organized labour, the broader public sector, and the not-for-profit and charitable sectors; and identifying ways to find solutions and avoid escalating conflicts unnecessarily.”

In response, Hehr has repackaged the issues facing veterans into more manageable parts by establishing six ministerial committees to advise him on specific policy concerns. This government is now assisting veterans, in accordance with their moral obligation to do so, and are actively soliciting more meaningful dialogue with all interested persons.

To supplement committee input, in 2016 the government held two stakeholder meetings, with great success. In 2014, under the previous government, a stakeholder meeting would host 20 to 25 individuals from various hand-picked veterans’ organizations. The output was mostly grumpy complaints.

Now, the doors are wide open, and with great ceremony. In October 2016, a stakeholder meeting held in Ottawa hosted more than 140 participants, and saw active contribution of attendees through collection and broadcast of real-time polls and statistics to guide dialogue. Participants felt listened to. By all measures it was the most successful stakeholder engagement ever.

Leading up to last year’s election Prime Minister Trudeau made many promises to Veterans, including a return to a pension system. Though many promises have yet to be delivered upon, the groundwork laid in year one gives this Government the best chance to implement change over the next three years. The extensive engagement by this Government with Veteran’s stakeholders will ensure that the best interests of our Veterans are brought forward in a more meaningful way.

Charities

This year has seen tremendous generosity from Canadians towards veterans.

In January, the Veterans’ Legal Assistance Foundation was announced. The fund was established by McInnis Cooper law firm with a donation of $1,000,000 to specifically support access to justice for Canadian veterans. The fund has already had a tremendous impact on veterans appearing before Federal Court to challenge decisions of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, and other issues.

Veterans Emergency Transition Services (VETS) Canada, a not for profit organization, has grown to become a prominent advocacy voice in the Veterans community assisting Veterans in crisis and homeless veterans. Their webpage is filled with testimonials from persons who have personally benefitted from their generous volunteer activities.

The Royal Canadian Legion has continued with its traditions of excellence and service for veterans and should be recognized for its invaluable contributions to support veterans and advance the interests of veterans throughout Canada.

The Veterans Benevolent Fund, on which this author sits as a volunteer executive, was established through generous donations from people in Canada and abroad. It acts as both a scholarship fund for children of injured veterans, and provides emergency funding to assist veterans in times of crisis. It will be officially launched in the coming months.

These organizations represent a mere fraction of the many organizations which exist to support our veterans in times of need and crisis. The issues are championed by both veterans, and non-veterans through their generosity of spirit, who come out in droves to assist and support such worthy causes both with time and money. The motives of these volunteers is to support the military, both serving and transitioning, as a central part of our country.

Improvement to services and benefits

Veterans Affairs has taken steps this year to improve services to its clientele. This includes the opening of nine offices nationally with additional frontline and support staff to assist veterans’ access services and benefits. Additionally, veterans can communicate with the department online to provide feedback and advice directly to departmental officials.

A veteran who is receiving an earnings loss benefit saw his or her monthly payment increased by 15 per cent this year and the maximum tax free lump sum award was increased to $360,000. These two benefits represent a small portion of the more than $5.6-billion in additional financial benefits being conferred to our veterans.

Suicide prevention is a cornerstone to this government’s actions towards veterans care. Not only is there a ministerial advisory group that reports to the minister specifically on this issue, but to date, 11 clinics have been opened across the country, including a mental health clinic in Nova Scotia, to help veterans with mental health difficulties.


All of these developments have been welcomed by the veterans community, and will help to serve veterans and assist them both financially and through service delivery.

Conclusion

There is a shifting tide in our government’s approach to veterans, and the results are palpable. Though the fanfare is not universal, it is overwhelmingly and increasingly positive.

The Trudeau Liberals are committed to shifting the strategy to, now more than ever, stoke fresh dialogue and work with interested stakeholders to better serve our veterans. The ‘angry veteran’ has been replaced by the ‘engaged stakeholder.’

Joshua Juneau sits as the CEO of the Veterans Benevolent Fund, a charity being established to provide education support and crisis funding to veterans in times of need.

The Hill Times





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Re: The angry veteran has been replaced by engaged stakeholder

Post by Guest on Tue 13 Dec 2016, 12:28

Misleading article to say the least!

Most successful stakeholder engagement ever? In what way?

"Leading up to last year’s election Prime Minister Trudeau made many promises to Veterans, including a return to a pension system. Though many promises have yet to be delivered upon, the groundwork laid in year one gives this Government the best chance to implement change over the next three years. The extensive engagement by this Government with Veteran’s stakeholders will ensure that the best interests of our Veterans are brought forward in a more meaningful way."

This is complete Bull! The bureaucrats are going to write up all legislation and Kent is going to green light everything that comes from those bureaucrats.
The stakeholder meetings and the advisory groups have no influence to the bureaucrats unless it comes inline to what the bureaucrats already have on the table.

Nothing has changed, and the best interest of our Veterans is not front and center with this government, the perception is what counts with this government and the bureaucrats continue to run the Veterans file.




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Re: The angry veteran has been replaced by engaged stakeholder

Post by Teentitan on Tue 13 Dec 2016, 13:38

The un-educated charities, labor groups, civil society are out numbering the educated veterans and shouting down those that have the guts to speak out at these stakeholder love-fests....just ask our Chief Editor.

A lot of people are still savouring that sweet sunny ways kool-aid and it does not look promising for the veteran community.
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Re: The angry veteran has been replaced by engaged stakeholder

Post by 1sea0shell33 on Tue 13 Dec 2016, 16:10

OK at least the liberals are keeping their promises. Remember Otoole thought that life long pensions and the PA were the wrong way to go ? Look at your bank accounts? The benefits we get are damn good now compared to 10 years ago. If we keep screaming and complaining eventually Joe taxpayer will really start looking at our benefits and may even decide that it's toomuch. And to quote some on here like firebird he gets 10 or more pensions every month so I wish instead of gimme everything veterans be happy with the vast improvements coming and already delivered.

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Re: The angry veteran has been replaced by engaged stakeholder

Post by Guest on Tue 13 Dec 2016, 16:28

Hold that thought until you actually see what this lifelong pension details.

You don't know what this pension will look like, and as far as what the Liberals have completed thus far with their promises, very little, 15% increase to the already taxed ELB, yes this helps, but it's nothing to be thrilled about.

Re opening of the offices should have never been made a priority, the priority should have been looking after those post 2006 Veterans getting them their tax free lifelong pension, this is nowhere in sight.
The Liberals are no better than the past government as far as I'm concerned.

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Re: The angry veteran has been replaced by engaged stakeholder

Post by Guest on Tue 13 Dec 2016, 18:53

I don't see equality until I do these idiots are shyte , flat out shyte . yup my bank account is good and getting better but I'm a PA vet . I can tell ya right fracking now without ANY uncertainty the same cant be said for NVC vets .

propat

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Re: The angry veteran has been replaced by engaged stakeholder

Post by Teentitan on Tue 13 Dec 2016, 19:09

SeaOShell you can only say that because the Cons dropped the SISIP class action lawsuit and it flushed out your bank account.

How about you stop kissing Lib ass and think about the NVC vets that are getting screwed over.

And if the new lifelong pension isn't tax-free will you still bow and kneel at Hehr's altar? Or are you just going to keep trolling vets who are keeping VAC's feet to the fire to keep the HARD promises?
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Re: The angry veteran has been replaced by engaged stakeholder

Post by RCN-Retired on Tue 13 Dec 2016, 22:56

I am a PA Veteran and I do not think this new government has done a damn thing to be proud of. Our NVC vets are still not compensated close to what they should be and all vets continue to be denied services. Trudeau is a fraud and his pet mandate puppet is an idiot. As for the SISIP law suite both the liberals and conservatives stole our money, when they got caught I received 30 cents on the dollar the rest went to tax and legal fees. What is so wrong about treating us as human beings and quit lying to us.
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Re: The angry veteran has been replaced by engaged stakeholder

Post by Dannypaj on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 04:59

Finally, veterans are awakening and putting differences aside and working effectively and growing in numbers and are not shy to speak up about an issue.....You're taught not speak to the media while in the service (hence media relations team). And that if the media approaches, you do not speak.
FEEL FREEI said my peace, right off the get go. The news didn't air it..lol, when you tell the news camera directly as though your speaking to the mentally impaired GoC, to fix the problem and it is not correct what they are doing to us veterans.
Well we will live it at that.

The drum beats louder and social media is a buzzing, information just a flowing across our great nation.
Canada, let me be proud to be a Canadian again.
When I look up at our flag, I see a GoC that needs to be revamped and remove all the personnel at the top, the same old faces keep popping up and not making our lives any better.
affraid
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Re: The angry veteran has been replaced by engaged stakeholder

Post by Dannypaj on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 08:28

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Re: The angry veteran has been replaced by engaged stakeholder

Post by Dannypaj on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 08:29

A real storey with substance.
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