Dear Editor: I am writing to reassure your readers that Veterans Affairs Canada remains committed to making sure all of Canada’s veterans and their families have the support they need — when they need it and where they need it. (Legion president agrees with union leader on rescinding office closures, and Veterans Affairs minister misleading veterans: PSAC, Dec. 10, 2013)
That is why we are adjusting our national presence to improve service delivery by deploying resources in a manner that reflects the needs of veterans. This means locating staff and offices where they are most beneficial, leading to better service overall.
As an example of our changing national footprint, we have worked with the Department of National Defence over the past four years to open new integrated personnel support centres on 24 Canadian Armed Forces bases and wings. The result is that more than 100 Veterans Affairs Canada employees are now working alongside their counterparts at National Defence to provide “one-stop” care and support to veterans and still-serving members.
I also want to stress that regardless of where veterans live, they can continue to rely on home visits from registered nurses and their Veterans Affairs case managers for those that require them.
In addition, veterans can now visit any of the about 600 Service Canada locations across the country for information about the services and benefits available to them.
To provide further support, a Veterans Affairs client service agent will be posted in the Service Canada locations nearest to the closing Veterans Affairs offices.
These full-time client service agents will be providing ongoing support to local communities, and will remain in the Service Canada locations for as long as there is a requirement. It is this ongoing innovation that allows me to say with confidence that veterans and their families will continue to receive the care and support they need.
Keith Hillier, assistant deputy minister service delivery, Veterans Affairs Canada