OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 2, 2013) - The National Association of Federal Retirees (FSNA) congratulates Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent on his most recent report, Improving the New Veterans Charter: The Actuarial Analysis. The Ombudsman's report, the first of its kind to delve deeply into the New Veterans Charter, includes actuarial analysis and demographics that highlight the weaknesses of the current Charter in three core areas - financial, vocational rehabilitation and assistance, and financial support - and how those areas can and should be fixed so that Veterans and their families have the resources they need to lead healthy, meaningful lives beyond their service to Canada.
"After the New Veterans Charter was implemented in 2006, it became very clear that many of the most vulnerable veterans - those with lower rank and with more severe injuries and disabilities - and their families - are not well-served by the Charter," says Gary Oberg, National President of FSNA. "I believe that we can all work towards making the Charter more effective now that we have a comprehensive understanding of Veterans' economic and non-economic benefits and where to focus our efforts. The Ombudsman's report will be absolutely instrumental in steering conversations about the New Veterans Charter in the right direction."
The New Veterans Charter was implemented in 2006 and was designed to provide veterans with the resources needed to shift to civilian life, moving the focus from the disability pension system and towards a comprehensive system that provides transitional and wellness support to veterans. But many veterans and veterans' organizations, including FSNA, found that the Charter let down the most vulnerable veterans financially, in both the long- and short-terms.
The report's release is timely. Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino recently announced a decision to conduct a thorough review of the New Veterans Charter, including enhancements, when Parliament returns. This comprehensive review comes just two years after the Charter's first five-year review. At that time, the federal government had closed the possibility of further reviews until 2016. In his report, the Ombudsman also urges the government to review the Charter every two years to ensure it continues to meet the realities and needs of the veterans' community.
"All Canadians have a sacred obligation to ensure the people who have served our country, who have sacrificed so much for Canada, are taken care of when they come home - whether that means assistance to transition to civilian life and to new careers, or support through a lifetime of disability. I encourage every Canadian to read the Veterans Ombudsman's report and to ask their Member of Parliament to support meaningful change to the New Veterans Charter and to ensure Canada continues to meet its obligations to veterans," says Oberg.
FSNA is the largest national advocacy organization representing federal retirees, their partners and survivors, from the public service of Canada, the Canadian Forces, and the RCMP, as well as retired federally-appointed judges. FSNA is a not-for-profit volunteer association with 185,000 members and 83 branches across Canada. For more information, visit www.fsna.com.