Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

January 19, 2011 16:35 ET

Member of Parliament for West Nova Greg Kerr Highlights Improvements for Canada's Veterans

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - Jan. 19, 2011) - On behalf of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), Greg Kerr, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, today met with Veterans, Canadian Forces members and other stakeholders in Newfoundland and Labrador to explain recent improvements at Veterans Affairs Canada to better serve Veterans and their families.

"After having announced new measures this past fall to better support Veterans, the Government of Canada is now addressing the quality of services that are offered to them," said Mr. Kerr. "We want Canadian Forces members, Veterans and their families in Newfoundland and Labrador and across Canada to know help is always available when they need it."

Mr. Kerr's day-long trip included a visit to the Caribou Memorial Veterans Pavillion, a meet-and-greet luncheon with Veterans at The Royal Canadian Legion Branch #56 in Pleasantville, and tours of the Integrated Personnel Support Centre and Military Family Resource Centre at Canadian Forces Station St. John's.

Mr. Kerr's trip to the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador coincided with Minister Blackburn's ongoing cross-country tour to tell Canadians about recent changes that have happened within the Department.

"The Government of Canada has taken important steps in recent months to ensure that Veterans and their families receive all the care and services they deserve," said Minister Blackburn. "We are listening to Veterans' concerns and taking steps to change the culture of the Department in order to modernize and improve its services. Ongoing progress is underway in the Department of Veterans Affairs, specifically concerning reduction of turnaround times and red tape."

Recent improvements to service include the following:

  • The standard turnaround time for decisions on rehabilitation eligibility is now two weeks, an improvement from four weeks; and

  • Veterans now have less paperwork to complete when applying for the Veterans Independence Program (VIP), which currently helps 107,000 Veterans remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible.

  • Twenty (20) more case managers have already been put in place in areas of high demand across the country, to deliver one-on-one service and direct access for Veterans.

As part of his tour, Minister Blackburn is stopping in several cities across Canada, where he is visiting Veterans' organizations, Canadian Forces bases, integrated personnel support centres, and departmental regional and district offices.

"I'm pleased to be meeting with Veterans and stakeholders across the country to explain that substantial progress has been made to fix problems and to reassure them of our commitment to providing them with the best possible service," said Minister Blackburn when he launched his tour last week.

For more information on the ways Veterans Affairs Canada is changing, visit

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Vincent Caron
    Special Assistant, Policy and Communication
    Cell: 613-240-9028