Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

January 12, 2011 13:00 ET

Veterans Affairs Minister Highlights Improvements for Canada's Veterans

DARTMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 12, 2011) - The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture) today met with staff and stakeholders in Dartmouth and Halifax, Nova Scotia, to explain recent improvements at Veterans Affairs Canada, to better serve Veterans and their families.

"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 the Department's services. Ongoing progress is underway in the Department of Veterans Affairs, specifically concerning reduction of turnaround times and reduction of red tape."

Minister Blackburn is on a cross-country tour to tell Canadians about recent changes that have happened within the Department.

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;

  • 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 been put in place in areas of high demand across the country, to deliver one-on-one service and direct access for Veterans; and

  • National call centres are now equipped to improve response times so 80 per cent of callers can speak with a Veterans Affairs Canada representative within two minutes.

After having announced several new measures supporting Veterans this fall under the New Veterans Charter, the Government of Canada is now addressing the quality of services that are offered to them. It will also ensure that more Veterans are hired at the Department in order to serve Veterans better.

Minister Blackburn met with Veterans Affairs Canada's Atlantic Regional Office staff in the morning to highlight and discuss recent improvements to service at Veterans Affairs Canada and address staff questions. In the afternoon, Minister Blackburn met with senior Canadian Forces officials and addressed Canadian Forces members at CFB Halifax during a closed information session about Veterans Affairs Canada's service and benefits.

"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.

As part of his tour, Minister Blackburn will stop in eight cities across Canada, where he will visit Veterans' organizations, Canadian Forces bases, integrated personnel support centres (IPSCs), and departmental regional and district offices.

For more information on the ways Veterans Affairs Canada is changing or to see online photo galleries from Minister Blackburn's various stops across Canada, visit

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Sophie Doucet
    Director of Communications
    Cell.: 613-608-3252
    Veterans Affairs Canada
    Michelle Wright
    Regional Communications Officer, Atlantic
    Cell: 902-401-7691