Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

January 26, 2011 17:00 ET

Veterans Affairs Minister Highlights Improvements for Canada's Veterans

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Jan. 26, 2011) - The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture) was meeting today with staff and stakeholders in Calgary to explain how the Government of Canada is enhancing programs and benefits for Veterans and improving the service they receive from Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).

"The Government of Canada has taken important steps in recent months to ensure that Veterans and their families receive all the care and support they deserve," said Minister Blackburn. "We are listening to Veterans' concerns. We are changing the culture of the Department, and we are modernizing the way the Department operates to serve Veterans and their families better.

"Progress is clearly being made in the Department of Veterans Affairs—specifically as it relates to reducing turnaround times and red tape," said Minister Blackburn.

Minister Blackburn's stop in Calgary is part of his cross-country tour to share with Canadians the recent changes occurring 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.

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 began his visit to Calgary Tuesday night, when he joined Member of Parliament Rob Anders (Calgary West) for a meet-and-greet with Veterans at the Military Museums. His trip resumed this morning with a tour with Calgary police and the opportunity to meet Veterans living on the city's streets. Minister Blackburn then toured the Department's district office, where he met with staff and held a press conference with local reporters. He wrapped up his day in Calgary by touring the Department's Operational Stress Injury (OSI) Clinic.

"I'm pleased to be meeting with Veterans and stakeholders across the country to explain the substantial progress which is being made within the Department. It is for me an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to providing the best possible service, especially to those Veterans struggling with the most difficult situations. We owe it to them," said Minister Blackburn.

As part of his tour, Minister Blackburn is stopping in several cities across Canada to visit with Veterans' organizations, Canadian Forces personnel, operational stress injury clinics 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
    David Meister
    A/ Regional Director of Communications
    Cell: 204-333-7691