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Response From Minister

Response From Minister

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Published by natoveteranscnd
letter from the Minister of Veterans Affairs to the Consultation Group's letter of 12 December 2011 following our meeting.

letter from the Minister of Veterans Affairs to the Consultation Group's letter of 12 December 2011 following our meeting.

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Published by: natoveteranscnd on Mar 21, 2012
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03/21/2012

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Minister ofVeteransAffairs
MAR12
2012
Ministre desAnciensCombattants Ottawa,CanadaK1A
OP4
Ms.PatriciaVargaDominionPresidentTheRoyalCanadianLegion86AirdPlaceOttawa,OntarioK2LOAlDearMs.Varga:/~
'?'"~J;nt
OY12:)
MAR062012
InresponsetoyourletteronbehalfoftheVeteransConsultationGroup,Iampleasedtotakethisopportunitytoaddresstheissuesraisedatitsannualmeeting.Asyoumention,VeteransAffairsCanadaisundergoingaperiodoftransformationdictated
by
thechangingdemographicsoftheVeteransitserves.Thistransformationis,firstandforemost,aboutimprovingservicesto Veteransandtheirfamilies.WorkisunderwayinvirtuallyallareasofmyDepartmenttoensurethatitcontinuestorespondtothegrowingneedsofCanada'solderVeteransandthecomplexneedsofCanadianForcesmembersandmodem-dayVeterans.WhileitistruethattheDepartment'sspendinginthecomingyearsisexpected todecreaseas,sadly,thenumberofVeteransfromtheSecondWorldWarandtheKoreanWardeclines,ourGovernmenthasbeenveryclear:thereareno cutstoVeterans'benefits.AspartoftheGovernmentofCanada'songoingeffortstomodernizeandbalancethebudgetthroughthedeficitreductionactionplan,VeteransAffairs Canadahasreviewedtheprogramsandoperationswithinitsportfoliotoensure responsiblespendingandcontinuedvalueforCanadiantaxpayers.TheresultsofthisreviewwillbeannouncedinBudget2012. .../2
 
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TheDepartment'sprojectedspendingfor2012-13andonward,asoutlinedin the
2011-2012ReportonPlansandPriorities,
isbasedinpartonforecastsfrom2007.Projectedprogramexpendituresareadjustedeachyearthroughanestimatesprocess.ItmayinterestyoutoknowthattheDepartmentincreaseditsbudgetbyanaverageof$150millionthroughin-yearadjustmentsoverthepasttwoyears.TheflexibilityofthebudgetprocesswillensurethatVeteranscarryonreceivingallthebenefitstowhichtheyareentitledandsorichlydeserve.ThroughoutitsongoingeffortstoreviewandimprovebenefitsforVeterans,VeteransAffairsCanadawillcontinuetoreachouttoandconsultwithVeteransandtheirfamilies,Veteransorganizationsandotherstakeholders.MyDepartmentwillfullyconsidertheirrecommendationsandiscommittedtorespondinginconcretewaystokeepitsprogramsandservicesrelevantforallVeterans.Asyouareaware,ourGovernmentrecentlyintroducedthe
EnhancedNewVeteransCharterAct
toaddressconcerns,includingthoseraisedbytheNewVeteransCharterAdvisoryGroup,aboutthebenefitsprovidedtoillandinjuredVeterans.ThisnewlegislationofferssignificantimprovementstothesupportsavailabletoseriouslyinjuredVeterans.Finally,VeteransAffairsCanada,togetherwiththeDepartmentofNationalDefence,hasbeenpleasedtosupporttheworkofQueen'sUniversityandtheRoyalMilitaryCollegetofoundtheCanadianInstituteforMilitaryandVeteranHealthResearch.TheInstituteiscurrentlyformulatingitsgovernance sn:uc~reandplanstoengagestakeholdersinestablishingitsresearch
I
priorities.VeteransAffairsCanada'sResearchDirectorateisexploringwaystostrengthentheDepartment'scollaborationwiththeInstituteonresearch relatingtoVeterans'healthandrehabilitation.TheDirectoraterecentlygaveapresentationtotheDepartmentalStakeholderCommittee,anditwillcontinueltoprovideperiodicupdatesatfutureCommitteemeetings.
I
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