Minister of Veterans Affairs

Ministre des AnciensCombattants

Ottawa, Canada KlA 0P4

Mr. Gordon Jenkins
President of NATO VeteransOrganization Canada Crescent 35 Biscayne Ottawa. Ontario K2E, 5R9

jut 2 0 2011

,fi-\tlt Dear Jenkins/ Mr. Vb-,,

Thank you fbr your letter concerning views of the NATO Veterans the with regardto the benefitsavailableto Canada's Organizationof Canada rnodern-day Veterans. As the new Minister of VeteransAffairs, I am honouredto take on my responsibilities supportof Veterans their families.Meetingssuchasthe in and input in the one held on June 14,201I, underline importance stakeholder the of pleas.ed havethe opportunityto meet work of the Depaftment,and I was very to you and other leadersfrom nationalVeterans organizations. you that our I have carefully notedyour concerns and would like to assure ForcesVeteransare Governmentrecognizes that the needsof today's Canadian very different from thoseof Veteransof the SecondWorld War and the Korean War. That is why we implemented New VeteransCharterin 2006 that provides the a full rangeof programsand services, including a monthly incomefor those undergoingrehabilitationor who cannotreturnto work, disability awards, rehabilitationservices, healthcarebenefitsand practicalhelp in finding employrnent. recentlyintroducednew legislationto increase As you are aware,our Government New Veterans CharterAct, which received supportto Veterans.The Enhonced Royal Assenton March 24,2011,will pavethe way for a $2-billioninitiativeto ensurea betterquality of life for seriouslyinjured or ill Veteransand their families.

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-2Affairs Canadais going through I would also like to infonn you that Veterans of a period of transfonnationdictatedby the changingdemographics the Veterans to of it serves.Work is underway in virtually all areas the organization improve continues respondto the to the level of serviceand ensurethat the Departrnent Forcesmembersand growing needsof Canada'solder Veterans, Canadian has For example,the Department irnprovedthe response modern-dayVeterans. in hasadded20 more casemanagers areasof high time at nationalcall centresand dernand. Finally, I have notedyour comments aboutlong-termcare,and I hope that the following information is helpful.
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programoriginatedfrom the VeteransAffairs Canada'slong-term-care provision of careto Veterans Departrnent's returningfrom war. As provincial care the options were lirnited at that time, the Department committedto address health care needsof War ServiceVeterans throughthe establishment departmental of facilities. As healthcarebecame provincialresponsibility, 1963Glassco a the Commission recomlnended transferof the Department's the health-care institutionsto the provinces.A key provision of the transferagreements that, in keepingwith was Government's cornmitrnent War Service to Veterans, fixed numberof beds a would be reservedfbr the priority access theseVeterans. of Today, eachprovincedeliverslong-tenncarethrougha network of community facilities,and Veterans programis designed Affairs Canada's to long-term-care complement existingprovincialprograms. The Department ensures that an adequate supplyof long-term-care needs. bedsis available meetVeterans' to

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you to know that the majorityof Veterans It may interest receivinglong-term-care supportfrorn the Department choosinglicensedcommunityfacilities rather are than Veteran-designated beds.With approximately 1,900communityfacilities acrossCanada,Veteranscan chooseand access carein or neartheir home communitiesand staycloseto family and socialsupportnetworks.In addition, resultsof the latestclient satisfaction high levelsof satisfaction surveyindicate with the qualityof careprovidedin thesefacilities.

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-3you that modern-day Let rne assure Veteransmay receivesupportfrom the Departrnent residein a communityfacility if their needfor long-termcare is to associated with a service-related injury. TheseVeteransand their spouses may also be eligible for home careservices underthe Veterans Independence Program, which can help thernto stayin their own homefor as long aspossible. shouldbe It noted,however,that VeteransAffairs Canada doesnot havethe legislative provide long-termcareto spouses Veterans. authorityto of Again. thank you for writing. and I hopethat the inforrnationprovidedhasbeen helpful. The continuedcomrnitment the NATO VeteransOrganization of of Canadato the well-being of our Veteransis greatlyappreciated. Sincerely,
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Steven Blaney. P.C.,M.P.

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