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FrontLine Defence/Security/Innovation  FrontLine Newsletter - 23 July 2020

VVi 23 Jul 2020

Visit FrontLine website:

FrontLine Defence/Security/Innovation



| Top Defence Leaders | Jeopardizing Hearts & Minds | DND Retirements |

2019 Issue 2

Read FrontLine articles online defence/security/safety/innovation

To view the curent issue online, visit:



To subscribe to this newsletter, visit:


Jeopardizing Hearts & Minds   CHRIS MACLEAN

Democratic societies value the right to free speech and, by extention, the right to peaceful dissent without fear of military intervention – but not necessarily in our home and native land.

CAF/DND Promotions Appointments and Retirements 2020    DND

General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), announced, in March, the list of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) appointments, promotions, and retirements for 2020.


Top Quality Defence Capability Leaders 2020 – FRONTLINE REPORTS

FrontLine has gathered the key industry leaders, project primes and specialized subcontractors who provide Top Quality solutions for the defence sector. We will feature them all in our newsletter (in no particular order) over the coming weeks.

• Beretta Defence Technologies / Stoeger Canada

Beretta Defense Technologies has grown from the needs of government and law enforcement agencies to cover a wide range of requirements.

• Frequentis Canada Ltd

Frequentis designs resilient networks that meet modern demands across multiple domains in the Defence, Civil Aviation, Maritime, Public Transportation and Public Safety sectors.

• ROXOR by Mahindra

Does your fleet need a more durable option to meet bottom-line requirements? This robust side-by-side vehicle can manage the off-road environment while hauling gear, people and supplies.


COMING SOON: Pandemic not affecting NATO budgets; Operation Laser; Origins of Iran’s Modern Power; Iran’s anti-ship missile capability; NAEWC Force; RAN Offshore Patrol Vessel

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   Information on three initiatives impacted by COVID 19 / Information sur trois initiatives liées à COVID-19

VVi 21 Jul 2020 db


VAC Co-Chairs




New Stakeholders


Advisory Group Members






(le français suit)

Dear Stakeholders and Advisory Group members,

Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach is pleased to share with you information on three initiatives impacted by COVID 19.

COVID-19 IMPACTS: Veteran Families Survey

The True Patriot Love Foundation and the Vanier Institute of the Family are conducting a survey to gather information and insights about how Veteran families are feeling, what they are doing and what they are thinking about the future. They invite you to tell them how COVID 19 is impacting your family and invite you to share your experience, thoughts and ideas.

The COVID-19 IMPACTS: Veteran Families Survey is open to anyone who is a Veteran or a member of a Veteran family.
We encourage you to share the link with your networks and with Veterans and Veteran families you know. For more information, contact

2020 Navy Bike Ride Goes Virtual

Each year, the Navy Bike Ride, held in the Ottawa, works to celebrate Canadian veterans and the sacrifices that they made, while raising funds to support them and their families. In honour of those who have served in the Battle of the Atlantic, this year’s Navy Bike Ride is dedicated to their remembrance and Veterans Affairs Canada is proud to be a supporting partner of this event.

During the Battle of the Atlantic 75 years ago, the Canadian Navy and Merchant Marine devoted their service and bravery, risking their lives to ensure critical supplies would reach their destination. This exhaustive effort saw more than 25,000 voyages undertaken, showing inspiring courage and resilience.

As our country now faces a new challenge, in battling the spread of COVID-19, the Navy Bike Ride has expanded, moving online. To honour those who have served Canada, while ensuring the safety of all Canadians we encourage the Veteran community, their families and friends, and the Canadian public to participate in a virtual bike ride. By registering at, you can cycle at your own pace and schedule, between 13 June, 2020 and 30 August, 2020. Each ride will help in reaching the 25,000 bike ride goal, to remember those essential voyages.

The proceeds from this important event will be donated to the Royal Canadian Naval Benevolent Fund (RCNBF), as well as Support our Troops.

COVID-19: New Canada Border Services Agency Travel App

We would also like to take the opportunity to share for awareness that a new travel app, called ArriveCAN, is now available for use by travellers entering Canada.

The ArriveCAN mobile application and accessible web app, developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency, provides a digital way for all travellers entering Canada to easily and securely submit their information and complete a self-assessment of symptoms up to 48 hours before they arrive in Canada.

The ArriveCAN app is available for free on Google Play and Apple App stores. The use of ArriveCAN will help the Government of Canada communicate with travellers via push notifications, and for those travellers required to quarantine or isolate, to promote and verify their compliance with requirements under the Quarantine Act and to record any voluntary report of symptoms of COVID-19 during their 14-day quarantine period.


Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach Team
Veterans Affairs Canada


À tous les intervenants et membres du Groupe consultatif,

L’équipe de Mobilisation et sensibilisation des intervenants est heureuse de vous transmettre de l’information sur trois initiatives liées à COVID-19.

SONDAGE SUR LES CONSÉQUENCES DE LA COVID-19 : les familles des vétérans

La Fondation La Patrie gravée sur le cœur et l’Institut Vanier de la famille mènent une sondage pour recueillir des renseignements et des commentaires auprès des familles des vétérans afin de savoir comment elles se portent, ce qu’elles font et comment elles entrevoient l’avenir. Ils vous invitent à leur dire quelles sont les conséquences de la COVID-19 sur votre famille et vous invitent à partager votre expérience, vos réflexions et vos idées.

Sondage sur les conséquences de la COVID-19 : les familles des vétérans est ouverte aux vétérans et aux membres de la famille des vétérans.
Nous vous encourageons à partager le lien avec les gens de votre réseau ainsi qu’avec les vétérans et leur famille. Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez nous écrire à l’adresse

Le Défi-vélo de la Marine 2020 passe en mode virtuel

Chaque année, le Défi-vélo de la Marine, qui se déroule à Ottawa, vise à honorer les vétérans canadiens et à souligner les sacrifices qu’ils ont faits, tout en recueillant des fonds pour les soutenir ainsi que leur famille. En l’honneur de ceux qui ont servi lors la bataille de l’Atlantique, le Défi-vélo de la Marine de cette année est dédié à leur mémoire, et Anciens Combattants Canada est fier d’être partenaire de cette activité.

Durant la bataille de l’Atlantique il y a 75 ans, les membres de la Marine canadienne et de la marine marchande ont offert leur service dévoué et fait preuve de bravoure, risquant leur vie pour veiller à ce que les fournitures essentielles atteignent leur destination. Ils ont ainsi effectué plus de 25 000 trajets lors de cette période, faisant preuve d’un courage et d’une résilience inspirants.

Alors que notre pays doit relever un nouveau défi, celui de vaincre la propagation de la COVID-19, le Défi-vélo de la Marine a pris de l’ampleur, passant en mode virtuel. Pour honorer ceux qui ont servi le Canada, tout en assurant la sécurité de tous les Canadiens, nous encourageons les membres de la communauté des vétérans, les membres de leur famille et leurs amis, ainsi que le grand public canadien à participer à une randonnée à vélo virtuelle. En vous inscrivant au, vous pouvez pédaler à votre propre rythme et selon votre disponibilité, entre le 13 juin 2020 et le 30 août 2020. Chaque randonnée sera comptabilisée pour atteindre l’objectif de 25 000 randonnées à vélo, en l’honneur de ces trajets qui ont joué un rôle essentiel.

Les profits de cette activité importante seront versés à la Caisse de bienfaisance de la Marine royale canadienne (CBMRC), ainsi qu’à Appuyons nos troupes.

COVID-19 : Nouvelle application ArriveCAN de l’Agence des services frontaliers du Canada

Nous aimerions également profiter de l’occasion pour vous informer qu’une nouvelle application de voyage, appelée ArriveCAN, est maintenant disponible pour les voyageurs qui entrent au Canada.

L’Agence de la santé publique du Canada et l’Agence des services frontaliers du Canada ont développé l’application mobile et l’application Web ArriveCAN. Ces outils visent à permettre à tous les voyageurs entrant au Canada de soumettre facilement leurs renseignements numériques de façon sécuritaire et de remplir l’auto évaluation de symptômes jusqu’à 48 heures avant leur arrivée au Canada.

Vous pouvez télécharger gratuitement l’application ArriveCAN à partir des boutiques Google Play et Apple App. Cet outil permettra au gouvernement du Canada de communiquer avec les voyageurs au moyen d’avis et, pour les voyageurs qui doivent se mettre en quarantaine ou s’isoler, de promouvoir et de vérifier le respect des exigences de la Loi sur la mise en quarantaine, en plus de signaler toute divulgation volontaire de symptômes de la COVID 19 pendant leur période de quarantaine de 14 jours.


L’Équipe de mobilisation et sensibilisation des intervenants
Anciens Combattants Canada

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Charles Scott
July 14 at 10:40 PM

VVi 16 Jul 2020 no
Fellow veterans and Canadians,

You may recall that I went public with my battle with VAC in May 2020. I took to Twitter to spread awareness of veterans issues.

Veterans issues are non-partisan. If you’d like to follow and support here’s my account.

I hope you are all doing well.

Warm regards,

Charles Scott
Edmonton, AB

You can see the details of the claim at the following locations:
CBC at
VVI Latest News at
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Charles Scott
July 14 at 10:40 PM

VVi 16 Jul 2020 no
Fellow veterans and Canadians,

You may recall that I went public with my battle with VAC in May 2020. I took to Twitter to spread awareness of veterans issues.

Veterans issues are non-partisan. If you’d like to follow and support here’s my account.

I hope you are all doing well.

Warm regards,

Charles Scott
Edmonton, AB
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  Learn how to connect with VAC from home | Apprenez comment communiquer avec ACC de chez vous

VVi 08 Jul 2020

(Le français suit)

We are offering online information sessions about My VAC Account. The focus of these sessions will be on ways to connect with VAC from your home; applying for benefits or services; setting up direct deposit; and showing you all the resources available in My VAC Account. Plus there will be an opportunity for you to ask questions.

Please share with anyone who may be interested and the details are below:

Here are the details:

When: Wednesday, 22 July 2020 from 5-7 pm EDT (English session)

Thursday, 23 July 2020 from 5-7 pm EDT (French session)

Who: Sessions are open to all

What: My VAC Account is a secure, authenticated web application that allows Veterans, CAF and RCMP members to access VAC services from anywhere, and at any time. Family members who are receiving benefits directly from VAC can also sign up for My VAC Account.

How: To register for the online webinar session:
1. Open the link
2. Enter your name and email address.
3. Click “Register”.
4. A confirmation email will be sent to you with a link to join the session when it starts. A reminder email will be automatically sent with the link prior to the date of the session.
Note: If you are joining with a smartphone or tablet you will need to download the WebEx application.

If you need help joining the Webinar:

On the left navigation bar of the WebEx home page, click "Support"
Call 1-800-226-6338 or 613-941-9554

Please feel free to share this with anyone who may be interested in joining. If you have any questions, please send them to the My VAC Account team at


Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach Team
Veterans Affairs Canada

Anciens Combattants Canada offrira des séances d’information en ligne sur Mon dossier ACC. Les séances porteront sur les méthodes de communication avec ACC de chez vous, la façon de soumettre des demandes de prestations ou de services, et les ressources que l’on peut trouver dans Mon dossier ACC. Vous aurez également la possibilité de poser des questions.
Veuillez transmettre ce message à toute personne qui pourrait vouloir y participer.

Voici les détails des séances :
Quand : Le mercredi 22 juillet 2020, de 17 h à 19 h HAE (en anglais)

Le jeudi 23 juillet 2020, de 17 h à 19 h HAE (en français)

Qui : Les séances sont ouvertes à tous.

Quoi : Mon dossier ACC est une application Web authentifiée et sécuritaire qui permet aux vétérans, ainsi qu’aux membres des FAC et de la GRC d’accéder aux services d’ACC à tout moment et de n’importe quel endroit. Les membres de la famille qui reçoivent des avantages directement d’ACC peuvent également s’inscrire à Mon dossier ACC.

Comment : Pour vous inscrire à la séance en ligne :
1. Cliquez sur le lien
2. Entrez votre nom et votre adresse de courriel.
1. Cliquez pour vous joindre à la séance (Register).
2. Un courriel de confirmation vous sera envoyé vous donnant le lien à suivre pour joindre la séance lorsqu’elle commencera. Un courriel de rappel comprenant le lien vous sera envoyé automatiquement avant la date de la séance.
Remarque : Si vous participez à la séance sur un téléphone intelligent ou une tablette, vous devrez télécharger l’application WebEx.

Si vous avez besoin d’aide pour joindre la séance :

Cliquez sur « Soutien » à gauche de la barre de navigation de WebEx;
Composez le 1‑800‑226‑6338 ou le 613‑941‑9554.

N’hésitez pas à transmettre le présent message à toute personne qui souhaiterait assister à la séance. Si vous avez des questions, veuillez les poser à l’équipe de Mon dossier ACC par courriel à l’adresse suivante :


L’équipe de Mobilisation et sensibilisation des intervenants
Anciens Combattants Canada
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Passing of John Labelle

01 Jul 2020

Just found out today, that back in Dec we lost a good man, John Labelle.

John was the lead advocate on reversing the CFSA Clawback. He advocated to his very last day.
Personally, I will miss working with this dedicated veteran. I will miss his friendship.

RIP, John.

Major (Retired) CJ Wallace CD, BA, BAS, plsc
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Link to Departmental plan to address wait times / Lien vers le plan ministériel visant à réguler les temps d’attente
07:36 02-Jul-20

(Le français suit)

VVi 30 Jun 2020

Dear Stakeholders and Advisory Group members,

As you have heard me say before, tackling the backlog is my top priority. With that in mind, I am pleased to share with you the Department’s plan to address wait times: Timely Disability Benefit Decisions: Strategic Direction for Improving Wait Times. This plan focuses on the tactics and initiatives in progress to improve wait times for Veterans applying for Disability Benefits.

I wanted to share this response directly with you, our stakeholders and advisory group members, so you can see exactly how we plan to address this issue, including the concrete steps we will be taking in the coming months.

There is no one single initiative that will reduce wait times. This is why our plan includes hiring, digital solutions, innovation, all in an integrated approach. In the plan you will see details on initiatives like our Veterans Benefit Teams—integrated teams that will serve as one-stop-shops for all applications, reducing the potential wait time at each step of the process.

We encourage you to read the full plan and share it on your social media channels.
Your support in helping us inform the Veterans community and your advocacy on their part is much appreciated.


Lawrence MacAulay
Minister of Veterans Affairs and
Associate Minister of National Defence

Chers intervenants et membres des groupes consultatifs,

Comme je l’ai déjà dit, la prise en charge de l’arriéré est ma priorité absolue. Dans cette optique, je suis heureux de vous communiquer la réponse récente du Ministère au rapport du Comité permanent des anciens combattants au sujet de la façon dont nous réduirons les temps d’attente : Prise de décisions en temps opportun relatives aux prestations d’invalidité – Orientation stratégique pour améliorer les temps d’attente. Ce plan est axé sur les tactiques et les initiatives en cours visant à améliorer les temps d’attente pour les vétérans qui présentent une demande de prestations d’invalidité.

Je tenais à transmettre cette réponse directement à vous, à nos intervenants et aux membres des groupes consultatifs, y compris les mesures concrètes que nous prendrons au cours des prochains mois, afin que vous puissiez voir exactement comment nous planifions régler ce problème.

Une initiative unique ne suffirait pas pour réduire les temps d’attente. C’est pourquoi notre plan comprend l’embauche, les solutions numériques et l’innovation, selon une approche intégrée. Le plan contient les renseignements sur les initiatives comme nos équipes intégrées responsables des prestations aux vétérans qui serviront de guichets uniques pour toutes les demandes, ce qui réduira le temps d’attente possible à chaque étape du processus.

Nous vous encourageons à lire la réponse complète et à la partager sur vos réseaux de médias sociaux.

Je vous remercie de nous aider à informer la communauté des vétérans et votre groupe consultatif.


Lawrence MacAulay
Ministre des Anciens Combattants et
ministre associé de la Défense nationale
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VVi Website

VVi 25 Jun 2020

This website, is now available on all devices, including smart phones, and all OSs.

If you note any problems, contact .

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Twice-forgotten soldier sues Veterans Affairs over 'abandoned' case file

Critics say Charles Scott's case describes an overwhelmed VAC unable to keep up with veterans' pleas for help

Murray Brewster · CBC News ·
Posted: Jun 23, 2020 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: June 23

VVi 25 Jun 2020db

Former master corporal Charles Scott in Kabul in 2004. 'I missed out on a lot, just like a lot of other Canadians.' (Contributed)

When former master corporal Charles Scott left the army in 2008, a note was scribbled in his Veterans Affairs file warning that he faced a significant risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder.

The warning was never followed up on by the department; no one ever contacted him about it and no one ever arranged for treatment. Scott himself didn't know about the assessment until more than a decade later, after he applied under privacy law to see his file — and several years after he had sought treatment for PTSD on his own.

It wouldn't be the last time the former combat soldier and army intelligence operative, who served with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in Bosnia and Afghanistan, fell through the cracks of the bureaucracy.

Scott launched a lawsuit in Federal Court last month accusing Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) of negligence and of violating federal law (the Veterans Well-being Act) in its handling of his file.

"It gives me no pleasure to sue Canada, a country that I joined to serve for benefits that impact me and my very young family," Scott, 45, told CBC News.

Scott said that his Veterans Affairs case manager stopped returning his calls and emails in the winter of 2019, just as the Liberal government was preparing to launch its long-awaited pension-for-life plan for Canada's former soldiers.

Buried and forgotten

What Scott didn't know at the time — and what it took an access-to-information request filed by him with the federal government to fully explain — is that his case manager had been gone from the department since early 2019. Scott's file, and possibly those of others, lay buried and forgotten in the Edmonton VAC office — and no one noticed until Scott called the veterans' crisis line in late April 2019.

"My file was abandoned and not handed over," he said. "The veteran team service manager in Edmonton did not hand over my file to another case manager."

As a result, Scott said, he missed his chance to lock in the supplementary career replacement benefits which had been a feature of Veterans Affairs' old benefits system before being phased out with the introduction of the current Liberal government's revised system.

He was forced to join the new system of benefits — a system that, prior to its introduction on April 1, 2019, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said was less generous than the old system to the most severely disabled veterans.

Scott's statement of claim doesn't cite a sum at this point, but he estimates the federal government's error has cost him as much as $1,000 per month.

Former master corporal Charles Scott in 2019. (Contributed)

Scott, who worked for several years as a federal occupational health and safety inspector before PTSD overwhelmed his life, said he did not want to sue the federal government but was left with no alternative.

"I have made every attempt to contact the minister of Veterans Affairs. I have made every attempt to contact members of Parliament without success," he said.

'It's not fair'

Critics tracking the veterans file — like NDP MP Rachel Blaney — say Scott's experience fits with what they've heard from other veterans, and describes an overtaxed Veterans Affairs bureaucracy that can't keep up with veterans' pleas for help.

"It's absolutely unacceptable," said Blaney. "We have heard from folks working at VAC they have a lot of concerns about this very thing happening and that they're under-resourced in terms of staffing to deal with these issues.

"It's not fair that our veterans are the ones paying for the consequence of that."

It's also a perfect illustration of what the Liberal government was warned about when it implemented the overhaul of veterans benefits, Blaney said, adding the government should have "listened more closely to the people who are analyzing the system."

The Liberal government under Paul Martin proposed in 2005 to replace the decades-old system of veterans benefits under the Pension Act with a new system called the New Veterans Charter.

The subsequent Conservative government under Stephen Harper adopted the charter, then tweaked it in response to protests from veterans. The campaigning Liberals promised in 2015 to restore to veterans a choice between a pension for life and a lump-sum payment as compensation for service-related injuries.

But before the Liberal plan could be implemented, Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux wrote a report warning that while the plan would be slightly more generous than the system it replaced, it still would leave many in worse financial shape they would have been under the old pre-Veterans Charter system.

"From the perspective of the veteran, virtually all clients would be better off if they received the benefits of the (pre-2006) Pension Act," Giroux's report says.

'I missed out on a lot'

Scott is bitter.

"All of my occupational injuries and illnesses are pre-2006," he said. "I missed out on the Pension Act. I missed out on those financial services. I missed out on a lot, just like a lot of other Canadians."

VAC spokespeople won't speak to the particulars of Scott's case, citing privacy protections. They also haven't explained why Scott's file was allowed to languish, or say how many other soldiers might be affected by forgotten files.

VAC spokesperson Marc Lescoutre told CBC News in an email that, normally, the department "proactively" reassigns files as required — when a case manager is set to retire soon, for example.

When a case manager leaves unexpectedly, or calls in sick, the on-duty case manager is supposed to take over the manager's files.

The Forgotten: Afghan-Canadian combat advisers seek help and recognition

As for the problems with the department's services for veterans and the pension plan, another VAC spokesperson, John Embury, issued a statement noting that the "Pension for Life" program represented a $3.6 billion federal investment, and citing the government's promise to review how the "Pension for Life" plan is being administered.

"As directed by both the prime minister and the minister of Veterans Affairs, VAC is thoroughly reviewing the implementation of Pension for Life, and may recommend changes, where needed, to improve the outcomes and experiences of veterans and their families," said the statement.

See more...
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Federal government tosses dozens of claims from vets who died without survivors

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

Published Saturday, May 16, 2020 8:41AM EDT Last Updated Saturday, May 16, 2020 9:04AM EDT

VVi 25 May 2020 db

A sign is placed on a truck windshield as members of the advocacy group Banished Veterans protest outside the Veterans Affairs office in Halifax on Thursday, June 16, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

It wasn't the phone call Robert Nordlund's family had been expecting but one that dozens of other families across the country receive each year: Veterans Affairs Canada was tossing the deceased Mountie's application for disability benefits because he didn't have a surviving spouse or dependant child.

That was despite the fact that his application had sat in a backlog for two years, during which time both he and his wife died.

Nordlund had spent 36 years in uniform before retiring about nine years ago as a sergeant in the RCMP. A former rugby player for Team Canada in the 1970s, he was a tough, quiet Mountie who had loved nothing more than being in his cruiser patrolling the roads of British Columbia.

Following his retirement, however, Nordlund had started to experience mood swings and depression. There was also growing hip pain, which doctors later traced to either one of the two car accidents he'd had as a Mountie or from sitting in his car for years with a holstered gun.

"He was not sort of the type to make (disability) claims," Scott Nordlund recalls of his father. "He was kind of a tough old guy. So we always thought his hip was hurting but it got really evident about five years ago and he was like: 'Oh, it's fine. Don't worry about it."'

Nordlund did eventually submit a claim to Veterans Affairs Canada for assistance and compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder, which was approved. Then, more than two years ago, he submitted a claim for the hip.

And then he waited. And waited.

When Nordlund died of lung cancer in November at the age of 72, his application was still waiting to be assessed by Veterans Affairs. Initially, his family was told that it would continue to be processed. But then came the call on April 21: the claim was being tossed out.

"When my sister got the phone call, she said: 'I guess they were just waiting for him to die off before they put the claim through,"' Scott Nordlund says. "It's a unique situation obviously, but at the same time, you just have to wonder."

Veterans Affairs would not comment on Nordlund's specific case, citing privacy laws.

However, it confirmed that 95 applications for disability benefits were withdrawn in the last fiscal year with similar circumstances to Nordlund's claim: the military veteran or retired RCMP officer had died without an eligible surviving spouse or dependant child.

"If a veteran or RCMP member with an eligible survivor or dependant applied before their death, the application would continue and a decision would be rendered," Veterans Affairs spokesman Marc Lescoutre said in an email.

"If the applicant dies before a decision is made and there is no eligible survivor or dependant, the estate is not entitled to be paid and VAC stops processing the application."

The rule, which Lescoutre said is contained in legislation, applies even if the application has been sitting in the queue for longer than 16 weeks, which is the standard by which Veterans Affairs is supposed to complete 80 per cent of all applications.

Forty-one of the 95 applications that were withdrawn last year had been waiting more than 16 weeks to be processed. The department had a total backlog of 44,000 applications for disability benefits at the end of September, a number that has continued to increase every year.

Scott Nordlund questions why claims that have been waiting years to be processed are treated the same as those only recently submitted.

"Obviously it makes sense if the person is on their death bed and they decide to put a claim in at the last second," he says. "But not if the person has been sitting in the queue for X number of years, right?

"When my dad put the claim in, he had stage 1 cancer. So between the claim and his death obviously from cancer, you had a full cancer illness that went through its entire course before they even touched (the application) and it was still in the queue. So it's like, 'Come on, give me a break."'

The fact that his mother Elizabeth Nordlund was alive when his father initially applied for compensation for his bad hip also raises questions and concerns. She died of cancer in July.

"So if she was still alive and had held on, they still would have processed that claim," says Scott Nordlund. "So it's seems a little bit arbitrary."

Lescoutre said when the department learns a veteran is facing medical risks, their claim can be fast-tracked.

Scott Nordlund, who can appreciate the difficult task Veterans Affairs staff face in assessing claims, says his family did not expect much money from his father's claim for a bad hip. Perhaps enough to help with the funeral costs. But at this point, it's a matter of principle.

"Our situation is a little bit easier where it wasn't going to be probably a significant amount of money," he says. "I feel more bad for a situation where the person dies suddenly and their kids just turned 18 and entered university and are no longer a dependant."

See more...
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Letter - Canvassing Other Veterans

VVi 14 May 2020

To the Canadian Veteran community,

Hello, my name is Charles Scott. I served Canada for eleven years as an infantryman with 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and also as an army intelligence operator. I deployed operationally to the Former Yugoslavia (Bosnia) and Afghanistan. I reside in Edmonton, Alberta with my wife and young family (2, 6 & 11 yrs old).

The reason for my public post is to canvass other veterans about the recent Veterans Ombudsman report “ Financial Compensation for Canadian Veterans, a comparative analysis of benefits regimes”. In this report, the Veterans Ombudsman identifies the inequality of receiving a Diminished Earning Capacity (DEC) prior to April 1, 2019 when Pension for Life rolled out (PFL). The removal of the Career Impact Allowance (CIA) and Career Impact Allowance Supplement (CIA-Sup) affects the most injured veterans. Perhaps surprisingly to some, I fall into that statistic. I am also a veteran who has injury claims under all three of the veteran legislations (pension Act, Veterans Well-Being Act (NVC) and Pension for Life).

I fall into the category of veterans who are entitled to receive the Career Impact Allowance (CIA-Sup), however, my case manager mismanaged my Veterans Affairs Canada file AND terminated employment in the weeks before April 1, 2019 when Pension for Life was implimented. It was not until April 24, 2019 that I was informed my case manager had left Veterans Affairs and my file and all applications were abandoned (during a legislation change).

Despite being assigned a new case manager who worked tirelessly on my file, we were forced to resubmit a new Diminished Earning Capacity referral with Career Impact Allowance Supplement under the new legislation. Since then, I have been engaged in appeal after appeal with VAC to correct the wrongdoings. I am currently being denied access to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB) as they do not have jurisdiction over DEC and CIA benefits.

My complaint is registered with the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman and I await their analysis. Due to time constraints, my only avenues of approach are to give up or take the matter to court.

I have obtained 2300 pages of Access to Information and Privacy Act documents identifying numerous errors. Internal Veterans Affairs Canada emails identify management personnel who knew of the wrongdoings and placed the onus on myself to plead my case. Despite the evidence provided in my appeals, Veterans Affairs Canada continues to gaslight my concerns and there is no other internal recourses available.

I have exhausted all means to resolve these matters with Veterans Affairs Canada with no success. Veterans Affairs Canada is failing to meet my needs as an injured/ill veteran.

What I am requesting from the Canadian veteran community is to canvass folks who may have had to fight for lost CIA Sup benefits before the change to PFL? There is an internal Veterans Affairs Canada email that was sent from mid-management to all Veteran Service Teams across Canada (Case Managers) days before April 1, 2019. This email directed case managers to provide Diminished Earning Capacity decisions to veterans who were; close to requiring one, were forecasted to need one in the future and waived criteria such as being on the Rehab Program as some examples. They did this to secure the soon to be removed CIA and CIA-Sup. I am looking for a copy of this email without having to wait for Access to Information.

The current situation; I am consulting with my legal counsel on how to proceed. We have two weeks left to file a statement of claim in court. My member of parliament is making a last attempt to reason with the Minister of Veterans Affairs. If you are able to assist me obtain the March 2019 email or have fought this battle with Veterans Affairs Canada, please reach out to me, we are not alone.

Thank you for sharing in my vulnerability.

Warm regards,

Charles Scott MCpl (Ret’d)
Edmonton, Alberta
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Liberals defends $4M transfer from operating budget amid veterans' backlog fury

The Canadian Press

Publishing date: March 10, 2020 • 1 minute read

Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence Lawrence MacAulay responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on January 27, 2020. Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA — The Liberal government is defending its choice to take more than $4 million from Veterans Affairs Canada’s operating budget at a time when the department is struggling with a backlog of tens of thousands of disability applications from injured ex-soldiers.
Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay says the money moved went mainly to providing emergency assistance to at-risk veterans, including some who are homeless or in crisis situations.

But MacAulay, who was grilled over the transfer during a parliamentary committee appearance this morning, later sidestepped questions from The Canadian Press about why the government didn’t add more money from the federal treasury instead.

The department’s top civil servant, retired general Walter Natynczyk, told the committee the transfer did not negatively impact efforts to address the backlog of 44,000 applications, a number that has steadily grown for the past few years.

Conservative and NDP MPs were unimpressed with the government’s explanation, questioning why it took more resources from the department’s operating budget as the backlog continues to grow, instead adding more money to deal with the problem.

Opposition parties also called on the government to produce a detailed plan for eliminating the backlog, echoing a call from veterans ombudsman Craig Dalton last month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2020.

See more...
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Veterans ombudsman calls it quits after 18 months

Lt.-Col. Craig Dalton, chief of staff for Task Force Kandahar, tells reporters in Kandahar, Afghanistan that Canada has given command of Kandahar city to the U.S., Thursday, July 15, 2010. Veterans ombudsman Craig Dalton is calling it quits after only 18 months on the job.Bill Graveland / THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Canadian Press, Lee Berthiaume
May 11, 2020 2:48 PM EDT Last Updated May 11, 2020 4:35 PM EDT

VVi 14 May 2020

OTTAWA — Veterans ombudsman Craig Dalton is calling it quits, leaving former service members without a key advocate at a time when many are worried about the effect the COVID-19 pandemic is having on their requests for assistance from the federal government.

Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced Dalton’s departure Monday, saying the former army colonel was beginning “a new chapter in his distinguished career.”

The announcement caught many within the veterans’ community and even some within the ombudsman’s office by surprise, as Dalton had spent only 18 months on the job.

It also raised questions about why Dalton, who previously served in Afghanistan and commanded Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, decided to leave.

The ombudsman’s office said Dalton, the third person to serve as veterans ombudsman since the office was created in 2007 and whose last day is Friday, was not available for an interview.

Dalton’s predecessors, retired colonel Pat Stogran and retired chief warrant officer Guy Parent, served as ombudsman for three and nine years, respectively. Dalton began his time in the role in November 2018.

While the office has helped some veterans access services and benefits, it has also been criticized for years for its lack of independence from government. The ombudsman reports to the minister of veterans affairs rather than Parliament.

There have also been concerns about the office’s narrow mandate, which largely focuses on reviewing individual cases in which veterans are denied benefits rather than studying and addressing systemic problems in the system.

Dalton echoed some of those sentiments in a February interview with The Canadian Press, in which he specifically took issue with the lack of independence within the office — and worried about the effect that has on its trust and credibility within the veterans’ community.

“Those that are recognized as being the most effective and being true ombuds offices are all independent in their structure,” he said.

“They have true independence. And that really matters when it comes to trust and even the perception of independence matters when it comes to trust.”

He also urged the federal government to conduct a review of the office’s mandate. He noted it had not been updated since the position was created, even though the intention at the time was to take a close look at it every five years.

Dalton’s decision to leave comes at an unusual time, given the federal government is currently consumed by the COVID-19 pandemic and Veterans Affairs Canada has been struggling to address a backlog of 44,000 applications for assistance from disabled veterans.
Many veterans and their advocates worry that backlog has only grown because of the pandemic.

Brian Forbes, chair of the National Council of Veterans’ Associations, which represents dozens of veterans’ organizaton across Canada, nevertheless urged the government to use Dalton’s departure as an opportunity to finally review the ombudsman’s mandate.

Dalton “was doing a pretty decent job,” Forbes said. “He was consulting well with the veterans’ community and stakeholders and put out some pretty decent reports. But the reality is the veterans ombudsman’s office doesn’t have sufficient independence.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 11, 2020.

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Mental Health Week and update on Government of Canada and Veterans Affairs Canada Supports during COVID19 / Semaine de la santé mentale et mise à jour sur le soutien du gouvernement du Canada et d’Anciens Combattants Canada pendant COVID19


VVi 06 May 2020

(Le français suit)

Dear Stakeholder and Advisory Group members,

The Government of Canada (GOC) continues to support Canadians, at risk populations, businesses, non-profits and others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In doing so, the GOC has introduced a range of financial relief programs to assist Canadians as well as non-profits and charity organizations impacted by this pandemic. Information on Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan is available here. However, we would like to highlight of the following benefits that may be applicable to you or your organization:

Emergency Community Support Fund: Community organizations will be able to apply for funds through these national partners or their local entities. Our partners and their networks are working as quickly as possible to set up application processes. Community organizations should check the websites of the United Way Centraide Canada, the Canadian Red Cross and Community Foundations of Canada to learn more about how and when they will be able to apply.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: As a Canadian employer whose business has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA): To ensure that small businesses have access to the capital they need to see them through the current challenges, the new CEBAhas been implemented by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC).

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA): Under a rent forgiveness agreement, which includes a moratorium on eviction, the mortgaged commercial property owner would reduce the small business tenant’s monthly rent by at least 75 %. The tenant would be responsible for covering 25 %, the property owner 25 %, while the federal government and provinces would share the remaining 50 %.

Deferral of filing – non-profits: The Canada Revenue Agency website provides information on income tax filing and payment deadlines in response to COVID-19.

Deferral of filing – registered charities: Information specific to income tax filing as a registered charity is provided on the Canada Revenue Agency website.

In addition, during this exceptional time, employees at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) are using the Veterans Emergency Fund to the full extent possible to support Veterans’ safety and well-being. The fund helps us react quickly to address urgent needs of Veterans and their families. Given the exceptional circumstances of this pandemic, VAC is being more flexible and permitting payments of up to $10,000. We invite you to visit our website to learn more about the Veterans Emergency Fund.

Mental Health

As part of Mental Health Week, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, and I issued the following statement:
Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada mark Mental Health Week.

For more information on mental health services offered by VAC, please visit…/hea…/mental-health-and-wellness

A number of resources are listed below:

VAC Assistance Service (1-800-268-7708) is a free, 24/7 mental health resource that connects you to psychological support and counselling. You do not have to be receiving VAC benefits to use this service.

Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) is using alternative ways to continue to support those with an operational stress injury (OSI) and their families. For those finding these times particularly challenging or simply wanting to reach out and chat with a peer, you can call 1-800-883-6094 or email

Providers may be offering alternate options, such as telehealth supports, for physiotherapy or other treatments. Always check with your health provider to see which treatment options are available to you and what may be covered. If you need assistance in finding local supports, please call us at 1-866-522-2122 or secure message us on My VAC Account.

Veteran Family Program - Military Family Resource Centres are offering services virtually. The Veteran Family Program is still available to medically releasing CAF members and medically released Veterans and their families to support them as they make the transition to post-service life.

The Veterans Affairs Canada website and social media channels continue to be updated with the latest information, and I encourage you to visit and to check back often.

Thank you for all the work you and your organization are doing to help Veterans during this difficult time.

Stay healthy and safe,

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
Chers membres de groupes consultatifs et d’intervenants,

Le gouvernement du Canada (CG) continue à soutenir les Canadiens, les populations à risque, les entreprises, les organismes sans but lucratif et d’autres pendant la pandémie de COVID-19. À cette fin, le GC a mis en place une série de programmes de soutien financier destinés à aider les Canadiens ainsi que les organismes sans but lucratif et de bienfaisance qui sont touchés par cette pandémie. Vous trouverez ici des renseignements sur le Plan d’intervention du Canada pour répondre à la COVID-19. Nous souhaitons toutefois attirer votre attention sur les avantages suivants qui pourraient s’appliquer à vous ou à votre organisation.
Fonds de soutien communautaire d’urgence : Les organismes communautaires pourront demander des fonds par l’entremise de ces partenaires nationaux ou de leurs entités locales. Nos partenaires et leurs réseaux travaillent à mettre en place des processus de demande le plus rapidement possible. Les organismes communautaires sont invités à consulter les sites Web de Centraide United Way Canada, de la Société canadienne de la Croix-Rouge et de Fondations communautaires du Canada pour en apprendre davantage sur la façon et le moment de présenter une demande.

Subvention salariale d’urgence du Canada : Si vous êtes un employeur canadien dont l’entreprise a été touchée par la COVID-19, vous pourriez être admissible à une subvention de 75 % des salaires de vos employés pour une période allant jusqu’à 12 semaines, et ce, rétroactivement du 15 mars 2020 au 6 juin 2020.

Compte d’urgence pour les entreprises canadiennes (CUEC) : Afin de s’assurer que les petites entreprises ont accès aux capitaux dont elles ont besoin pour relever les défis actuels, le nouveau CUEC a été mis en œuvre par les institutions financières admissibles en collaboration avec Exportation et développement Canada (EDC).

Aide d’urgence du Canada pour le loyer commercial (AUCLC) : Aux termes d’une entente de remise de loyer qui prévoit un moratoire sur l’expulsion, le propriétaire d’un immeuble commercial hypothéqué réduirait d’au moins 75 % le loyer mensuel payable par la petite entreprise en location. Le locataire et le propriétaire devraient couvrir chacun 25 % du loyer, tandis que le gouvernement fédéral et les provinces se partageraient les 50 % restants.

Report des délais de production des déclarations – organismes sans but lucratif : Le site Web de l’Agence du revenu du Canada fournit des renseignements sur les délais de production des déclarations d’impôt sur le revenu et de paiement en réponse à la COVID-19.

Report des délais de production des déclarations – organismes de bienfaisance enregistrés : Le site Web de l’Agence du revenu du Canada fournit des renseignements particuliers concernant les déclarations d’impôt sur le revenu pour les organismes de bienfaisance enregistrés.

Par ailleurs, pendant cette période exceptionnelle, les employés d’Anciens Combattants Canada (ACC) utilisent le Fonds d’urgence pour les vétérans dans toute la mesure du possible afin de soutenir la sécurité et le bien-être des vétérans. Ce fonds nous aide à réagir rapidement pour répondre aux besoins urgents des vétérans et de leur famille. Compte tenu des circonstances exceptionnelles de cette pandémie, ACC fait preuve de plus de souplesse et autorise des paiements pouvant atteindre 10 000 $. Nous vous invitons à visiter notre site Web pour en savoir plus sur le Fonds d’urgence pour les vétérans.

Santé mentale

Dans le cadre de la Semaine de la santé mentale, l’honorable Harjit S. Sajjan, ministre de la Défense nationale, a fait la déclaration suivante :

Le ministre de la Défense nationale et le ministre des Anciens Combattants soulignent la Semaine de la santé mentale
Pour en savoir plus sur les services de santé mentale offerts par ACC, veuillez consulter le site…/hea…/mental-health-and-wellness

Vous trouverez ci-dessous une liste de ressources :

Le Service d’aide d’ACC (1-800-268-7708) est une ressource gratuite en matière de santé mentale, disponible 24 heures sur 24 et 7 jours sur 7, qui vous permet d’avoir accès à du soutien psychologique et à du counseling. Vous n’êtes pas tenus de recevoir des prestations d'ACC pour utiliser ce service.

Le Soutien social; blessures de stress opérationnel (SSBSO) offre d’autres moyens pour continuer à soutenir les personnes atteintes d’un traumatisme lié au stress opérationnel (TSO) et leur famille. Les personnes qui trouvent ces moments particulièrement difficiles ou qui veulent simplement prendre contact et discuter avec un pair peuvent composer le 1-800-883-6094 ou envoyer un courriel à

Les fournisseurs de services peuvent offrir d’autres options, comme la télésanté, en appui à la physiothérapie ou à d’autres traitements. Vérifiez toujours auprès de votre fournisseur de soins de santé quelles sont les options de traitement dont vous pouvez bénéficier et qui peuvent être remboursées. Si vous avez besoin d’aide pour trouver des services de soutien locaux, veuillez nous appeler au 1-866-522-2022 ou nous envoyer un message sécurisé dans Mon dossier ACC.

Programme pour les familles des vétérans – Les centres de ressources pour les familles des militaires au Canada offrent des services virtuellement. Le Programme pour les familles des vétérans continue d’être offert aux membres des FAC en voie de libération pour des raisons médicales, aux vétérans libérés pour des raisons médicales et à leur famille afin d’appuyer leur transition vers la vie après le service militaire.

Le site Web d’Anciens Combattants Canada et les plateformes de médias sociaux continuent d’être mis à jour pour fournir les renseignements les plus récents. Je vous encourage à les consulter fréquemment.

Je vous remercie pour tout le travail que vous et votre organisation accomplissez afin d’aider les vétérans durant cette période difficile.

Restez en santé et en sécurité,

L’honorable Lawrence MacAulay, C. P., député
Ministre des Anciens Combattants et ministre associé de la Défense nationale
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