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Article Date01-09-2009
Record TYPELetter
Article TOPICLegacy DB (old)
Article TitleLetter To Minister VAC - Lack of Support from Veterans Affairs
Article ContentDear Minister,

I am writing to you yet again to comment on your lack
of sensitivity for veterans with disabilities. You
seem to be ignorant of the detrimental impact of your
correspondence with us. The most recent example is
your letter that I received on 26 September in which
you state that the advisory group that was recently
formed will solve problems. What exactly is it that
makes you believe that anything will change given that
your department has a long history of abusing

It was very nice of you to acknowledge that VAC does
not satisfy the needs of some veterans. It would have
been nice to know exactly what you plan to do in order
to rectify these deficiencies. You have been provided
with information and recommendations, and yet you do
not acknowledge the input. Instead you keep replying
with generic letters or tasking your flunkies to do so
in your name.

If you care so much about veterans then you would not
be allowing people like Jack Stagg and Ken Miller to
dictate what VAC policy will be in the future.
Neither of these gentlemen are veterans nor have they
shown much interest in veterans whose needs are not
met by VAC.

In my opinion, you have no intention of improving the
performance of VAC except if it will benefit your own
personal and political goals. If you really did care,
then you would take action to remove those who have
repeatedly opposed the provision of better services
for disabled veterans, and would support the
appointment of an ombudsman. Why is that your own
employees can belong to a union, while no parallel
organisation or service is provided to the veterans?

Currently there are many veterans who feel persecuted
by VAC for complaining about the inferior services and
support provided by VAC. One only has to consider the
thousands of appeals handled by VRAB and your fellow
parliamentarians every year to realise that your
department needs to be significantly improved. This
is something that is also apparent to the
Auditor-General as revealed in the negative comments
in past reports.

The situation is only going to get worse as the number
of veterans with OSI become clients of VAC. VAC can
not handle the current case load because of the lack
of dedicated medical services and the lack of
experience (or is it ignorance) demonstrated by VAC

The personnel of the CF are expected to serve their
country with unlimited liability. It would be nice to
know that VAC honours their efforts by providing
services and support of unlimited liability.

I called BPA in PEI last week and there was one lawyer
in the office at 1500 Ottawa time. Why was this when
it was only noon in BC? This indicates that the
offices located in PEI are not responsive to much of
western Canada. I do not accept that the infamous
1-800 system is the answer as the personnel who answer
those calls direct clients to PEI for help.

I would also strongly urge you to be more humane in
your dealings with veterans. Receiving a letter from
VAC is a very traumatic experience because we do not
know if the contents will be bad or good.
Unfortunately, too often it is bad news.

You and your staff are personally responsible for
worsening the conditions of many veterans. Some of us
are made to feel that we are criminals by asking for
better services and support. It seems that we are not
to be trusted as we are nothing more than money
grubbing layabouts with minor medical problems. It is
unfair and unethical to treat us in the same way as
the wrong doers in some of the well known political
scandal cases. The only crime that I have committed
is to serve my country to the best of my abilities. I
did not abuse my authority in the military so why does
your department abuse me as if I have been found
guilty of some crime?

Do us all a favour, minister, step down and give the
job to someone who is more qualified and more
understanding of our problems. You and your ilk
really make me question why I was willing to sacrifice
so much for our country. This very act tends to
worsen my condition because I just get more depressed.

Some days the only way I can cope with life is to
focus on my contempt for VAC. I do not want to be
this way, but what choice do I have when VAC makes it
difficult to cope with reality.

Every week I must remember to document my
appointments, travel expenses and other things in
order to apply for reimbursement. At the same time, I
am occupied by doubts that these will be discontinued
by one of your staff because they think that I should
not be entitled to them. The whole process tends to
diminish the quality of life. It is also why two of
my friends have seriously contemplated suicide.

Make things better or step aside so that someone else
can try. May be then you will deserve to be called
the honourable minister.

Captain (retired)
Eval INFO CREDIBILITY6 -not judged
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