The Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs is responsible for examining matters relating to Canadian veterans. One of the recurring issues the committee hears about is the difficulty members of the Canadian Armed Forces experience when they re-enter civilian life at the end of their military careers.
The subcommittee focused on a study about how to improve the transition for Canadian Armed Forces members who leave the Forces and return to civilian life.
The subcommittee launched the study in March 2017. It held five meetings and heard testimony from senior military officials.
The report is expected to be presented in the fall of 2017. It will make recommendations aimed at creating a “seamless transition” for Forces members who are re-integrating to civilian life at the end of their military careers.
Senators also heard from organizations that advocate on behalf of former Forces members, including the Canadian Veterans Advocacy, the Royal Canadian Legion and the Canadian Aboriginal Veterans and Serving Members Association.
The subcommittee also continued its study on the services and benefits provided to Canadian Forces members, to veterans, and to members and former members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
“Members of the Canadian Armed Forces serve our country with professionalism and dedication. It is incumbent on the federal government to ensure these people have whatever tools they need — counselling for post-traumatic stress disorder, for example — to have a high quality of life after their military careers.”
”Members of the Canadians Armed Forces deserve a smooth transition to civilian life. The government needs to help ensure they can meet the numerous challenges awaiting them. Whether it’s access to pensions, ongoing health-care, employment counselling or retraining, their service to country means they deserve to be looked after by the federal government.”
This article is part of a series showcasing Senate committees — a report back to Canadians about the work committee members have accomplished during the past sitting of Parliament.
Committees are at the core of the Senate's work. They are recognized for their major contributions to legislation and public policy. Senator Muriel McQueen Fergusson, the first female Speaker of the Senate, called committees "the heart and soul of the Senate.”
In the last four years alone, over 7,500 witnesses have appeared before Senate committees, leading to the crafting of 531 reports and better legislation.
Through this work, senators speak up for their regions and give a powerful voice to underrepresented groups like women, people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, and linguistic and visible minorities.