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Review Demonstrates Government's Commitment To Veterans And Their Families

OTTAWA, Sept. 26, 2013 /CNW/ - After reviewing the compelling conclusions of the Veterans Ombudsman and following several weeks of extensive consultation with stakeholders—including Canadian Veterans, serving Canadian Armed Forces personnel, non-profit organizations, international partners and private sector companies—the Honourable Julian Fantino, Canada's Minister of Veterans Affairs, announced today that the government will conduct a comprehensive review of the New Veterans Charter, including all enhancements, with a special focus placed on the most seriously injured, support for families and the delivery of programs by Veterans Affairs Canada. Minister Fantino made the announcement in an address to the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, an organization that has been a key partner in supporting the transition of Canadian Armed Forces personnel to civilian life through the Helmets to Hardhats program (external link, site available in English only).

"Our Government remains fully committed to providing Veterans with the support they need to lead successful lives beyond their service to Canada in uniform," said Minister Fantino. "To that end, we have already made dramatic improvements—and will continue to strive for enhancements—to ensure that the tools and assistance relied upon by Canada's Veterans remain as effective, efficient and accessible as possible. I look forward to working with my parliamentary colleagues to consider responsible changes in order to reach a common goal of better serving those who served Canada."

The New Veterans Charter, which was passed unanimously and implemented by Parliament in 2006, is specifically designed to provide Veterans with the tools, assistance and support they need to effectively transition into civilian life and continue to contribute their exceptional leadership skills to building a strong and resilient Canada, just as they did in uniform.

Since his appointment in July as Minister of Veterans Affairs, Minister Fantino has reached out to people and partners in an effort to learn more about the issues that matter most to Canada's Veterans. The Minister has been meeting with Veterans at home—in their own communities—and with Veterans stakeholder groups across the country in places including Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Charlottetown, and across the Greater Toronto Area. Minister Fantino just returned from representing Canada at the Multinational Symposium on Veteran Transition, hosted by Canada's True Patriot Love Foundation, where he held dialogues with public and private sector leaders from partner countries including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

"I want to thank the Veterans Ombudsman for his thorough, thoughtful and important work on this file. I look forward to working with Parliamentarians and the Ombudsman on this upcoming review," said Minister Fantino.

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