Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence Mandate Letter

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Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence Mandate Letter

Post by Trooper on Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:22 am

You will continue the successful implementation of already announced initiatives, including:

  • the increased value of the Disability Award;



  • expanded access to the Permanent Impairment Allowance;



  • providing injured Veterans with 90 percent of their pre-release salary, and indexing this benefit;



  • the new Veterans Education Benefit;



  • the nine re-opened Veterans Affairs service offices, the newly opened office in Surrey, British Columbia, expanded outreach activities to Veterans in the North, hiring of more service delivery staff, and full implementation of all of the Auditor General’s recommendations on enhancing mental health service delivery to Veterans;



  • greater education, counselling, and training for families who are providing care and support to Veterans living with physical and/or mental health issues as a result of their service, including the recently expanded Veterans Family Program at all Military Family Resource Centres;



  • the end of the time limit for surviving spouses to apply for vocational rehabilitation and assistance services;



  • doubled funding to the Last Post Fund;



  • improved career transition services to help Veterans gain skills to successfully transition to the civilian workforce;



  • the Caregiver Recognition Benefit, paid directly to Veterans’ caregivers;  and



  • the new Veteran Emergency Fund and Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund.




  • Re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for our injured Veterans, while ensuring that every injured Veteran has access to financial advice and support so that they can determine the form of compensation that works best for them and their families.



  • Streamline the current suite of benefits with the goal of reducing overlap and administrative burden, and further improving Veterans Affairs Canada staff performance as well as the client experience for Veterans both as they transition to civilian life and as their needs change throughout their lives.  You will also improve transparency and communications so that Veterans and their families have clarity and predictability of available benefits and services.



  • Improve career and vocational assistance for Veterans through ensuring that job opportunities for returning Veterans are included in Community Benefits Agreements for new federally-funded infrastructure projects.



  • Deliver a higher standard of service and care, and ensure that a “one Veteran, one standard” approach is upheld.



  • Implement the creation of a centre of excellence in mental health to enhance research and best practices and establish a second centre of excellence based on the area of greatest need.



  • Increase the Veteran survivor’s pension amount from 50 percent to 70 percent.



  • Eliminate the “marriage after 60” claw-back clause, so that surviving spouses of Veterans receive appropriate pension and health benefits.



  • Work with the Minister of National Defence to develop a suicide prevention strategy for Canadian Armed Forces personnel and Veterans.



These priorities draw heavily from our election platform commitments.  

I expect you to work closely with your Deputy Minister and his or her senior officials to ensure that the ongoing work of your department is undertaken in a professional manner and that decisions are made in the public interest.  Your Deputy Minister will brief you on issues your department may be facing that may require decisions to be made quickly.  It is my expectation that you will apply our values and principles to these decisions, so that issues facing your department are dealt with in a timely and responsible manner, and in a way that is consistent with the overall direction of our government.

Our ability, as a government, to successfully implement our platform depends on our ability to thoughtfully consider the professional, non-partisan advice of public servants.  Each and every time a government employee comes to work, they do so in service to Canada, with a goal of improving our country and the lives of all Canadians.  I expect you to establish a collaborative working relationship with your Deputy Minister, whose role, and the role of public servants under his or her direction, is to support you in the performance of your responsibilities.

We have committed to an open, honest government that is accountable to Canadians, lives up to the highest ethical standards, and applies the utmost care and prudence in the handling of public funds.  I expect you to embody these values in your work and observe the highest ethical standards in everything you do.  When dealing with our Cabinet colleagues, Parliament, stakeholders, or the public, it is important that your behaviour and decisions meet Canadians’ well-founded expectations of our government.  I want Canadians to look on their own government with pride and trust.

As Minister, you must ensure that you are aware of and fully compliant with the Conflict of Interest Act and Treasury Board policies and guidelines.  Open and Accountable Government has been developed to assist you as you undertake your responsibilities.  I ask that you carefully read it and ensure that your staff does so as well.  I draw your attention in particular to the Ethical Guidelines set out in Annex A of that document, which apply to you and your staff.  As noted in the Guidelines, you must uphold the highest standards of honesty and impartiality, and both the performance of your official duties and the arrangement of your private affairs should bear the closest public scrutiny.  This is an obligation that is not fully discharged by simply acting within the law.  Please also review the areas of Open and Accountable Government that we have expanded or strengthened, including the guidance on non-partisan use of departmental communications resources and the new code of conduct for exempt staff.

I know I can count on you to fulfill the important responsibilities entrusted in you.  In turn, please know that you can count on me to support you every day in your role as Minister.

I am deeply grateful to have this opportunity to serve with you as we build an even greater country.  Together, we will work tirelessly to honour the trust Canadians have given us.

Sincerely,



Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada

http://pm.gc.ca/eng/minister-veterans-affairs-and-associate-minister-national-defence-mandate-letter

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