National Defence and Veterans Affairs Merger

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National Defence and Veterans Affairs Merger  Empty National Defence and Veterans Affairs Merger

Post by Gridlock on Fri 15 Feb 2019, 6:50 pm

National Defence and Veterans
Affairs merger would be up to
PM: Sajjan

By Charlie Pinkerton. Published on Feb 15, 2019



National Defence and Veterans Affairs Merger  May.0300660


The potential merger of the country’s two military portfolios would be up to the prime minister, says the minister who just recently became the head of both.

Harjit Sajjan, the defence minister who’s held the position since being appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shortly after the Liberals were elected in 2015, was named the government’s interim veterans affairs minister in the fallout of Jody Wilson-Raybould’s resignation from the position.


Wilson-Raybould had been the minister of veterans affairs for less than a month after being shuffled from her post as attorney general and justice minister.

“For me to have the acting role right now is a tremendous privilege for me,” Sajjan told iPolitics.

During his own military career, Sajjan deployed to Bosnia and Afghanistan. He was linked to the veterans affairs portfolio in an associate minister role before he was named the acting minister.


After Sajjan was appointed on Tuesday, The Royal Canadian Legion, which advocates for better veteran care and services, called on the government amalgamate the two departments.

“The time has arrived for the Canadian government to create one department, joining Veterans Affairs Canada and Department of National Defence to ensure our veterans are taken care of from recruitment into retirement,” the Legion wrote in a statement to iPolitics.

“We have witnessed several puzzling changes to (Veterans Affairs’) leadership in recent years, and we now question just how committed government is to Canada’s veterans. On their behalf, we ask that the veteran portfolio overall be treated as a vital one, and that government take swift action so that critical issues related to our veterans’ well-being are dealt with immediately,” the Legion said.

Veterans Affairs was founded in 1944 to provide care for soldiers returning from the Second World War. Kent Hehr was the first veterans affairs minister of the Trudeau government. Seamus O’Regan was appointed to the position in Aug. 27. In the most recent cabinet shuffle he became the Indigenous Services Minister.

Wilson-Raybould’s appointment has been called a demotion by members of the opposition, contributing to the claim that veterans affairs is regarded as a second-tier ministry.

Sajjan rejected this, saying it’s “important to note that our government is committed to veterans’ well-being.”

He said the decision to merge his two departments is out of his control.

“(The mechanics) are for the Prime Minister to decide,” Sajjan said.








Gridlock
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