Na­tional De­fence and Cana­dian Forces Om­buds­man and Vet­er­ans Om­buds­man Join Forces on Tran­si­tion Is­sue

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For the first time, the Cana­dian Forces and Na­tional De­fence Om­buds­man Gary Wal­bourne and Vet­er­ans Om­buds­man Guy Par­ent are work­ing to­gether to in­ves­ti­gate needed ac­tion to im­prove the tran­si­tion of Cana­dian Armed Forces mem­bers from mil­i­tary to civil­ian life.

“We are join­ing to­gether to iden­tify is­sues and pro­duce rec­om­men­da­tions aimed at har­mo­niz­ing the tran­si­tion from mil­i­tary to civil­ian life for ill and in­jured mem­bers of the Cana­dian Armed Forces, as well as iden­ti­fy­ing process in­ef­fi­cien­cies and ar­eas where support for fam­i­lies could be aug­mented,” said Na­tional De­fence and Cana­dian Forces Om­buds­man Gary Wal­bourne and Vet­er­ans Om­buds­man Guy Par­ent.

The project has two parts in its ini­tial phase. It will start by map­ping the process of tran­si­tion for a mem­ber of the Cana­dian Armed Forces from the time that he or she re­ceives their re­lease mes­sage to their in­te­gra­tion within Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Canada. Se­condly, it will re­view the most re­cent rec­om­men­da­tions made by the House of Com­mons Stand­ing Com­mit­tees on Na­tional De­fence and Vet­er­ans Af­fairs, the Se­nate Sub-Com­mit­tee on Vet­er­ans Af­fairs and the Au­di­tor Gen­eral of Canada on the tran­si­tion of ill and in­jured mil­i­tary per­son­nel to civil­ian life. Im­por­tantly, this phase will go beyond the tran­si­tion of an ill and in­jured mem­ber of the Cana­dian Forces and con­sider po­ten­tial im­pacts on their fam­i­lies.

On av­er­age 5,000-6,000 Reg­u­lar Force mem­bers re­lease an­nu­ally from the Cana­dian Forces. Sev­enty-five to eighty per­cent re­lease with min­i­mal support re­quired and suc­cess­fully tran­si­tion to civil­ian life. But, 20 to 25 per­cent are not so fortu- nate and are re­leased med­i­cally.

“At a time of great adjustment in their lives, we need to en­sure that their tran­si­tion is as seam­less as pos­si­ble with clear in­for­ma­tion and trans­par­ent com­mu­ni­ca­tions,” said Om­buds­men Par­ent and Wal­bourne. The goal of the joint ef­fort is to iden­tify rec­om­mended ways to stream­line ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­cesses and support ser­vices to the ben­e­fit of tran­si­tion­ing mem­bers and their fam­i­lies.

Sev­eral mem­bers of the St. Thomas Wood­carvers club care­fully crafted this recre­ation of HMCS Ojibwa’s of­fi­cial crest, which was on dis­play at the sub­ma­rine mu­seum in Port

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