O’re­gan lis­tens to Len­noxville vet­er­ans

Sherbrooke Record - - FRONT PAGE - By Gor­don Lam­bie

Fed­eral Vet­er­ans’ Af­fairs Min­is­ter Sea­mus O’re­gan was in Len­noxville on Fri­day to hold the 43rd of a series of town-hall style meet­ings with lo­cal vet­er­ans that he has been par­tic­i­pat­ing in across the coun­try since Jan­uary with the goal of ex­plain­ing new pro­grams that the government has put in place to sup­port vet­er­ans and to lis­ten to their con­cerns. The meet­ing took place at the Army, Navy, and Air Force Vet­er­ans in Canada Hut on Saint-fran­cis Street and saw about 50 peo­ple turn out.

“No mat­ter who you are; young, old, mil­i­tary or civil­ian, your well­be­ing is im­por­tant,” O’re­gan told those gath­ered in his open­ing state­ments, high­light­ing men­tal health as be­ing at the heart of all of the new pro­grams that the government has put in place. “The pen­sion for life is at the heart of these changes, and at the heart of the pen­sion for life is men­tal health,” said the min­is­ter, who is also co-spokesper­son of the Bell “Let’s Talk” cam­paign for men­tal health.

“Every year about 5,000 mem­bers of the reg­u­lar forces make the tran­si­tion to life af­ter ser­vice,” O’re­gan said, ex­plain­ing that in an 2016 sur­vey nearly one third of those peo­ple said that the found that change dif­fi­cult.

The ques­tion and an­swer pe­riod of the meet­ing was not open to the me­dia, out of re­spect for the pos­si­ble trauma of vet­er­ans’ lived ex­pe­ri­ences. More in­for­ma­tion about the Pen­sion for Life and other Government of Canada pro­grams for Vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies is avail­able on the Vet­er­ans’ Af­fairs web­site: http://www.vet­er­ans.gc.ca

GOR­DON LAM­BIE

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