Re­port crit­i­cal of Veter­ans Affairs buried

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Veter­ans Affairs was told al­most a year ago it has all the tools needed to make sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments in lives of sol­diers as they re­turn to civil­ian life, but the depart­ment has yet to act on rec­om­men­da­tions of that in­de­pen­dent re­port.

Hi­tachi Con­sult­ing Govern­ment So­lu­tions de­liv­ered a draft re­port last March, but a spokes­woman for the depart­ment says the doc­u­ment has yet to be fi­nal­ized, even though its find­ings are ger­mane to a joint in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­ing con­ducted by the vet­eran and mil­i­tary watch­dogs.

Veter­ans om­buds­man Guy Par­ent says he’s not seen the draft, let alone a fi­nal ver­sion of the re­port, but wants one.

Many ad­vo­cates be­lieve the is­sue of tran­si­tion is crit­i­cal to ad­dress­ing both an in­creas­ing num­ber of sui­cides and ris­ing homelessness among for­mer sol­diers and RCMP mem­bers.

But spokes­woman Jan­ice Sum­merby says the pre­lim­i­nary re­port’s rec­om­men­da­tions don’t dif­fer sig­nif­i­cantly from what the au­di­tor gen­eral and the House of Com­mons veter­ans com­mit­tee have said and that the depart­ment is al­ready tak­ing steps, in­clud­ing hir­ing more front­line staff.

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