February 25, 2016

Canada's Veterans Ombuds Posts 2015 Annual Report

Guy Parent has submitted a report for the year ended March 31, 2015 summarizing the operations and key activities of the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman. He says that the past year saw more progress on Veterans' issues than in all the previous years of his mandate and was highlighted by the New Veterans Charter which is improving the fair treatment of Canada's Veterans and their families.

The Office of the Veterans Ombudsman provides four main services: Information (helping callers navigate the complexity of veterans system by providing information about their rights, benefits and services); Referrals (facilitating referrals to service providers); Complaint resolution (working to resolve complaints informally and at the lowest level possible, most often through inquiries and informal mediation); and Interventions to address systemic issues.
The OVO functions in accordance with the standards of practice of the International Ombudsman Association1, which are endorsed by the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman2, namely, independence, impartiality and neutrality, confidentiality, and informality. These standards govern the way in which my Office receives complaints, works to resolve issues, and makes objective and evidence-based recommendations that I provide to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and VAC. 
As an arm's length organization, the OVO acts as an independent voice for those served by VAC. As such, we provide direct services to a widely-dispersed client base to ensure that the needs of Canada's Veterans and their families are considered. Additionally, my role as a Special Advisor to the Minister of Veterans Affairs offers me the opportunity to present, directly to the Minister, matters of importance to the Veterans' community.
Parent heads a team of 35 employees from offices in Ottawa and Charlottetown and received over 5,500 contacts in 2014-2015. (OVO 2015 Report.)

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