Budget 2017 Feedback

We continue to engage with our stakeholders and receive their feedback. Here is what some Veterans, stakeholders, and the mental health community have to say about Budget 2017 to date:

Ensuring Financial Security

  • Dave Gallson, Associate National Director
    Mood Disorders Society of Canada

    "Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC) is extremely pleased to see the investments made for veterans and their families and caregivers by the Government of Canada in Budget 2017. These significant service and support improvements are exactly what the veterans stakeholder community has been asking for and we are thankful that these recommendations were acted upon. MDSC believes that these very needed programs will have a positive affect on the lives of veterans, their families and caregivers. MDSC congratulates the Government of Canada and supports these initiatives fully."

Investing in Education and Training

  • Dr. Marv Westwood, Founder of the UBC VTP & Oliver Thorne, National Director
    Veterans Transition Network

    "The Veterans Transition Network is pleased to hear about the government's commitment to providing further funding and support for Canadian Veterans' career training and education. In our work with Veterans across Canada, we have seen first-hand how important meaningful careers are to a successful transition into civilian life.

    We are excited about this initiative and looking forward to seeing further government support for other transition-related services. Together we can all help prepare Veterans to successfully enter rewarding civilian careers after military service."

  • Dave Gallson, Associate National Director
    Mood Disorders Society of Canada

    Enhancing Career Transition Services

    "Mood Disorders Society of Canada supports the Government of Canadas’ decision to amend legislation to improve the Career Transition Services Program for veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members, survivors, and veterans’ spouses and common-law partners. MDSC supports the Veterans Affairs Canada program which will greatly assist members ability to transition to the civilian workforce by accessing coaching and job placement assistance. investment of $74.1 million over six years, starting in 2016–17, and $4.5 million per year ongoing."

    New VAC Training and Education Benefit

    "Mood Disorders Society of Canada congratulates the Government of Canada in its decision to provide $133.9 million over six years for veterans to go to college, university or a technical school after they complete their service. When our military members have completed their service to our country, Canada’s private sector will benefit greatly from these veterans being trained in occupations that will fulfill needed occupations to continue our economic growth, all while assisting veterans successful transition into the community."

Supporting the well-being of both Veterans and their families

  • Dave Gallson, Associate National Director
    Mood Disorders Society of Canada

    Caregivers Recognition Benefit

    "Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC) understands the vital role Caregivers provide in the lives of person who are assisting person who are ill or injured. Often, the caregivers struggle themselves financially and psychologically through what can be a stressful time. MDSC was very pleased to see that in Budget 2017, the Government of Canada recognizes the important role Caregivers provide by their decision to amend legislation and invest $187.3 million over six years, starting in 2016–17, and $9.5 million per year ongoing, to create the Caregiver Recognition Benefit for modern-day veterans. This benefit would provide a non-taxable $1,000 monthly benefit payable directly to caregivers to support them in their efforts."

    Expanding access to Military Family Resource Centres for medically released veterans’ families

    "The Military Family Resource Centres provides military families with supports and programs that allow for the spouses and children of serving members to overcome challenges and barriers. As an example, these centres support skills development and can provide referrals to needed mental health services. Mood Disorders Society of Canada is extremely thankful to see that in Budget 2017, the Government of Canada has recognized the family and medically released veterans needs and has decided to expand this pilot project from 7 resources centres to 32 locations across the country with a contribution of $147.0 million over six years and $15.0 million per year ongoing. Budget 2017 will also provide $22.4 million over three years, to ensure the availability of these services is connected to all veterans through and outreach and communications strategy."

    The creation of a Centre of Excellence on PTSD and other mental health conditions

    "Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC)is extremely please to see that the Government of Canada is creating a Centre of Excellence to address PTSD and other mental health issues for Canadas military and veteran community.

    As we know post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a major health issue in our country. A 2013 survey of more than 6,000 Canadian Forces members found the rate of PTSD had almost doubled over the previous decade. MDSC believes that through the creation of this centre of excellence, focused on providing the much needed direct service to veterans coupled with ensuring research that will be developed in the process will lead to improved health outcomes for our military and veteran community. The clinical practice improvements and new treatments options will also translate to better services for the full Canadian population. MDSC fully supports the Government of Canada’s Budget 2017 decision to provide $17.5 million over four years, starting in 2018–19, and $9.2 million per year ongoing, to create and operate this centre of excellence."

  • Jim Lowther, CD President
    VETS Canada

    "We believe this is a good budget for Veterans, a step in the right direction. We are happy to see that the Government is building on the announcements for Veterans from last year and addressing, in this budget, more issues that are important to Veterans, their spouses and caregivers. We like that the Government is listening to Veterans, the whole approach is refreshing. The announcement to expand the emergency funding support to Veterans will allow VETS Canada to provide more assistance to more Veterans in the years to come. The Center of Excellence for PTSD and mental health is a great first step and we appreciate the focus on the prevention, in addition to the recovery for Veterans who are suffering from mental health issues. We see real, positive change happening here."

  • Louise Bradley, President and CEO
    Mental Health Commission of Canada

    "The Mental Health Commission of Canada is encouraged to see the Government of Canada make veterans' mental health a priority. For those affected by operational stress injuries like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, and anxiety, progress is never fast enough. We hope that the new Centre of Excellence on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder & Related Mental Health Conditions will help close this gap. If we ignore the mental wellness of our veterans, our national pride is on the line - looking after their health, both physical and mental, is the least we can do."

  • Glynn Hines, Executive Director
    Battlefield Information and Intelligence Coalition Enterprise Services

    "I am very encouraged by the Department’s response to the recommendations for the Mental Health Centre of Excellence. Based on my reading of the budget document and the background fact sheets, most, if not all of the recommendations have been hoisted aboard and are reflected in the government’s intent for the Centre of Excellence. I look forward to working with the Department to see this suite of capabilities become a reality – a world-class capability supporting Canada’s Veterans and our families."

  • Bronwen Evans, CEO
    True Patriot Love

    TPL congratulates the Government of Canada on the latest budget and looks forward to future collaboration
    Published: March 24, 2017
    News Release from True Patriot Love Foundation

    (Toronto, ON) March 23, 2017 - The True Patriot Love Foundation (TPL) expressed its congratulations today to the Government of Canada on the latest budget, specifically its commitment to support Canadian Armed Forces Members and Veterans.

    Canada’s military, Veterans and their families have made great sacrifices for our country, and TPL applauds all efforts to provide them with the critical support and resources they need.

    The national expansion of Veterans’ services at MFRC recognizes not only the unique needs of the Veteran community but also their families. TPL has a long-standing funding relationship with each MFRC and looks forward to expanding its support to now include Veteran families – as this has always been a key priority for TPL.

    TPL applauds the creation of a PTSD Centre of Excellence. This will be a tremendous step forward and will allow for continued optimization of mental health care delivery for military and Veteran communities. TPL, along with partners like Bell, has been focused on working to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness while also funding innovative programs and cutting-edge research that is helping to change the landscape of mental health care and recovery.

    TPL is also supportive of the government’s focus on enhanced transition services. TPL found in its recently released Veteran Transition Advisory Council: Final Report (created in collaboration with the government, Canadian business leaders, academic institutions and not for profits), that the need is certainly great for enhanced services in this area for members of the military and Veteran communities. TPL is particularly encouraged by the government’s recognition of the unique circumstance of Veterans’ spouses and common-law partners, and the government’s enhanced focus on providing them with the tools and services they need as they navigate into the civilian workforce.

    TPL looks forward to further collaborating with the Government of Canada in the months and years to come for the benefit of our serving members, Veterans and their families.

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