On Aug. 25, I had the honour to join my colleague, Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs, for a roundtable discussion at The Winnipeg Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) and a tour of 402 Squadron at 17 Wing.
I often visit with and attend events at the MRFC and 17 Wing and I’m repeatedly impressed by the work they do for veterans, active CAF members, their families, and the community.
While visiting 402 “City of Winnipeg” Squadron, we toured a CT-142 Dash-8 plane, which is used for air crew training. I have to say – boy, was that neat to see. I’ve never experienced something like that before and it gave me an insider look into some of the training 402 Squadron does and how they use this equipment as a tool for learning. We also got to see Air1, The Winnipeg Police Service’s helicopter, up close, as it is housed in 402 Squadron’s facility when not in use.
During our discussion at the MFRC, we heard veterans, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and their family members talk about some of the challenges they face and the resources MFRC offers to them. Notably, we also chatted about the need for a veteran’s identity card, a resource that the Veterans Affairs Committee recommended to Veterans Affairs Canada in its report to improve service delivery to veterans.
On Sept. 11, Minister O’Regan announced the veteran’s service card which eligible members will automatically receive when they are released from the CAF.
As a member of the standing committee on veterans affairs and a representative of a constituency with many veterans, CAF members, and a Royal Canadian Air Force base, I frequently heard the call to action for a veteran’s service card, not only in this discussion with the minister but also when I’m out in our community. The new veteran’s service card will provide a tangible symbol of recognition for former members, encourage an enduring affiliation with the Canadian Armed Forces and ensure linkages to Veterans Affairs Canada support programs as members transition to post-service civilian life.
Having continuously advocated for the brave women and men who served in our Armed Forces to ensure they receive the services and supports they need when transitioning to civilian life, it was important to me for the Minister to visit the veterans and CAF members in our community so I could make their voices heard.
If you have any questions about the Veteran’s Service Card or require assistance with any federal matter, please contact my office at 204-984-6432 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This column was featured in The Metro and The Headliner on Sept. 25. To view this column online, visit Canstar Community News’ website here.