In May 2021, I appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs. I spoke, among other things, about the broken system at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), a system that has been plagued by problems. The consequence of these problems is that Canada has repeatedly failed its duty and commitment to care for Veterans and their families. This system has also harmed Veterans with increased and unnecessary burdens of bureaucratic paperwork, unnecessary obstacles, hidden qualification criteria, and frontline workers who are so overloaded with the same bureaucratic demands that they cannot help Veterans in the manner which their professional dedication wishes.
To help identify the critical pressure points and systemic failures, I carried out interviews with multiple VAC employees at many levels, Veterans and their families. Adding to my then 22 years of studying, writing and speaking about Veterans Affairs, I compiled a report with 53 recommendations. These recommendations offer both quick fixes as well as systemic reboots of what was once the most admired system caring for Veterans and their families in the entire world.
This report was first published on the Parliamentary website. However, it was soon removed. The reason was that it was too long. However, it appears that senior bureaucrats in VAC were extremely displeased about shining a light on the secrecy and mismanagement taking place behind the scenes at Veterans Affairs.
I encourage you to download this document and give it the widest possible circulation. We can best change a system by shining a light on where it is or is not working. Transparency is our best tool to begin the refit. Thank you.