Tag Archives: Veterans Affairs Canada

Please RSVP – Upcoming Veterans Affairs Canada virtual panel – Remembrance in a digital age / Veuillez confirmer votre participation – Discussion virtuelle d’Anciens Combattants Canada – La commémoration à l’ère numérique

This event from Veterans Affairs Canada may be of interest to some of our members.


Le français suit.

Remembering the brave Canadians who have put their lives on the line defending peace and freedom is as important as ever. Yet how we commemorate our Veterans’ service and sacrifice is changing. While monuments and ceremonies will always have their place, we have to evolve our commemorative activities to embrace more digital tools and spaces if we want to truly engage with Canadians.

Join us at 12:00 PM ET on 29 April 2021 for a one-hour virtual panel discussion on the future of commemoration in Canada. This time we will be talking about remembrance in the digital age.

Panelists will be:

The discussion will be moderated by Anthony Wilson-Smith from Historica Canada.

To register, please email us at vac.education-education.acc@veterans.gc.ca and include the following:

  • Language preference for the session (English, French or bilingual)
  • Any questions you have for the panelists

You have until April 23 to RSVP. If you are not able to watch the live event, the session will also be available for later viewing on our website.

We invite you to share this message with your network or anyone you think would be interested.

Thank you,

Veterans Affairs Canada

***********************************************

Il n’a jamais été aussi important de se souvenir des braves Canadiens et Canadiennes qui ont risqué leur vie pour défendre la paix et la liberté. Toutefois, la façon dont nous commémorons le service et les sacrifices de nos vétérans évolue. S’il est vrai que les monuments et les cérémonies auront toujours leur place, nous devons moderniser nos activités commémoratives afin de tirer profit des outils et des espaces numériques et, ainsi, de mobiliser pleinement la population canadienne.

Joignez-vous à nous le 29 avril 2021 à 12 h (HE) pour une discussion virtuelle d’une heure sur l’avenir de la commémoration au Canada. Le thème de la discussion sera la commémoration à l’ère numérique.

Voici les panélistes :

La discussion sera animée par Anthony Wilson-Smith de Historica Canada.

Pour vous inscrire, veuillez nous écrire au vac.education-education.acc@veterans.gc.ca et fournir les renseignements suivants :

  • Votre langue de préférence pour le déroulement de la rencontre (français, anglais ou bilingue)
  • Toute question que vous aimeriez poser aux panélistes

Vous avez jusqu’au 23 avril pour confirmer votre participation. Si vous ne pouvez pas participer, ne vous en faites pas, la discussion sera enregistrée et disponible sur notre site Web.

Nous vous invitons à partager ce message aux membres de votre réseau ou à quiconque pourrait être intéressé.

Merci,

Anciens Combattants Canada

Salute! April 2021

A newsletter from Veterans Affairs Canada.


Please share this e-mail magazine with your friends and contacts, and encourage them to register by visiting letstalkveterans.ca to keep up on issues that matter to Veterans and their families.

Let us know what you think about the new Salute! by emailing consultation-consultation@veterans.gc.ca.


In this edition:

  • COVID-19 vaccine roll-out
  • Tax time info for Veterans and families
  • Veteran and Family Well-being Fund recipients announced for 2021
  • Coming up for Veterans
  • Life after service: Luc Therrien finds his way back home
  • Census 2021 makes an impact for Veterans
  • Commemoration: 70 years after the Battle of Kapyong
  • Veteran success story: Patti Gray finds recognition and fulfillment after a long journey
  • Do you have questions about career transition?
  • PTSD Coach Canada can help you manage symptoms
  • Canada Remembers: The virtual panel series

Do you know how to get your COVID-19 vaccine? 

Where, when and how to get your COVID-19 vaccines varies greatly, depending on where you live, how old you are and the state of your health.

Visit the Public Health Agency of Canada  for everything you need to know about COVID-19 and vaccines. Reading, acting on and sharing the agency’s information could save lives.

Stay in the loop by subscribing to their weekly COVID-19 newsletter or following them on social media.

Stay safe and stay healthy!


It’s tax time!

Did you know certain benefits paid to Veterans—such as disability benefits based on pain and suffering—are tax-free? Others, like the Income Replacement Benefit and the Education and Training Benefit, are taxable.

You may have received the following tax forms (depending on your individual situation) for your 2020 return:

  • T4A—how much taxable income was earned and how much tax was submitted (under one of VAC’s taxable benefit programs)
  • RL-1—tax information if you pay taxes in Quebec or receive benefits under the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) in Quebec
  • RL-2—also for reporting Quebec income and tax withheld from Veterans benefits
  • NR4 – for those who reside abroad.

Income on these documents may appear larger than the amount you actually received. That’s because they reflect total gross amounts of all taxable programs.

VAC clients were sent their tax forms February 22. These forms are also available on My VAC Account. If you have NOT received your tax forms, please call 1‑866‑522‑2122.

Helpful resources for preparing your tax return:

General Income Tax and Benefit Guide (Canada Revenue Agency)

Guide to the Income Tax Return (Revenue Quebec)

Free or pay-what-you-can software and free tax clinics are also available to many Veterans.

Make sure you are getting all the tax benefits and deductions you are entitled to!


Helping Veterans through the Veteran and Family Well‑Being Fund 

In March, Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced 23 organizations that are receiving financial support from the Veteran and Family Well-being Fund (VFWF) for work and research in Veteran homelessness, mental health, the transition to life after service, supporting women Veterans and other vital areas.

You can learn about the organizations and their projects at our VFWF 2021 recipients page.

Read about how Veterans are benefitting from projects that received funding in the past.


Coming up in May

  • Virtual Victory March, 1–9 May. Canadians can participate in a traditional march alongside CAF members to commemorate the Nijmegen Marches, highlighting the symbolic relationship between Canada and the Netherlands. See more on the Victory March page.
  • Mental Health Week, 3–9 of May. Watch the website for tips, information and resources for the mental health of yourself and your loved ones.
  • 76th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, 8 May 2021.

Join the virtual Victory March

The Victory March is a walking challenge May 1-9 where Canadians can participate in a traditional march alongside CAF members. This virtual CAF-led event supports and shares in Canada’s military teams’ preparation of Nijmegen Marches, which highlights the symbolic relationship between Canada and the Netherlands.

To participate, pick two days from May 1 to 9 to complete your two-day march challenge – and sign up for one of four walking challenge marches (with different distances and even a weighted ruck-style march)!

Sign up on the event page.


Life after service

Finding his way back home

“I don’t know where I would be today if it wasn’t for the military,” says Luc Therrien, (Ret’d) Adjutant.

“I was going down a really bad path and the military set me straight” confirms Luc.

Luc is so thankful for what the military brought to his life because he had given up. He desperately needed some stability. He found structure, a sense of belonging and a pride that he never knew could exist. He became confident and disciplined while gaining a family from the get-go.

However, Luc’s successful military career left him deeply scarred after witnessing some of the most gruesome realities of war. Life would never be the same. Images would forever haunt him.

Integration into life after service did not go smoothly, and Luc found himself living on the streets of Montréal. Lacking support and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Luc experienced many challenges. Read the article for the full story.


Making an impact for Veterans through Census 2021

Whether you’re a serving Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member or a Veteran, please identify your service status on the 2021 Census short-form questionnaire when it arrives in May. Every completed questionnaire helps create a clearer picture of the Veteran and CAF community, which is vital in developing policies, services and benefits that serve the community best.

Many groups and organizations across Canada look to the national census results to help them make important decisions that affect their families, neighbourhoods and businesses.

If you’re a Veteran or CAF member, complete your census as soon as you receive it. Completing the census questionnaire online is secure and easy.

For more information, visit www.census.gc.ca.


Marking the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong

This month, we observe the 70th anniversary of a defining moment in Canadian military history.

Called up from reserve to the Kapyong Valley during the Korean War, the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry stood fast in the face of unimaginable conditions as they helped to prevent a costly defeat for the South Korean and United Nations forces. On unforgiving terrain against a fiercely determined enemy, the outcome of the Battle of Kapyong could easily have been different, as the Canadians held off a force several times their own size.

Of the 516 Canadians who lost their lives during the war, 10 were killed in the Battle of Kapyong. Another 23 were wounded, and others returned home carrying the burdens of war with them for the rest of their lives.

The holding of the line at Kapyong was a testament to the bravery and sacrifice of those who so valiantly served in defence of peace and democracy in Korea.

Join us in commemorating this important anniversary at www.veterans.gc.ca/canadaremembers


Veteran Success Story

Recognition and fulfillment in life after service, and after a long journey

 

Veteran Patti Gray anticipated a long and rewarding career in the Canadian Armed Forces. However, bigotry and eventually, the LGBT purge pushed her out. She excelled in her post-military career also continued a life of service to her community. Today she holds her head high and proudly wears her Pride Citation as a badge of honour. #VeteranSuccessStory.

Read her story on Veteran Success Stories.


PTSD Coach Canada can help you manage symptoms

The PTSD Coach Canada is an app for your smart phone or mobile device that helps Veterans manage their symptoms. Family and friends can also benefit, too.

Download the app for:

  • reliable information on PTSD treatment
  • tools for screening and tracking symptoms
  • tools for managing stress
  • information on crisis support

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that occurs when someone witnesses or experiences a traumatic event. Treatment consists of therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Individuals are also taught coping skills to more effectively deal with stress and manage PTSD symptoms, much like the skills taught in the PTSD Coach Canada mobile app.

Don’t have a mobile device? No problem. You can get all the information and treatment tips from the PTSD Coach Canada from the VAC website.


Canada Remembers: The virtual panel series

Take part in a virtual panel to learn more about the experiences of Canada’s Veterans and our military history.

The Canada Remembers virtual panel series invites all Canadians to deepen their understanding of our armed forces’ contributions over the years.

March’s panel discussion featured three Canadian Armed Forces Veterans discussing how to recognize and commemorate the Canadians who have served more recently.

The next virtual panel to be held later in April, “Remembrance in the Digital Age,” will focus on digital activities and initiatives, and new ways to educate and engage a younger audience in the virtual world.

You can register for future panels and watch the full discussions at The Canada Remembers: The virtual panel series page.


Do you have questions about career transition?

You can access a range of assistance in making the transition to a new career after release, from finding a new job that matches your experience and skills, to planning further education and training for a different kind of career.

Start at our Career Transition Services page to find career counselling, as well as help to write your resume and prepare for job interviews.

You can also find services and assistance for families, such as financial planning workshops and the Military Family Resource Centres across the country on the Veteran Family Program page.


Help us reach more Veterans and families

If you have served in the Canadian Armed Forces or RCMP, you may qualify for VAC programs or services that can support your financial, educational or family’s well-being.

You may have seen more information in media and online information throughout March. Please help us reach as many people as possible by sharing information with your networks. Our goal is to ensure all Veterans and their families know that services and supports are available.

You’re receiving this email because you are a registered participant on Let’s Talk Veterans.

Salute! March 2021/ Salut! Mars 2021

Note this newsletter from Veterans Affairs Canada.  We encourage all members to register themselves.


(Le message français suit) 

Veterans Affairs Canada’s magazine, Salute! is now an e-newsletter. Please share this e-mail with your friends and networks, and encourage them to register by visiting letstalkveterans.ca to keep up on issues that matter to Veterans and their families.

Let us know what you think about the new Salute! by emailing vac.consultation-consultation.acc@canada.ca.


International Women’s Day

We marked International Women’s Day in Canada and around the world on 8 March. The day is an opportunity to reflect on the progress made towards gender equality and to celebrate those who have played a role in advancing this goal. It is also a chance to raise awareness of the work left to be done.

Women have served in Canada’s military for more than a century. Overcoming many barriers to serve in uniform, they’ve paved the way for future generations while making the world a safer, more equitable place.

Meet two of these strong women: Corporal (Ret’d) Francine Beaudry and Sergeant (Ret’d) Marjorie (Worby) Stetson. Serving in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC) in the Second World War, Stetson worked to help break enemy coded messages. More recently, Beaudry served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 18 years, including deployments to Egypt and Germany, and provided communications support to Canadians serving in the Gulf War from Canada.

Get to know more of the women who served our country by visiting our web feature, They Proudly Served.


Virtual Veterans panel – How should Canada commemorate our post-Korean War military efforts? 

Join us for an approximately one-hour exploration of this subject at 1:00 pm ET on 19 March 2021. Our virtual panel will feature three Canadian Armed Forces Veterans sharing their personal reflections: Lieutenant-General (ret’d) Lloyd Campbell, Lieutenant-Colonel (ret’d) Chris Hutt and Sergeant (ret’d) Geneviève Gauthier.

To register, email us at vac.education-education.acc@canada.ca before March 15. Please indicate if you wish to watch in English or French.


PPE and other Treatment Benefits options during COVID-19

There are some things to know about Treatment Benefits during this pandemic period.

Since the beginning of COVID measures in early 2020, you may have the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE – like masks) covered for medical appointments, including protective equipment for a medically required escort or family member joining you for an appointment.

Virtual healthcare and telehealth are also accepted as an alternative to in-person medical appointments.

For services other than prescription drugs (like physiotherapy or counselling) you don’t need to renew your prescriptions.

To learn more about the Treatment Benefits options available to you during the pandemic, please check out our list of FAQs.


Mental health and your family

Family members play an important role in their loved one’s well-being and recovery. As a family member of a Veteran, it’s also important for you to take care of your mental well-being.

There are a variety of services available to support your well-being, including:

  • Operational stress injury clinics which take a family approach to support treatment and well-being.
  • Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) provides a national peer support network for CAF members, Veterans and their families, close friends or caregivers.
  • VAC Assistance Service is available 24/7 to family members of Veterans, including those who aren’t clients of VAC. Call 1-800-268-7708 (TDD/TYY: 1-800-567-5803) to talk to a mental health professional.
  • Pastoral outreach programs are available to you for spiritual support if you are experiencing loss of a loved one.
  • HOPE program is another resource where you can connect with families that have gone through a similar experience as your own.
  • Veteran Family Program connects medically releasing and released Veterans and their families to community supports.

Caring for your own mental health is the first step in supporting others. Remember that your well-being matters and that we have services available for you.


Offer feedback on Canada’s proposed accessibility regulations

Proposed Accessible Canada Regulations are now available in Canada Gazette, Part I.

These proposed regulations provide details on how federally regulated entities must prepare and publish an accessibility plan, progress report, and feedback process, as required by the Accessible Canada Act (ACA). The proposed regulations also establish a framework for administrative monetary penalties.

Canadians now have until 19 April 2021 to offer feedback on the proposed regulations. Information on how to provide feedback can be found in Canada Gazette, Part I.

If you have any questions, please reach out to accessible-canada@hrsdc.gc.ca.


Help us improve My VAC Account

You are invited to participate in a short survey to let us know how we can improve My VAC Account and its features. For this study, we are collecting feedback from My VAC Account users to better understand how they use the platform and what other business they would like to do online.

Your input is important to us. Thank you for helping us improve My VAC Account.

https://phoenixspi.qfimr.com/MyVACAccount-MonDossierACC


Transitioning to life after service

The road to life after service can be challenging. We are working with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to make the transition experience as seamless and stress-free as possible.

Together, we have been exploring a new approach to transition focused on the individual needs of members and their families. A trial started at CFB Borden in February 2019, expanded to CFB Petawawa on 17 February 2021, and it will continue to roll out across the country over the next few years.

As part of this new approach, each member has direct access to a transition advisor who can help you create a transition plan that suits your needs and goals.

If you’re not in Borden or Petawawa, there are still many programs and services available such as the Education and Training Benefit and Career Transition Services.

Your drive, courage, and determination are what brought you success in the CAF. The transition trial and our career, education, and financial programs are options to help you in life after service.


Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund recipients to be announced soon

Over the past two years, the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund has provided organizations with funding to support initiatives and research in areas like Veteran homelessness, mental health, and the transition to life after service. The most recent call for applications closed last month and we will soon announce the latest projects and organizations to receive funding.

Shaping Purpose received support from the fund in 2018. Veteran Owen Parkhouse says Shaping Purpose helped him and his family set personal, post-retirement goals and make a realistic plan to achieve them. Read more about Owen and other success stories on our website.


Help us reach more Veterans and families

If you have served in the Canadian Armed Forces or RCMP, you may qualify for VAC programs or services that can support your financial, educational or family’s well-being.

We will be promoting some of our services throughout March using advertising in the media and online.

Please help us reach as many people as possible by sharing information with your networks. Our goal is to ensure all Veterans and their families know that services and supports are available.


Sexual harassment at CAF-DND

If you experienced sexual harassment, sexual assault, gender or LGBTQ2+ discrimination in a CAF-DND workplace, you may make a confidential claim for financial compensation and participate in a restorative engagement program.

Learn more: caf-dndsexualmisconductclassaction.ca/

Virtual Veterans panel – How should Canada commemorate our post-Korean War military efforts? / Discussion virtuelle avec des vétérans – Comment le Canada devrait-il commémorer ses efforts militaires après la guerre de Corée?

This webinar may be of interest to members.


[Le français suit l’anglais]

Greetings,

Canada’s impressive service in the First and Second World Wars shaped our country in many ways. However, the conclusion of these conflicts was definitely not the end of Canadian service members’ achievements and sacrifices at home and around the world.

These military efforts in more recent decades have been different than those that defined the first half of the 20th century. But how should this wide array of often lesser-known duties best be recognized and commemorated?

Join us for an approximately one-hour exploration of this subject at 1:00 pm ET on 19 March 2021. Our virtual panel will feature three Canadian Armed Forces Veterans sharing their personal reflections: Lieutenant-General (ret’d) Lloyd Campbell, Lieutenant-Colonel (ret’d) Chris Hutt and Sergeant (ret’d) Geneviève Gauthier.

Don’t miss out – sign up by March 15 to take part. Simply reply to this message [email address vac.education-education.acc@canada.ca] to register. Please indicate in your response whether you wish to watch in English or French. As well, please include any questions you’d like the panelists to answer and we will do our best to incorporate them into the session.

If you are not able to watch this event live, it will also be available for subsequent viewing to fit your own schedule. Please share this message with your network or anyone you think would appreciate the opportunity to watch this interesting discussion.

Thank you,
Veterans Affairs Canada

***************************************

Bonjour,

Les importants efforts militaires du Canada lors de la Première et de la Seconde Guerre mondiale ont défini notre pays de nombreuses façons. Cependant, la fin de ces conflits ne fut certainement pas la fin des réalisations et des sacrifices de nos hommes et femmes en uniforme, que ce soit au pays ou à l’étranger.

Ces efforts militaires au cours des récentes décennies ont été différents à bien des égards de ceux qui ont caractérisé la première moitié du 20e siècle. Mais de quelles façons ces nombreux efforts militaires moins connus devraient-ils être soulignés et commémorés?

Joignez-vous à nous afin d’explorer ce sujet pour une séance d’environ une heure, le 19 mars 2021 à 13 h (heure de l’Est). Trois vétérans des Forces armées canadiennes, le Lieutenant-général (à la retraite) Lloyd Campbell, le Lieutenant-colonel (à la retraite) Chris Hutt et la Sergente (à la retraite) Geneviève Gauthier partageront leurs réflexions lors de cette discussion virtuelle.

Ne manquez pas cette occasion! Inscrivez-vous avant le 15 mars pour y participer. Vous n’avez qu’à répondre à ce courriel (à l’adresse vac.education-education.acc@canada.ca) pour vous inscrire. Veuillez indiquer, dans votre réponse, si vous préférez visionner la discussion en français ou en anglais. Vous pouvez aussi ajouter des questions à soumettre à nos invités et nous tenterons d’en inclure lors de la séance.

Si vous n’êtes pas en mesure de visionner cet événement en direct, la discussion sera également offerte après la diffusion, pour vous permettre de la visionner au moment qui vous conviendra. Veuillez partager ce message avec les gens de votre réseau et à toute autre personne qui souhaiterait prendre part à cette discussion intéressante.

Merci,
Anciens Combattants Canada

Webinar/Consultation – Canada remembers CAF around the world

Last week Veterans Affairs Canada hosted a webinar entitled “Canada remembers CAF around the world” (if you are a member of Facebook, you can view the whole ~40-minute webinar at https://www.facebook.com/177183000662/>videos/436766764409326 ).  As a part of that webinar, they shared the following video that they have designed to solicit feedback from Canadians:

The basic idea is that we are past the 100th anniversary for all of the WWI events and the 75th anniversary for all of the WWII events, plus the reality that there are no WWI veterans remaining (barely any citizens still alive who were even born by the end of the war), very few WWI veterans, and even a dwindling number of Korean War veterans.  So these events – and even these veterans – are no longer a part of our collective memory or our communities.  For most Canadians, they are events in a history book.

Veterans Affairs were very purposeful to state that this does not mean that we should forget about or not include these remembrances.  But they were also clear that we need to do a better job of highlighting the experiences of Canadian veterans who were engaged in various Cold War, UN Peacekeeping, and NATO missions – many of which are starting to hit their 30th or 40th or 50th anniversaries and beyond (e.g., Operations Standard and Stable in Haiti began 25 years ago, the Gulf War was 30 years ago, Operation CALUMET in the Sinai was 40 years ago, our operation in the Congo ended 57 years ago, our presence in the Suez as a part of United Nations Emergency Force was 65 years ago).

If you have opinions on this shift, Veterans Affairs Canada welcomes public consultation.  You can find out how to get involved in the conversation by visiting https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/about-vac/what-we-do/public-engagement/remembrance-planning