Evidence of meeting #33 for Veterans Affairs in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was outreach.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Colleen Soltermann  Director, Outreach, Consultation and Engagement, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Krista Locke  Regional Director General, Department of Veterans Affairs

4:05 p.m.

Regional Director General, Department of Veterans Affairs

Krista Locke

I'm not closely involved in the partnership, so I'm not able to answer.

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Is it possible for you to get that information for us?

4:05 p.m.

Regional Director General, Department of Veterans Affairs

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Thank you.

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Isabelle Morin Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Thank you very much.

To continue on from what my colleague said, I would like to talk about Twitter, which I like and use a lot. It's a technology of my generation. While we were talking, I looked to see what was going on on Twitter.

I'm surprised to see that there are close to 2,000 people following the English Twitter feed and only 300 following the French one. What are you going to do to get francophone Canadians interested in it? Actually, you apparently aren't using a good approach to reach out to them because you have had only 300 people following you since you started, so for just about a year now.

4:10 p.m.

Director, Outreach, Consultation and Engagement, Department of Veterans Affairs

Colleen Soltermann

Thank you for that observation.

We are continuing to promote the use of our Twitter feed. It's a good observation, and I am going to bring it back to the department so we can look into it. I'm not necessarily the best person to answer your question, but it's a good observation.

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Isabelle Morin Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

I'm going to carry on with this because I like it.

I don't want to be overly critical, but there have been 400 tweets in one year. That doesn't seem like very many to me. You may think it's a good way to reach out to people, but personally, I've been using Twitter for less than a year and I have close to 4,000 tweets. That's a big difference. If you want to use this method to reach out to people, they need to see the tweets. I'd like to see an improvement in that respect because you said that using social media was a priority for you.

When we look at your tweets, we see that many more of them have to do with the minister than the department. I would also like you to explain that to me. Why focus your tweets on the minister rather than the department?

4:10 p.m.

Director, Outreach, Consultation and Engagement, Department of Veterans Affairs

Colleen Soltermann

I don't have an answer for that. I can't explain the department's approach in that respect. I know the technology is something fairly new for the department. I'm not the best person to explain the difference, but I can certainly provide you with that information if necessary.

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Isabelle Morin Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

I would really like you to send it to the committee.

4:10 p.m.

Director, Outreach, Consultation and Engagement, Department of Veterans Affairs

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Isabelle Morin Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Thank you.

I have no other questions.

I'll give the floor to Ms. Perreault.

May 10th, 2012 / 4:10 p.m.

NDP

Manon Perreault Montcalm, QC

This will be very simple.

Outreach came up earlier. We are talking about it because we want to foster interest in some issue. I thought to myself that if you are going to contact people, if you are trying to communicate with them, there needs to be some follow-up. It's really important to know what the results were, if any.

I don't know if you talked about it, but I feel that it will be difficult to tally the results you'll subsequently get.

4:10 p.m.

Director, Outreach, Consultation and Engagement, Department of Veterans Affairs

Colleen Soltermann

Are you talking about our outreach efforts?

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Manon Perreault Montcalm, QC

Yes.

4:10 p.m.

Director, Outreach, Consultation and Engagement, Department of Veterans Affairs

Colleen Soltermann

We have developed a framework that provides parameters that indicate whether we attained our intended goals. I don't know the term in French, but in English we call it a

performance measurement plan.

It's a plan that sets out standards that we must comply with. We measure ourselves against it. So we will be able to know if we have attained the objective based on the indicators that we will have established. With respect to outreach in particular, we have a plan that will help us determine if there is an impact.

I would also like to talk about something else. We are doing research on public opinion. I think that's what we call it. This initiative will help us measure the scope of our outreach efforts with our target clientele. We are currently carrying out a project. We intend to have focus groups that we will interview to determine how much they know about the department's programs and services. The research is currently qualitative. In the coming years, we will carry out quantitative research to determine whether we are making progress with respect to outreach on the programs and services.