Evidence of meeting #39 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 case.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Nancy Murray  Instructor, Case Management Program, McMaster University
  • Joan Park  President, National Case Management Network of Canada
  • Ray Kokkonen  National President, Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association
  • Brigadier-General  Retired) Joseph E. L. Gollner (Patron, Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association
  • Colonel  Retired) John Eggenberger (Vice-President, Research, Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Greg Kerr

That was way too brief. You were just getting warmed up.

If that covers all your comments from your group, you've set a record for brevity.

3:55 p.m.

National President, Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association

Ray Kokkonen

Actually, Mr. Chair, I get to do a wrap-up.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Greg Kerr

You are smooth. Please, carry on.

3:55 p.m.

National President, Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association

Ray Kokkonen

I'd like to then carry on with other issues that are not necessarily part of the transformation but that impact on the shape of the transformation. The first of those, which has been a long-time irritant for all modern-day veterans, is long-term health care for modern-day veterans. I simply want to say that there is patent unfairness in the fact that one section of veterans gets preferential treatment over another section of veterans. I'll leave it at that.

The next point is the Veterans Affairs Canada personnel cuts. We sent a joint letter, with the Gulf War veterans and the NATO veterans organizations, to the Prime Minister expressing our strong concerns about the budget cuts to Veterans Affairs Canada. We cannot fathom how you can cut several hundred people from an organization that serves veterans without reducing the quality of service to the veterans.

The last one is, if I may say, the recommendations of this standing committee, coupled with the recommendations of the new Veterans Charter advisory group, which you endorsed and added to. Those need to be implemented right away. There is no question. The Veterans Affairs Canada stakeholders committee, in fact, passed three motions for immediate implementation, and this was one of the ones that was discussed.

As John has said, we are generally satisfied with the transformation process and the reasons it's happening. However, we have a concern that it's such a huge thing. And as we were discussing earlier, a wheel can come off somewhere and have disastrous effects, at least for a period of time, for many veterans.

Our recommendation is that you, as part of this legislative body, as the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, publicly monitor this transformation to make sure that the wheel doesn't come off and hurt veterans.

Thank you. We're grateful for this opportunity. That finishes our presentation.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Greg Kerr

Are you sure?

3:55 p.m.

National President, Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Greg Kerr

I don't want to cut you off.

Thank you very much for that.

What we're going to do is suspend until the vote is finished. We'll reconvene here, so relax.

We're suspended until the vote is finished. Thank you.

4:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Greg Kerr

I call the meeting back to order.

Thank you very much for your patience. We all survived the vote, one way or another, and we're back in business here.

We'll go right to the question round. We'll start with Mr. Stoffer, for five minutes.

June 7th, 2012 / 4:40 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thank you, all of you, very much for coming today.

First, to Joan and Nancy, we hear from DVA that they're working towards the figure of 40 clients per case manager. I notice that you didn't give any figures for the optimum number. Obviously some clients are a lot more work in terms of involvement, and others are fairly straightforward.

Do you have, in your research, what the optimal number of clients should be per case manager?

4:40 p.m.

President, National Case Management Network of Canada

Joan Park

You're the researcher, Nancy.

4:40 p.m.

Instructor, Case Management Program, McMaster University

Nancy Murray

Thank you very much for your question.

It depends upon the model and the complexity of the client. In Ontario, for example, you have case managers who are dealing with, in generalist caseloads, over 100, and in specialty caseloads, perhaps 80. In the intensive models that they are using, I know that one region is looking at 60 clients per case manager. There are others looking at 30 per case manager.

In the intensive integrated model, that one case manager then has 30 teams to work with, because each client has their own set of particular professionals that she'll be working with.

So 30 is what they're looking at trying as the optimal. There is no research that I know of in Canada that actually speaks to that specifically.

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Thank you.

Ray, in your organization, the advisory group of the various veterans organizations made 18 recommendations, I believe, to the department, and you asked them to expedite those recommendations as soon as possible. Have you heard back from the department or the minister on if and when any of those recommendations would be accepted, and when they would happen?

4:45 p.m.

National President, Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association

Ray Kokkonen

We haven't had any information back.

Incidentally, the 18 recommendations, the most recent made by this committee, were not part of the motions that were passed in the stakeholders committee.

In fact, Mr. Chair, perhaps I could summarize the motions that were passed by the stakeholders: that the VAC fully implement the recommendations of the NVC advisory group as endorsed and complemented by the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs; that VAC fully implement the recommendations of the Gerontological Advisory Council report; and that the recommendations of the special needs advisory group be incorporated in the federal government's full implementation of the NVC advisory group report.

Those were the motions.

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

So it's fair to say you haven't heard back officially from the department on that yet.

4:45 p.m.

National President, Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association

Ray Kokkonen

Nothing yet.