Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Welcome to our guests.
Before I ask my questions, I’d like to take a moment to discuss something that seems important to me and that seems important to francophones. The Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, on which I sit, is currently conducting a lengthy study on women veterans. The study will span 23 meetings. Two weeks ago, this committee decided to stop referring to "femmes vétéranes" and start referring to "vétéranes"—something we’ve been talking about for a long time. This may seem trivial, but in French, the word "vétérane" does greater justice to these members of the armed forces.
From now on, the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs and the Department of Veterans Affairs will use the term "vétérane". In my opinion, this is much more respectful of women. I mention this because I’d like the Standing Committee on National Defence to also use the designation "vétéranes", since Committee members will often use this term in French. The suggestion came from Ms. Sandra Perron. We’re pleased that the Department of Veterans Affairs will now be using this designation, and we hope other departments will too.
Mr. Harris, we all know transition is a crucial time for anyone, man or woman, who has spent several years in the armed forces. The members the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs have often heard is that this transition is very problematic. One of the issues raised was the fact that the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada both work in silos, with little or no contact between the two departments. This leads to difficulties and problems in terms of the credibility of these two very important departments.
I’d like you to tell us about what has been done to try to break down these silos, so these departments talk to each other more.