Mr. Chair, I'm not sure whether it's a point of order or a point of personal privilege, but if you'll indulge me, I have information that I think is beneficial to the rest of the committee.
Yesterday I came across a story on a news wire that speaks about a research study to assist Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans to transition into civilian life. The news release said about $570,000 is going to be spent for funding and program research. There are quotes from the minister. There are quotes from members of the New Brunswick government.
Anybody who knows me—and I think this is important for all members of this committee as well—knows how much I hate wasting time on studies. The study that we did back in 2016, in which we made recommendations to the government on transitional aspects of medically releasing CAF members, was presented to the House of Commons in December. Since 2007, ten reports have been presented to the House of Commons and to various governments. In fact, in 2014, there was the following report, “The Transition to Civilian Life of Veterans”, of a study done by the Senate of Canada. In 2016, the report “Support to Military Families in Transition” was done by the veterans ombudsman. In 2016, the well-known defence ombudsman report on successfully transitioning was presented to Parliament, and, of course, there's the report that this committee did.
I realize, Mr. Chair, that I came to the committee in the middle of that report. I think you spent four or five months coming up with 18 or 19 recommendations on how we can ease the transition from military life into civilian life. Some of those recommendations were well received not just by the defence ombudsman but also by the veterans ombudsman in subsequent conversations that we had.
With regard to this new report, the department proposes that the study be completed and presented to Parliament in 2019. I don't understand, after all the work this committee did, all of the studies that have been done over the years of Parliament and all of the reports that have been presented to various governments, the previous government included, why there's a need for another report. I guess, in order to qualify my privilege, I would say why did we waste our time if the intent of the department was to do another report?
I want to bring that up to committee members, because I think it is important. It certainly shocked the hell out of me when I read yesterday that another study on transition is going to be done after all of the previous studies have been done and that the report is not expected until 2019, which means, I think it would be safe for one to presume, that nothing is going to get done to help in the transition from military life to civilian life among those who served in the military until at least that time, whereas all of these recommendations have been made in the past.
I am compelled to bring that up to the committee, because I know we worked very hard. We came up with, I think, terrific recommendations. Many of them were endorsed by not just the defence ombudsman but also the veterans ombudsman. We need to get on with this. We need to fix things, not just study things over and over again.
That's my point, Mr. Chair.