Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I really appreciate the feedback I'm getting today on this benefits navigator online program.
I want to clarify something. Mr. Harris, you indicated that downtime has been very minimal and it's whenever there needs to be changes to what is offered on there. I would appreciate it if I could get a log of those downtimes and the reason for each of them, not going into great detail about whatever change was made, but so that we have clarity.
The timeline isn't making sense to me. From what I've heard from veterans who are directly involved with it, it came about when the court case around the new veterans charter with the Afghan veterans was put in abeyance before the 2015 election. This was part of the agreement with all of that, and this program went live online in 2016.
I'm not sure if we're comparing the same thing at this point. If we could get clarity on that, I would really appreciate it if you could bring that to committee.
I appreciate that these tools are there, and I think they're really important. However, if there's no follow-up to get any sense of when a veteran goes through this process and sees that they think these are things they would qualify for and then they don't.... There would need to be changes made, I would think, to make that clearer to them when they're applying. It's one thing for a program to say, “This is something you deserve,” and there's the other side of that whole coin, which you guys have to deal with, and that is getting the proof required from those veterans.
I've heard a lot about benefit of the doubt and how much more it's being applied now than it was in the past, specifically because of the backlogs. Is there any way of monitoring that as well? Say someone lifts 100 pounds of gas in multiple containers onto a truck over and over again, and has back injuries, but they have no proof of that. They were a reservist at 16, 17 or 18 years old, and now they're hitting their late seventies or eighties.
How is that being implemented in our programs at VAC to improve the way we're treating our veterans in their circumstances?
Ms. Meunier, did you want to respond?