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By: Faiza Amin and Alessandra Micieli
Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino was at Humber College North Campus Oct.8 to announce new changes that he says will improve the lives of veterans as they transition to private life.
The changes will apply to more than 1300 veterans from Veterans Affairs Canada’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Fantino said the program will be more flexible and will provide veterans with faster services and better training opportunities.
“The measures we are introducing will cut red tape and simplify the vocational rehabilitation services,” said Fantino. “This includes faster approvals with fewer bureaucratic hoops and hurdles to meet.”
The government will expand training expenses to include computer software, training equipment and on-campus training. Veterans will also get reimbursed for travel expenses to training facilities. This announcement comes after Veterans Ombudsman Guy Parent advised the government on how it can improve services for veterans. Parent released two reports outlining concerns and suggestions he and veterans had. The Vocational Training Report, released last month, and the Veteran Charter report released last week, called on the government to make changes.
John Wright, Chair of the not-for-profit Military Minds Association, said the announcement was prompted by criticism but is a step in the right step.
“Sometimes it just takes simple action, this is a program that will make it easy for veterans to reach out and get the services that they need,” Wright told Humber News.
Humber Student Federation president Tim Brilhante, who was in attendance, said Humber’s diverse environment is a welcoming space for veterans.
‘They’ve served and contributed to our country, their neighbourhoods and their communities,” Brilhante told Humber News. “Anytime we can support their learning and their access to education with support through the government is fantastic.”
Minister Fantino also visited Humber’s childcare facility in celebration of family week.