The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay (left), Minister of Veterans Affairs, speaks with members of 19 Wing Comox at the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Centre Lazo, British Columbia, on February 10, 2020. Photo credit: Corporal Joey Beaudin, Canadian Armed Forces Photo

Minister of veterans affairs discusses issues with Comox 19 Wing personnel

Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence Macauley, who is also the associate minister of national defence, visited 19 Wing’s Transition Centre on Feb. 10, to speak with members about their experiences.

In town for an announcement, MacAulay made a point of visiting the Wing Transition Centre to get the pulse on members using the services provided there. He broached the discussion with a direct question: “What am I doing right and what am I doing wrong?”

In attendance were six members – Chief Warrant Officer Rock Ferland, Master Warrant Officer Sean Harrison, Warrant Officer Tony Norris, Master Corporal Nancy Rice, Corporal Lindsay Gray, and Ordinary Seaman Jennifer Jenkins – who took advantage of the minister’s visit to reply to his question.

Points raised were from the very specific, improvements to the knowledge levels of the call centre staff manning the Veterans Affairs Canada 800 number, to more broad issues such as the backlog on receiving benefits. Some of the attending members had successfully transitioned back to work and expressed their satisfaction with that transition to the Minister.

Overall, it was a brief and impactful visit that gave MacAuley some insights into the issues facing transitioning members.

“Our goal, along with the Canadian Armed Forces, is to ensure you are informed and supported throughout your career and in your life after service,” said Macauley. “When it comes time to leave the military, we want you to know that Veterans Affairs Canada is here to help. Your well-being and that of your family is our primary concern.”

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