FILE – A Canadian flag sits on a members of Canadian forces that are leaving from CFB Trenton, in Trenton, Ont., on October 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

Feds gave 1,600 veterans priority hiring, but could have been higher: report

Act was launched on July 1, 2015 and was to intended to help veterans find post-military work

More than 1,600 former Canadian Armed Forces members have benefited from a five-year-old law designed to help them get federal government jobs, according to a new report by Veterans Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence.

Yet the same joint report suggests the number of priority hires could have been even higher were it not for a series of “barriers” that have prevented some veterans from taking advantage of the Veterans Hiring Act.

One major barrier was that many former service members did not even know the act — and its provisions giving them priority when applying for some government jobs — existed. Many also didn’t know how to find and apply for federal positions.

The lack of awareness was partly blamed on the constant turnover of case managers for veterans suffering from service-related injuries, many of whom are overworked and said they did not receive proper training.

“A number of interviewed case managers identified a lack of training and consistent and clear guidance on the Veterans Hiring Act provisions,” reads the report.

“Interviewees indicated that this has resulted in varying efforts in providing veterans with adequate support and information on the Veterans Hiring Act.”

The act was launched on July 1, 2015 and was to intended to help veterans — especially those who served in Afghanistan or were being forced to retire for medical reasons — find post-military work.

Veterans and their advocates have consistently underscored that being able to find a job is critical to those who have served in uniform successfully transitioning from the military to civilian life.

The evaluation report also found that managers in many federal departments aren’t trained on how to apply the law, resulting in some instances where it has not been properly applied — leaving veterans who should have been hired out in the cold.

Exactly how many wasn’t clear, but an internal audit found 18 cases in which a job that by law should have been given to a veteran was instead awarded to a non-veteran.

“This demonstrates a need for hiring managers to have a better understanding of how to apply” the law, the report said.

The evaluators also noted that the same departments were consistently responsible for hiring 1,667 federal positions that went to former service members between the launch of the Veterans Hiring Act on July 1, 2015 and March 31, 2019.

The Defence Department was responsible for hiring about 60 per cent of those veterans, with Fisheries and Oceans Canada coming second at five per cent. Veterans Affairs came in fifth with three per cent.

“It is interesting to note the consistency of the departments and agencies that have hired veterans through these provisions since 2015,” reads the report.

“This demonstrates awareness and use of the Veterans Hiring Act provisions to support veteran hiring into the federal public service. It also demonstrates that there is work to be done to encourage all departments and agencies to implement the Veterans Hiring Act provisions.”

ALSO READ: Seaman to sailor: Royal Canadian Navy adopts inclusive, gender-neutral term for junior ranks

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Canadian Armed ForcesVeterans

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lake Trail students plan special project for Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day recognizes Indigenous children who were sent to residential schools

VIJHL season could start Oct. 1, says league president

League awaiting final approval from local health authorities and viaSport

Weather warning issued for the Comox Valley

Series of storms to hit the east coast of Vancouver Island this week

Police reminding drivers about school zones, passing buses

“There is no excuse - everyone should know the kids are back to school.”

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

AAP deadline set for Courtenay bridge construction

Courtenay council has approved a Nov. 16 deadline for responses for an… Continue reading

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Most Read