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Another way we are honouring veterans’ sacrifices

By: Blake Richards

  |  Posted: Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 11:13 am

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Each year, between 4,000 and 5,000 Canadian Armed Forces members leave the military and re-join civilian life. At an average age of 37 they are well trained, determined, and extremely dedicated. For many, the most pressing concern is finding employment.

Earlier this year, our government launched the ‘Hire A Local Veteran’ initiative, challenging businesses across Canada to give priority to qualified Veterans and retiring Canadian Armed Forces members when filling positions within their organizations. It was encouraging to see this initiative receive support from major employers like Canadian National Rail, as well as local employers within our constituency like Lafarge in Exshaw.

These companies recognized something our government understands: Former Canadian Forces personnel are exceedingly qualified for a variety of positions. They are skilled in planning, communication, project management, and leadership. They have vast experience in the skilled trades, can perform under pressure, and know how to meet a deadline.

Following the success of the ‘Hire a Local Veteran’ initiative, our government has chosen to accept our own challenge. On Nov. 7 we announced new legislation that will give the highest priority to injured veterans when hiring within the public service.

Under our plan, top priority will be to Veterans who have been medically released from the Canadian Forces for service-related reasons for a period of five years.

In addition, for veterans who were medically released for non-service related reasons, the duration of priority consideration will be increased to five years (versus the current two years) allowing them more time to exercise their priority entitlement. These changes are expected to come into force in spring 2014 and will apply to Veterans who had a priority entitlement on or after April 1, 2012.

This is just the latest initiative our government has taken to honour our Veterans’ many sacrifices and help them successfully transition to civilian life. Under Helmets to Hardhats Canada, incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 2011, our government is partnering with corporate sponsors and construction trades to offer apprenticeship training to Regular and Reserve members of the Canadian Forces.

Veterans Affairs Canada also recently launched a new email address - - to allow corporations and organizations to alert Veterans Affairs Canada about new employment opportunities.

I believe it is our duty to honour Canada’s Veterans – not just on Remembrance Day, but every day. Helping our forces transition to civilian life is just one way our government fulfills this duty.


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