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Record of Discussion – Care and Support Advisory Group Teleconference

Monday, August 08, 2016
1200 – 1400 (EDT)

In Attendance

  • Dr. Alice Aiken, Canadian Institute for Military & Veteran Health Research
  • Mary Boutette, The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre
  • Candace Chartier, Canadian Alliance for Long Term Care
  • Libby Douglas, Director General, Service Delivery Management (Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) co-chair)
  • Debbie Eisan, Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones
  • Carolyn Gasser, Royal Canadian Legion
  • Major (Retired) Bruce Henwood
  • Dr. Norah Keating, University of Alberta
  • Captain (Navy) Marie-France Langlois, Director, Casualty Support Management, Canadian Armed Forces
  • Warrant Officer (Retired) Andrew McLean
  • Percy Price, NATO Veterans Organization of Canada
  • Andrea Siew, Office of the Veterans Ombudsman (Observer)


  • Marie Andrée Malette, Caregivers Brigade
  • Patrick Murphy-Lavallée, Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal

Record of Discussion

The objective of the Care and Support Advisory Group (hereafter the Group) teleconference was to finalize and approve the Group’s Terms of Reference, to establish its values-based principles, and to determine its short, medium and long-term priorities.

The Group began with a review of the Record of Discussion of the previous meeting (July 7, 2016) and the Terms of Reference (TOR). Both were approved. Some members stressed that, in regard to the TOR, Aboriginal culture and values, ethnicity, etc., must be considered as they formulate advice and recommendations for the Minister.

The Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Co-chair then introduced the fundamental principles that could help guide the Group as members establish their priorities. Shared goals, the responsibility and accountability of each team member, and mutual trust were considered fundamental principles to be borne in mind at all times. A member mentioned the Seven Teachings of the Grandfathers observed in Aboriginal culture, and asked that they be distributed along with the Record of Discussion. They are:

  • Honesty: Be honest with yourself and recognize the honesty within others.
  • Humility: Be humble and recognize how little you know of the universe.
  • Truth: Learn truth, live with it, walk with it, and speak it.
  • Wisdom: Know the difference between good and bad and the result of actions.
  • Love: Learn to love unconditionally.
  • Respect: Show respect for others, their beliefs, and yourself.
  • Bravery: Do the right thing even if it causes you hurt.

For the remainder of the meeting, members discussed the Group’s priorities established at their last meeting (not in order of importance):

  1. Develop a sound model for case management
  2. Identify and address the hidden needs of Veterans
  3. Bridge the gap in the continuum of care from at-home to long term care (LTC)
  4. Provide quality, holistic care
  5. Establish new foundations in Veterans’ Care

Much of the discussion revolved around bridging the gap in the continuum of care and the Group’s high interest in the Review of Long Term Care (LTC), part of the overarching Veterans Health Care Review. Members agreed that any review of LTC must include a review of the Veterans Independence Program (VIP) which provides support for care in the home.

There was general agreement that the Group would accept all five priorities and put them on a timeline. The Group also agreed that the following would be its first two priorities:

  1. To bridge the gap in the continuum of long term care from at-home to long term care.
  2. To identify and address the needs of Veterans and their families who may or may not be VAC clients.

To provide informed advice, Members asked that the Veterans Health Care Regulations be sent to them.

Forward Plan

September – December: Review of the Veterans Health Care Regulations; Identify gaps in continuum of long term care

January – March: VIP and care at home; presentation of the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman report on long term care, if available

March – July: to be determined

The group agreed that its priorities and related issues as well as its advice and recommendations should be considered through a “diversity” lens, including gender, Aboriginal, sexual orientation, and newer cohort Veterans, noting the importance of inclusiveness and the aim of not leaving out group or community.

The Group identified other topics of interest which may align more closely with the mandates of the other Advisory Groups, noting an interest for sharing of information with different Advisory Groups as appropriate:

  • Veterans have been waiting for months and sometimes years for decisions and the Group should do something about speeding up the process. Examples were disability awards and pension adjudication. (Service Excellence Advisory Group).
  • Some members of the group wanted to understand more about legislation that guides the programs and services regarding long term care as well as financial legislation (Policy Advisory Group).
  • Support for care-givers (e.g., the spouse of the Veteran being cared for) was also raised and there was agreement that it should be on the Group’s list even if other groups might be looking at it. (Advisory Group on Families, Policy Advisory Group).

At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that options for the next two CASAG meetings would be sent to members by email, as would the Veterans Health Care Regulations.

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