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The new Office of Women and LGBTQ2 Veterans

Minister of Veterans Affairs

The new Office of Women and LGBTQ2 Veterans

Ahead of this year’s International Women’s Day, it’s important we pay tribute to the women Veterans who have helped make the world a safer more equitable place . It is also important we recognize that – despite the progress made in advancing gender equality both here in Canada and around the world – there is still much to be done. I believe this recognition shouldn’t come only once a year, but every day – that’s why I’m very proud to announce the creation of the Office of Women and LGBTQ2 Veterans at Veterans Affairs Canada. This Office will work with Veterans and stakeholder organizations to identify and address the unique challenges and experiences that women and LGBTQ2 Veterans and their families face. Together, we will continue to work towards meeting the changing needs of Veterans and their families, Women and LGBTQ2 service members continue to represent Canada in uniform, as they have for more than a century. It is our responsibility to provide them with the care and support they earned and deserve. I know this Office will help us do just that. A message from the government of Canada

Today, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, announced the Office of Women and LGBTQ2 Veterans at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). The idea for the Office stems from discussions held during the first ever annual Women’s Veterans Forum held in Charlottetown last year. Since then, the Department has had numerous conversations with Veterans and stakeholders to identify barriers specific to women and LGBTQ2 Veterans and their families. We know from these discussions that the specific needs of women and LGBTQ2 Veterans have not been properly addressed, and that more needs to be done to understand and support these individuals. Veterans have diverse lived experiences and different service-related needs. The office aims to identify these needs and work with Veteran communities, partners and other federal departments and agencies to help ensure fair access to treatment and services based on these needs. We are committed to ongoing dialogue with various stakeholder groups to share, learn and work collaboratively to address barriers for Veterans, regardless of their biological sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or other identity factors. We will continue to help influence research, develop ideas and solutions to challenges, and promote strong collaboration among Veterans and stakeholder groups. Women and LGBTQ2 service members have represented Canada in uniform for more than a century. This office will help the Department fulfill its responsibility to provide all Veterans the care and support they deserve. There is much to be done, but the work of the new office and discussions with women and LGBTQ2 Veterans will help to positively shape the future of our Department. The second Women Veterans Forum will be held during the spring of 2020 and details will be released shortly.

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Veterans Affairs Canada
February 24, 2020

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