Desroches Wants To Help Homeless Veterans

- November 7th, 2012

A note sent by Gloucester-South Nepean Coun. Steve Desroches to his colleagues. Desroches is chairman of Ottawa Community Housing.

Dear colleagues,

As we pay tribute and honour our veterans this week, I wanted to share with you a notice of motion that I plan to move at the next CPS meeting.

The goal of the motion is to ensure that the City of Ottawa is working closely with partner organizations in support of homeless veterans. As you know, the City of Ottawa is uniquely positioned as a front line service provider that can help identify veterans and help target applicable federal programs and benefits, as well as initiatives of the Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) like Operation Leave the Streets Behind (http://www.on.legion.ca/homeless_veterans.asp) . The goal would be to help ensure that those veterans who are entitled to federal benefits are receiving them . I can tell you that as Chair of Ottawa Community Housing (OCH), I have met veterans who were unaware that they could be eligible for benefits that would help improve their quality of life. In addition, I think that it is fitting that Veterans Affairs outreach and casework officers have access to our Community and Social Services Offices in order to work closely with veterans as required. I am attaching a report on the approach that OCH is taking to strengthen collaboration with Veterans Affairs Canada.

I have met with representatives of Veterans Affairs Canada and the Royal Canadian Legion who are very interested in stronger collaboration with the City of Ottawa.

I am also planning on hosting a meeting in the new year with our local housing and shelter providers and representatives of Veterans Affairs Canada and the RCL to share information on programming and support for veterans.

I hope that you will agree that residents always appreciate when levels of government work together and avoid the duplication of energies.

I am interested in your feedback and happy to answer any questions that you may have.

That the Community and Social Services Department, as part of its Community Hub project at the four Community and Social Services Offices, develop a strategy with the Royal Canadian Legion and Veterans Affairs Canada to enhance information sharing, referrals and connection to social and employment services in the Ottawa area that are available and often underutilized by veterans.

That the Community and Social Services Department, Housing Services Branch include representative(s) of the Veterans and the Royal Canadian Legion in community consultations to ensure that planning includes and considers the housing needs and resources available to veterans.

That the General Manager Community and Social Services be the primary contact for the Royal Canadian Legion and Veterans Affairs Canada and facilitate ongoing collaboration within the City administration, and his office liaise and monitor the progress on pilot projects to support veterans currently being considered in London, Toronto, Calgary and Victoria.

That Community and Social Services Department, Housing Services Branch investigate the opportunity for unique funding opportunities through Veterans Affairs or other Federal Ministries that could potentially lead to a unique approach to veterans housing in Ottawa.

Categories: Housing

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1 comment

  1. Gord says:

    I was on duty with the Canadian Forces in 2009 when I received the H1N1 shot (AREPANRIX by GlaxoSmithKline) and had a severe adverse reaction resulting in PERMANENT neurological, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and respiratory symptoms: dizziness, vertigo, irregular heart rhythms, shortness of breath, muscle weakness and pain, and numbness in hands and feet. My physical fitness changed from special forces fit to that of a 70 year old in a matter of days. The Department of National Defence (DND) ordered all personnel to attend the vaccination, but claimed the vaccination was voluntary. Prior to receiving the vaccination, the DND advised personnel the H1N1 Influenza “could cause a virtual shut down of military operations”, ” Just because you’ve never caught the flu in the past is not a valid reason to not get the H1N1 shot this year”, “Be proactive. We all have a role to play in minimizing our risk and being prepared”, “Personnel … must provide proof of the vaccination … otherwise, they will be required to attend the clinic (flu)” and “Without your past record (of immunization), you will have to be re-immunized”. According to “Canada First Defence Strategy … first and foremost, the Canadian Forces must ensure the security of our citizens … requires the Forces not only to identify threats … but also to possess the capacity to address them quickly and effectively”. Personnel who volunteered to take the H1N1 vaccination were preventing a virtual shut down of military operations which ensured the CF’s maintained the capacity to provide security to its citizens. Veterans Affairs has taken the position that injuries resulting from this vaccination are not service related and personnel are not eligible for rehabilitation. The DND also advised “having mild chills and fever a few days following the shot means it is working” which is false and contradicts GSKs product information provided by Health Canada. The DND also stated “There is a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of acquiring a serious neurological complication” which is false and contradicts the product information which states “neurological disorders” are “very rare (may occur with up to 1 in 10,000 doses)”, a significant difference. According to DAOD 5028-0, the DND and CF are aware of the concept of “informed consent” and understand its purpose which, according to Health Canada, is “information given to participants (which) should provide adequate information for the participant to make an informed decision about his/her participation”. The DND listed 3 of the 28 side effects, two of which were the most common and least bothersome and significantly understated the risk of a neurological disorder. However, the DND did provide a detailed list of “Symptoms of H1N1 Pandemic Influenza: Almost always: Sudden onset of cough and fever, Common: Fatigue, Muscle aches, Sore throat, Headache, Decreased appetite, Runny nose, Sometimes: Nausea Vomiting, Diarrhea, Most Patients…

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