The Department of National Defence met with participants from the provinces and territories in Ottawa yesterday to discuss the department’s Seamless Canada initiative.
The Department of National Defence launched Seamless Canada one year ago in Toronto to improve services when Canadian Armed Forces members and their families move to a different province or territory. A second meeting took place in December 2018 in Ottawa. The initiative aims to open communications channels and to establish cooperation between the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Armed Forces, and Seamless Canada participants.
Provinces and territories participated in the third roundtable yesterday in Ottawa. The meeting focussed on exchanging best practices regarding military family access to health care, as this challenge affects the greatest number of military family members across Canada.
Discussions centered around health care services and current innovative approaches to delivering health care to military families.
“Looking after the women and men of our Canadian Armed Forces and their families is our top priority. Moving for military postings can be a difficult experience for members and their families, and we are committed to making that easier by resolving issues around relocation. We appreciate being able to work collaboratively with the provinces and the territories to find ways to improve the lives of Canada’s military families.”
The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence
” Relocating is never easy under the best of conditions. We need to ensure that Canadian Armed Forces members and their families can access the services they need efficiently and effectively, when they are posted across the country to serve Canada and the Canadian people. I am committed to helping make things less stressful regardless of where they move across our country.”
Lieutenant-General Lamarre, Commander of Military Personnel Command
Seamless Canada was launched on June 27, 2018 to help alleviate significant stressors for Canadian Armed Forces members and their families during relocation.
Most of the stressors arise from issues related to access to health care, employment, child care, and education. Access to health care challenges affect the greatest number of military family members across Canada.
While there is already a level of collaboration between Department of National Defence and each province and territory in addressing transition issues for military families, there is value in ongoing and strengthened cooperation.
The Seamless Canada initiative supports Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE), by helping the Canadian Armed Forces retain the talented people it recruits, while ensuring their wellbeing.