FILE – A Canadian flag sits on a members of Canadian forces that are leaving from CFB Trenton, in Trenton, Ont., on October 16, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

Feds gave 1,600 veterans priority hiring, but could have been higher: report

Act was launched on July 1, 2015 and was to intended to help veterans find post-military work

More than 1,600 former Canadian Armed Forces members have benefited from a five-year-old law designed to help them get federal government jobs, according to a new report by Veterans Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence.

Yet the same joint report suggests the number of priority hires could have been even higher were it not for a series of “barriers” that have prevented some veterans from taking advantage of the Veterans Hiring Act.

One major barrier was that many former service members did not even know the act — and its provisions giving them priority when applying for some government jobs — existed. Many also didn’t know how to find and apply for federal positions.

The lack of awareness was partly blamed on the constant turnover of case managers for veterans suffering from service-related injuries, many of whom are overworked and said they did not receive proper training.

“A number of interviewed case managers identified a lack of training and consistent and clear guidance on the Veterans Hiring Act provisions,” reads the report.

“Interviewees indicated that this has resulted in varying efforts in providing veterans with adequate support and information on the Veterans Hiring Act.”

The act was launched on July 1, 2015 and was to intended to help veterans — especially those who served in Afghanistan or were being forced to retire for medical reasons — find post-military work.

Veterans and their advocates have consistently underscored that being able to find a job is critical to those who have served in uniform successfully transitioning from the military to civilian life.

The evaluation report also found that managers in many federal departments aren’t trained on how to apply the law, resulting in some instances where it has not been properly applied — leaving veterans who should have been hired out in the cold.

Exactly how many wasn’t clear, but an internal audit found 18 cases in which a job that by law should have been given to a veteran was instead awarded to a non-veteran.

“This demonstrates a need for hiring managers to have a better understanding of how to apply” the law, the report said.

The evaluators also noted that the same departments were consistently responsible for hiring 1,667 federal positions that went to former service members between the launch of the Veterans Hiring Act on July 1, 2015 and March 31, 2019.

The Defence Department was responsible for hiring about 60 per cent of those veterans, with Fisheries and Oceans Canada coming second at five per cent. Veterans Affairs came in fifth with three per cent.

“It is interesting to note the consistency of the departments and agencies that have hired veterans through these provisions since 2015,” reads the report.

“This demonstrates awareness and use of the Veterans Hiring Act provisions to support veteran hiring into the federal public service. It also demonstrates that there is work to be done to encourage all departments and agencies to implement the Veterans Hiring Act provisions.”

ALSO READ: Seaman to sailor: Royal Canadian Navy adopts inclusive, gender-neutral term for junior ranks

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Canadian Armed ForcesVeterans

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

OPINION: Facebook has taken one step too far

Social network threatens to ban news in Australia, same could happen here

Minor parties scramble to get candidates nominated for Stikine

Taylor wants to be Christian Heritage Party candidate, Repen makes bid to represent Rural BC Party

Here’s the latest on the proposed inland port development process

UPDATE: City postpones discussion slated for Sept. 28 council meet, dedicated meeting to be held soon

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Transgender B.C. brothers debut fantasy novel as author duo Vincent Hunter

‘Transgender people are being misrepresented in popular fiction and media, and we aim to change that’

Most Read