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

UPDATE: North Island Green Party nomination still to be determined

Moen says all issues should be viewed through environmental lens

COVID-19 has caused many changes for Port Hardy Fire Rescue so far this year

Port Hardy Fire Rescue’s first and second quarterly reports for 2020 were reviewed by council.

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

NDP candidate Babchuk a fixture in local politics since 2005

School trustee, city councillor and regional district chair sets sights on being North Island MLA

Sointula elementary school gets funding for new playground

Funding for the new playground comes from the provincial government’s Playground Equipment Program.

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Shawnigan Lake’s Kubica gets 25 to life for murder in California

Former Shawnigan Lake man convicted of killing woman in 1990

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

Duration of Tour de Rock stop in Chemainus much shorter than usual

Four alumni riders don’t get to come for breakfast in COVID year

Most Read