Federal Retirees applauds report on experiences of women veterans

June 13, 2024
Federal Retirees CEO Anthony Pizzino.
Federal Retirees CEO Anthony Pizzino applauds Wednesday’s ACVA report on the experiences of women veterans and asserts the Association will “be here to help ensure” the government follows through on the recommendations.

National Association of Federal Retirees (Federal Retirees) is pleased that after more than a year of study, the report on the experience of women veterans by the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs (ACVA) has been released, titled “Invisible No More. The Experiences of Canadian Women Veterans.”  

In early 2023, ACVA undertook a comprehensive study on women veterans that included nearly two dozen meetings, which included testimony from 93 witnesses, including Federal Retirees. The main topics included the physical and mental health injuries and treatments that were most likely to affect women during military service, the particularities of transitioning out of military service for women, retirement and long-term care, and initiatives developed in allied countries. 

At the Association’s appearance before the committee, advocacy director Sayward Montague noted, “gender blindness in military and veteran systems, including in health care, results in systemic, sex-based biases, research gaps and increased rates of injury and illness resulting in unnecessarily high rates of medical releases for women—potentially around 50 per cent of women's releases from the military. There is an opportunity to make a difference in research. It's the best way to inform good policy that makes a difference.” 

With 42 recommendations, the report focuses on four areas that will make most impact on outcomes for women veterans: research, addressing specific medical and health needs, recognition and commemoration, and the need to remove barriers to accessing services and support.

“It's well past time for Canada to focus on equitable outcomes for those who serve, and not only on things like wait times,” says Association CEO Anthony Pizzino. “The report and its 42 recommendations focus on areas that will make the most impact in delivering equitable outcomes for veterans: a comprehensive research strategy, addressing specific medical and health needs, recognition and commemoration, and the need to remove barriers to accessing services and support."

The supplemental report tabled by the NDP includes recommendation to ensure the services delivered, and how they are delivered, by Veterans Affairs Canada is trauma-informed.

"Acting on this report is going to require a dedicated plan, funding, goals, transparency in reporting and accountability to achieve the desired objectives across relevant departments," says Pizzino. "It’s time for the government to commit to such a plan, and we will be here to help ensure that happens,” says Pizzino.