Feds announce improved training funding to help veterans rejoin workforce

TORONTO – The federal government says it is putting more money into the rehabilitation program to help veterans re-enter the workforce faster.

Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino announced Tuesday that $2 million over five years will go towards simplifying the vocational rehabilitation process for more than 1,300 veterans.

Fantino says the funding allows the government to eliminate a $20,000 cap on training expenses reimbursed to veterans.

The government will now pay for training, including campus parking, ebooks, computer software, and other learning materials, up to $75,800.

Canada’s veterans ombudsman called earlier this month for improvements to the government’s so-called veterans charter to ensure vulnerable former soldiers aren’t left living in poverty.

Guy Parent says he’s pleased with the changes announced by Fantino, saying they meet the intent of the recommendations he made in two recent reports.

“The changes represent a timely adjustment to the flexibility and financial aspect of the Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation Program and will help improve veterans’ vocational rehabilitation success after they leave the military,” Parent said in a release.

“Veterans deserve to be given the appropriate post-release training to self-actualize in the profession of their choice,” he said.

In announcing the changes, Fantino said the government is committed to “supporting the individual needs of veterans and their families to help them successfully transition to civilian life.”

“In taking this step, we are listening to the careful, detailed and considered advice of the veterans ombudsman, and also to the feedback I have personally received from veterans themselves,” Fantino said.

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