Politics

Ottawa hiring more staff to address backlogs and heavy caseloads in veterans department

Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay says the federal Liberal government will hire more staff to deal with backlogs and overwhelming caseloads at his department.

Applications for assistance have been delayed as cases have been slowly processed

Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay says Ottawa is committed to hiring more staff, but he did not say how many or when. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay says the federal Liberal government will hire more staff to deal with backlogs and overwhelming caseloads at his department.

MacAulay made the comments in an interview after The Canadian Press published a series of articles identifying some of the most pressing challenges facing veterans today.

Those challenges include a massive backlog of applications for assistance and a shortage of case managers, both of which have had real consequences on veterans who need help.

The series also looked at veterans' homelessness, the burden being shouldered by the families of injured veterans, and the fight some are waging for equal treatment from Ottawa.

Yet while MacAulay says adding staff, as the Liberals promised during the election, will form a key part of the government's response, the minister would not say how many people would be hired or when.

Veterans Affairs officials privately warned MacAulay in May that delaying such a decision could make it harder to retain hundreds of recently hired temporary staff on contract until March.

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