Strength in numbers
For those who served to protect the very rights and freedoms we enjoy today, we owe our Veterans our commitment to work on their behalf. The Legion advocates for Veterans through a number of channels:
1. Through the democratic voice of Legion members and the resolution process
Legion members at every level of the organization have the opportunity to help shape the policies and processes at the branch, provincial and national level of the organization. Through our democratic process, any Legion member may file a resolution describing the problem or issue they wish to address, along with a recommendation of how the branch, provincial command or national organization can resolve or support the issue. Resolutions are then voted on through the chain of command. Resolutions addressing national issues that have been passed through Provincial Command will be brought forth to convention for all-member voting. Resolutions may also be developed and submitted by Dominion Command Committees for approval by Dominion Executive Council ensuring yet another level to frame and create policies in line with our mission.
2. Meetings with senior elected bureaucrats and senior military officials to advocate for change
The Legion frequently meets with the Canadian government, including the Department of National Defence, Veterans Affairs Canada, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs (ACVA), and the Senate Committee to advocate on issues affecting Veterans and their families, to provide valuable insight into the challenges, and to recommend solutions and demand action.
3. Advocating for and supporting Veterans alongside other Veterans organizations
The Legion works alongside like-minded Veterans organizations to advocate for Veterans. The Legion collaborates with key Veterans stakeholders such as the Veterans Ombudsman and the Veterans Consultation Assembly to identify challenges and press for change to ensure the care and benefits Veterans and their families deserve. The Legion also connects with numerous Veterans-focussed organizations, seeking input, sharing resources, providing financial support and building relationships to support our common cause and help ensure Veterans receive the care they need.
4. Building relationships with the Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP
The Legion frequently collaborates with the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP and other Veterans stakeholders to offer programs and services designed specifically for military or RCMP personnel to help meet needs. The Legion also conducts frequent outreach to serving and retired military and RCMP to ensure they are aware of the services available to them through the Legion.
5. By supporting research to help further our understanding of the issues facing Veterans
The Legion is committed to supporting Veterans research. It is through research we can better understand the scope and nature of the challenges facing our Veterans and their families. Recent examples where the Legion provided supports include:
- Hosting the Homeless Veterans Forum – a multi-organization forum aimed to bring together key stakeholders in the areas of homelessness to encourage greater dialogue and coordinated support.
- Sponsoring national forums in Veterans research, such as the annual CIMVHR forum.
- Providing a $30,000 scholarship opportunity in Military and Veterans Health Research.
6. National communication efforts and advocacy campaigns
The Legion frequently issues communications through national media outlets and through social media to help the Canadian public stay informed of the Legion’s advocacy efforts which we are addressing.
7. Advocacy at the community level, through Provincial and Branch campaigns
Legion members, through their Branches, can take an active role in advocating for Veterans in their local communities. By getting involved in your local Legion, participating in Branch committees, taking on leadership roles, and attending Branch meetings, you can raise issues and ideas to help local Veterans.
8. Leverage the support of Canadians in our advocacy efforts
Canadians have demonstrated they are passionate about the care of Canada’s Veterans. When necessary, the Legion goes to the Canadian public with our advocacy efforts through initiatives such as the recent letter writing campaigns.
When we speak with one voice, the Legion continues to be represented as the largest Veterans and community service organization in Canada. We should all be proud of our accomplishments, but never rest on our laurels.