Outreach and Visitation
The Royal Canadian Legion has been awarded the Outreach and Visitation Initiative (OVI) contract from Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). This initiative replaces the Long Term Care Surveyor Program.
VAC currently supports more than 7,000 Veterans in approximately 1,500 facilities and does not have the available resources to conduct visits with a large number of Veterans in long term care without a contractual agreement in place. As of October, 2014, the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command volunteer network will conduct 8,000 visits to Veterans who are receiving financial assistance from VAC for long term care.
This initiative will facilitate face to face visits with Veterans, providing them with an opportunity to have a conversation and a social visit with a Legion volunteer and to raise concerns or identify needs that might be addressed by VAC or the Legion. As of April, 2015 there will be 109 volunteers who will have successfully completed an OVI training package and been Government of Canada security screened.
Oversight of the initiative is maintained by the Dominion Command Veterans, Service and Seniors Committee, while control and coordination is exercised by the Dominion Command Service Bureau. If you are a Legion member and would like to volunteer for or would like more information concerning this initiative, please contact the OVI project coordinator, Gary Foster, by email or toll free at 1-877-534-4666.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Outreach and Visitation Initiative (OVI) for Veterans
Why does the Legion, as a non-partisan organization advocating for Veterans, engage in contracts with the government?
The Royal Canadian Legion is one of the largest community service organizations in Canada and we do not receive a dime of funding from the government for our operations. The Legion, as a Veterans’ service organization, does contract services to the government such as the Veterans’ Outreach and Visitation Initiative (OVI) which ensures all Veterans receive the care and benefits they deserve. In contracting these services the Legion is filling a gap the government is not able to deliver on for Canada’s Veterans. Thanks to its 300,000 members and its footprint of over 1460 branches across Canada, the Legion is able to step up and ensure Veterans and their families receive the highest quality of service and care from the government throughout their lives.
There is no profit derived from these contacted services to the Legion. They are solely provided on a cost recovery basis.
Why was the Legion awarded the OVI contract?
This OVI contract from Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) was a publicly tendered contract. The Legion was awarded the contract as we are a national organization well positioned to administer a program of this size and scope, with a network of reliable, screened and trained volunteers across Canada who have previous experience in visiting Veterans in long term care facilities.
Where does the money from the OVI contract go?
The Outreach and Visitation Initiative contract from Veterans Affairs Canada is in the amount of $240,000. The contract is for one year, and covers the costs of administering, coordinating and delivering approximately 8,000 visits to Veterans.
Which Veterans are served through this initiative?
Through the OVI, Legion volunteers will make 8,000 visits to Veterans who are clients of Veterans Affairs Canada in long term care facilities. This initiative will facilitate face-to-face visits with these Veterans, providing them with an opportunity to have a conversation and social visit with a volunteer, and to raise concerns or identify needs that might be addressed by Veterans Affairs Canada.
How can I become a volunteer for the Veterans Outreach and Visitation Initiative?
Volunteers with the OVI must be a Legion member and qualify through a screening process. Volunteers are selected based on the needs within the community, required skill sets, security screenings, and ability to travel and must undergo a one day training seminar in Ottawa delivered jointly by Veterans Affairs Canada and the Legion. Calls for volunteers are sent by Dominion Command through both Provincial Commands and Legion Branches in areas of need.
If you are a Legion member and would like to volunteer for or would like more information concerning this initiative, please contact the OVI project coordinator, Gary Foster, by email or toll free at 1-877-534-4666.