Four new appointees all hold military or health care experience
OTTAWA, Oct. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of
Veterans Affairs, fulfilled today another pledge to Veterans by
announcing four new highly qualified appointments to the Veterans
Review and Appeal Board (VRAB), effective November 19. Three highly
qualified reappointments were also announced.
"With these appointments, the Veterans Review and Appeal Board now has
among the highest amount of members with military, medical, and police
experience in its history," said Minister Blaney. "The Veterans'
community has specifically asked for the membership of the Board to be
composed of more professionals with this kind of experience, and we are
In announcing these appointments, Minister Blaney is honoring a
commitment made to Veterans and Veterans' organizations to increase the
number of Board members with military and medical backgrounds. The
appointees announced today all hold either Canadian Forces (CF) or
medical backgrounds, and between them, they have a combined 72 years of
Canadian Forces experience and 35 years of health care experience.
Ms. Denise Dietrich, a nurse with more than 35 years of health care experience, has also
worked as a vocational and medical rehabilitation consultant. She
possesses extensive experience as a decision maker on regulatory
bodies, including the College of Nurses of Ontario, and she holds a
Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from the University of Waterloo, as well
as a Master's Degree in Health Studies from Athabasca University. A
Practical Nursing graduate, she also holds a Diploma in Addiction
Studies from McMaster University.
Mr. Richard Frenette served in the Canadian Forces for 27 years, retiring with the rank of
Brigadier-General. Throughout his career, he has held many senior roles
within the CF, including that of commanding officer of Canadian Forces
Bases Farnham and Valcartier. He has also held the position of
commander of the 35 Brigade Group and has served as deputy commander of
the Quebec Area Land Forces.
Mr. Colin Reichle served for 22 years in the Canadian Forces, beginning as an infantry
private and retiring with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He has held
multiple senior command positions in the CF, which include serving as
the deputy commanding officer (DCO) of the North Saskatchewan Regiment,
and as the Command Officer of the 20th Field Artillery Regiment. Mr Reichle also has extensive involvement
with St John's Ambulance, having served as the director of its Alberta
Council. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from
the University of Saskatchewan, and a Master of Business Administration
from Athabasca University.
Mr. Richard Rennie has served for 23 years in the Canadian Forces, retiring with the rank
of Major. He served both as a logistics officer and as a lawyer with
the Judge Advocate General. Mr. Rennie holds a Bachelor's Degree of
Commerce from the University of British Columbia, a Bachelor of Laws
from the University of Victoria, and a Master of Public Administration
from Carleton University. He has also spent 10 years as the assistant
to the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria, where
he taught law and ethics courses for more than 20 years.
All of these appointments were made in accordance with VRAB's
merit-based selection process.
Also reappointed today to three year terms were:
Mr. Ted Giraldeau, who served in the Canadian Forces for more than 30 years, retiring
with the rank of Major. His military career includes more than 27 years
in the Regular Force as an infantry officer, including the commanding
of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) Parachute
Company. He was decorated for meritorious service by the Government of
France with the Bronze Medal of National Defence for overseas service.
Mr. John Morrison who has a strong administrative tribunal background and extensive
experience in the interpretation and application of federal and
provincial legislation and jurisprudence. He has also served as a
member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, as vice-chair of
the Social Benefits Tribunal of Ontario, and as a disability
determination adjudicator under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from the
University of Western Ontario, and is also certified by the University
of Windsor Faculty of Law in Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Ms. Joan Walsh, who possesses more than 30 years of diverse experience in the field of
health care, has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Saint
Francis Xavier University, as well as a Master of Science Degree with a
clinical specialty in Mental Health Nursing from Boston University.
"I commend the Minister for listening to the Veterans' community and
providing 65 years of nursing experience, and over 100 years of
military experience to the Board," said Ron Cundell, Co-Publisher VeteranVoice.info. "These members will understand military culture. I also want to
commend the Minister for seriously listening to the recommendations of
the OVO report, "Veterans Right to Fair Adjudication." I salute these
new and returning Board members for stepping up to change the culture
of the current VRAB, and I look forward to a more Veteran-friendly
environment in the future."
"The Royal Canadian Legion supports the addition of new Board members
possessing military and nursing backgrounds to enhance the credibility
of the VRAB," said Gordon Moore, Dominion President of the Royal
Canadian Legion. "The Legion and other Veterans' organizations have
been strong advocates that VRAB members reflect the make-up of the
Canadian Forces with current and relevant operational experience."
The Veterans Review and Appeal Board is the independent appeal tribunal
for the disability pension and disability award programs administered
by Veterans Affairs Canada. It also provides the final level of appeal
for War Veterans Allowance applications.
The Board's objective is to ensure that Veterans and their families
receive the benefits to which they are entitled. To achieve this, the
Board conducts hearings that give applicants the opportunity to appear
in person and present new information and arguments in support of their
application for disability benefits.
The Board operates at arm's length from the Minister of Veterans Affairs
to ensure a fair appeal process for applicants.
For more information on the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, please
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada