True Patriot Love Announces Veterans Transition Advisory Council

Published: December 12, 2012


Wednesday, December 12th, Edmonton – Today, the True Patriot Love Foundation announced the Veterans Transition Advisory Council, or VTAC, at a special announcement with Minister Steven Blaney of Veterans’ Affairs, hosted by CN Rail in Edmonton, Alberta.

The council’s purpose is to provide strategic recommendations to the Government of Canada, by way of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, and industry on ways in which the transition process for our service personnel from military to civilian employment can be improved.

“Our Government is proud to work with corporate Canada to help Veterans successfully transition from military to civilian life,” said Minister Blaney. “This announcement demonstrates that our Government is ensuring Canada’s Veterans continue to prosper as they re-enter civilian life. By implementing this initiative and working together, we are ensuring that transitioning Veterans have opportunities for new and rewarding second careers.”

It is estimated that Canada has spent $500,000 to $1 million to train and deploy every soldier deployed to Afghanistan.  Yet, despite this specialized training that fosters skills in leadership, teamwork, perseverance and loyalty, many Canadian soldiers struggle to find meaningful employment once they leave the military.

In line with the support of the Canadian government and leading national companies, True Patriot Love’s VTAC will work to address these challenges. In response, CN Rail is announcing today that it is spearheading a hiring initiative to promote 2,000 jobs across the CN network to veterans interested in operating positions.

“On behalf of True Patriot Love, I would like to congratulate CN for their leadership in their commitment to hiring veterans, and to acknowledge Minister Blaney for his charismatic leadership in raising the profile of the needs of Canada’s veterans,” said Bronwen Evans, Managing Director of the Foundation, “As Canada’s eminent foundation for military families, True Patriot Love is proud to lead this important initiative for Canada, and to work together with our partners so that these capable men and women may feel the support of their country.”

Shaun Francis, Chair of True Patriot Love, will serve as Chair of VTAC, with Joel Watson, Partner at Heenan Blaikie to serve as Vice Chair, in addition to nine other executives of leading national companies, including CN Rail, who continue their leadership in caring for our heroes by not only pledging jobs, but by being one of the first members to sign on to VTAC. The Council’s members are:

David Rawlings, J.P. Morgan Securities Canada, CEO

Elyse Allan, GE Canada, President and CEO

Helena Gottschling, Royal Bank of Canada, SVP, Leadership & Organizational Development

Joel Watson (Vice-Chair), Heenan Blaikie, Partner

John Gordon See, TD Waterhouse, President

Kevin C. Howlett, Air Canada, Senior Vice President, Employee Relations

Klaus Goersch, Air Canada, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Sean Finn, CN, EVP Corporate Services & Chief Legal Officer

Sean McMaster, TransCanada Corporation, EVP, Stakeholder Relations and General Counsel

Shaun Francis (Chair), Medcan Health Management, Inc., Chairman & CEO

Victoria Davies, Knightsbridge, CFO

Warren Spitz, UCS Forest Group, President & CEO

True Patriot Love will host the inaugural meeting of the Veteran Transition Advisory Council during the first-ever From Battlefield to Boardroom, a conference for corporate Canada on the value of military veteran, to be held in Toronto on January 29, 2013

The Foundation will continue the Council’s momentum through many other high profile initiatives for veterans next year, including a presentation of findings and recommendations at the Multinational Symposium on Veteran Transition, to be held in London in September 2013.

About True Patriot Love:

The True Patriot Love Foundation was formed by a group of dedicated business leaders to support and honour members of the Canadian military and their families, while also building bridges between Canadian civilians and the military to better understand and appreciate the sacrifices of soldiers and their families.

Over the past three years, True Patriot Love was honoured to have raised over $13 million to fund a variety of military programs, charities and causes, when and where it is needed most. Our three key areas of support are Family Health and Support, Physical Health and Rehabilitation and Mental Health and Well-Being.

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Media Contact:

Hilary Coles
Manager, Communications and PR
True Patriot Love Foundation