ARCHIVED — Vol. 146, No. 26 — December 19, 2012

Registration

SI/2012-100 December 19, 2012

AN ACT TO AMEND THE STATUTE LAW IN RELATION TO VETERANS’ BENEFITS

Order Fixing December 17, 2012 as the Day on which Subsections 13(4) and (5) of the Act Come into Force

P.C. 2012-1633 December 6, 2012

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, pursuant to section 101 of An Act to amend the statute law in relation to veterans’ benefits, chapter 34 of the Statutes of Canada, 2000, fixes December 17, 2012 as the day on which subsections 13(4) and (5) of that Act come into force.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Order.)

Proposal

The Order fixes December 17, 2012, as the coming into force date of subsections 13(4) and 13(5) of An Act to amend the statute law in relation to veterans’ benefits (amending Act), which received Royal Assent on October 20, 2000.

Objective

This Order in Council brings into force subsections 13(4) and 13(5) of the amending Act, which modifies subparagraphs 5(f)(i) and (ii) and paragraph 5(g) of the Department of Veterans Affairs Act (DVA Act). The changes are mainly housekeeping in nature and are intended to clarify regulation-making authorities, improve wording, and remove obsolete provisions.

Background

Subsections 13(4) and 13(5) of the amending Act modify subparagraphs 5(f)(i) and (ii) and paragraph 5(g) of the DVA Act. Subsections 13(4) and 13(5), which were part of the amending Act (October 20, 2000) were never brought into force. The majority of the provisions in the amending Act were brought into force on October 27, 2000. While other sections of the amending Act were subsequently brought into force on December 15, 2002, June 17, 2003, and September 12, 2003, respectively, subsections 13(4) and 13(5) of the amending Act were not. At the time these provisions received Royal Assent, Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) was conducting a policy review, which may have resulted in the need for authorities, which these amendments to paragraphs 5(f) and 5(g) would have removed. Given that the provisions dealt with matters possibly relating to the forthcoming New Veterans Charter, it was decided not to bring these provisions into force at that time.

Subparagraphs 5(f)(i) and (ii) of the DVA Act deal with regulation-making authority for reciprocal arrangements with other countries to allow the provision of care and treatment of other countries’ veterans. Subparagraph 5(f)(i) updates the wording by replacing the word “training” with the term “other benefits.” This subparagraph also expands regulation-making authority with regard to care, treatment and other benefits to include merchant navy veterans. Subparagraph 5(f)(ii) clarifies regulation-making authority as it relates to dependants and survivors of the persons listed under subparagraph 5(f)(i). These changes will ensure the necessary authorities are up to date and available should they be needed. These changes are consistent with other changes made to the DVA Act in the amending Act, as well as subsequent amendments to the DVA Act, including some made as recently as 2011 (as part of the Keeping Canada’s Economy and Jobs Growing Act, which made amendments to the regulation-making authority concerning payment of “other benefits,” as well as the definition of “dependent”).

Paragraph 5(g) of the DVA Act deals with regulation-making authority for certain services, advantages and financial aid. The amendment updates the wording to delete sheltered employment, unemployment relief and industrial accident compensation from paragraph 5(g), as these benefits are no longer used and regulations pertaining to them no longer exist. As an example, sheltered employment is a reference found in the Vetcraft Shops Regulations which were repealed in 2009.

These provisions have remained “not in force” and were flagged for review in 2011 in preparation for the tabling, before Parliament, of the 2012 Statutes Repeal Act Annual Report. The Statutes Repeal Act creates an automatic repeal mechanism for any act or provision that has not been brought into force within 10 years of being assented to, unless either House of Parliament adopts a resolution that it not be repealed.

Upon review, VAC confirmed that given the New Veterans Charter is now in force, the provisions as currently drafted in the DVA Act can be updated by bringing the amended provisions into force.

Implications

The intent of these two amendments to the DVA Act was to update the legislation and authorities to reflect the current realities of the day. Currently, the DVA Act provides for authorities that are no longer relevant. Implementing these amendments will clean up dated language, remove unnecessary provisions, and add reference to merchant navy veterans and survivors. In addition, they will also make these provisions consistent with other sections of the DVA Act that have been similarly amended and bring into force what has been approved by Parliament.

Departmental contact

Janice Burke
Senior Director
Strategic Policy Integration
Policy and Research Division
Veterans Affairs Canada
161 Grafton Street
Daniel J. MacDonald Building
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
C1A 8M9
Telephone: 902-566-8977
Email: janice.burke@vac-acc.gc.ca