Seamless Canada initiative progresses coast to coast

Members of Seamless in Canada pose for a group photo at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, Ontario, on Dec. 5. Photo by Private Tori Lake, Canadian Forces Support Unit (Ottawa) Imaging Services

Members of Seamless in Canada pose for a group photo at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, Ontario, on Dec. 5. Photo by Private Tori Lake, Canadian Forces Support Unit (Ottawa) Imaging Services

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Canadian Armed Forces members and their families are now one step closer to experiencing a “Seamless Canada”, when they relocate across the country during the course of their careers.

Department of National Defence (DND) and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) representatives met with counterparts from all provinces and territories in Ottawa Dec. 5 and 6 to advance the Seamless Canada initiative, first initiated in the summer of 2018.

DND launched Seamless Canada on June 27 to improve the coordination of relocation services across the country, when CAF members and their families move to a different province or territory. The Ottawa symposium focussed on finding ways to streamline and enhance services across governments on issues specific to CAF members and their families.

CAF members are required to relocate across Canada throughout their careers. A Canadian Forces Ombudsman report released in 2013 found that relocation is a major cause of stress and strain for military families, who can expect to move three times more frequently than the average civilian over the course of a member’s career in the CAF.

Specific concerns included access to healthcare, employ­ment, child care and education, which all come under provincial and territorial jurisdictions.

The Ottawa roundtable discussions centred on health care, spousal employment, and education and childcare. Participants also worked on shaping the governance of the Seamless Canada framework and deciding on a strategic, long-term path to improving how military families can better transition between the provinces and territories.

The Seamless Canada working group will continue meeting regularly to improve services across provinces and territories in an effort to help ease the burden placed upon CAF members and their families when they relocate.

Filed Under: Top Stories

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