Minister Petitpas Taylor highlights new initiatives to support Veterans

News release

Applications for a new Women Veterans Council will roll-out later this month

8 March 2024 – Montreal – Veterans Affairs Canada

Canadian Veterans have courageously served our country. Connecting Veterans, stakeholders and community partners to hear directly from each other and share ideas, experiences and perspectives is integral to tailoring supports and services that reflect the needs of Veterans and their families.

Today, on International Women’s Day, Minister Petitpas Taylor announced the creation of a new Women Veterans Council, where current and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will collaborate with Veterans Affairs Canada to address inequities and barriers experienced by women Veterans. The announcement follows a week of engagement at the National Stakeholder Summit and comes as the Women Veterans Forum concludes in Montreal.

At the Forum, Veterans and stakeholders discussed issues impacting Veterans, including women-focused research, service after service, women’s health, homelessness and recognition. Minister Petitpas Taylor highlighted research currently underway, including pelvic floor health, intimate partner violence among Veterans, and an examination of barriers to service for LGBT Purge survivors. To provide an additional forum for feedback in the area of women Veterans’ health, a new, dedicated inbox will allow Veterans Affairs Canada and stakeholders to share information.

At the first National Stakeholder Summit in five years, more than 200 stakeholders took part, including international partners, to learn about current initiatives share their experiences, ideas and views. The Summit concluded earlier in the week, with discussions led by Ministerial advisory groups and stakeholders on topics ranging from the commemoration of modern Veterans, supports for military spouses and families, homelessness, transition to life after service, mental health and Veteran employment.

At the Summit, Minister Petitpas Taylor shared an overview of the future National Veteran Employment Strategy, which will be launched this year. The Strategy aims to ensure all Veterans find meaningful work upon release from the CAF or RCMP.

Minister Petitpas Taylor announced that a National Stakeholder Summit will be held biennially to provide a consistent touch point between community groups, local organizations and Veterans Affairs Canada to continue reflect on and improve the services and support available to Veterans.


“This week’s Women Veterans Forum and National Stakeholder Summit provided an opportunity for  Veterans and Veteran-serving organizations to share valuable insights that will strengthen VAC programs and services and meet the needs of diverse Veterans. Today, on International Women’s Day, we reflect on the contributions of women who serve and have served our country. The new Women Veterans Council will be instrumental in our efforts to make their voices heard, and to integrate their experiences and input into our work.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

“All our country’s Veterans deserve recognition that is meaningful to them and support that meets their individualized experiences and needs. This week’s Women Veterans Forum and National Stakeholder Summit created opportunities for Veterans, stakeholders and community organizations to connect on diverse topics and share their perspectives. These conversations and the new Women Veterans Council are essential to helping us address barriers and improve support for all Veterans.”  

Randeep Sarai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Quick facts

  • The Women Veterans Forum in May 2019 was the first of its kind in Canada.

  • As women currently represent 16 percent of the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans Affairs Canada continues work to support women Veterans by collaborating with researchers, partner organizations and women Veterans themselves.

  • Women Veterans have been engaged at the 2019 Women Veterans Forum, the 2020 Women and 2SLGBTQI+ Veterans virtual series, and the 2023 Women and 2SLGBTQI+ Forum.

  • The 2SLGBTQI+ Veteran Forum will take place later this year.

  • The National Stakeholder Summit intends to provide a forum to share information and hear feedback on existing, new, and upcoming benefits and services, as well as other issues of interest to the participants. Past stakeholders engagements have included the 2022 Employment Consultation Forum, the renewal of the six Ministerial advisory groups in 2021, and multiple Let’s Talk Veterans consultations.

  • Over the past year, Veterans Affairs Canada conducted a series of ongoing consultations with Veterans, employers, educational institutions, equity-deserving groups, stakeholders and partners across public and private sectors. Their input has informed the National Veterans Employment Strategy that will be launched this year.

  • Veterans Affairs Canada will release post-event summaries with key learnings from both of these engagements online.

Associated links


Media Relations
Veterans Affairs Canada

Isabelle Arseneau
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs

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