Government of Canada increases support for Veterans through new community program

Minister of Veterans Affairs announces new initiative with VETS Canada

Toronto – On Canada Day, The Honourable Julian Fantino announced the Government of Canada is partnering with Veterans Emergency Transition Services (VETS) Canada to better deliver assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to Veterans in need.

Through Veterans Affairs Canada’s At-Risk Veterans Outreach Initiative, VETS Canada will provide assistance to at-risk and homeless Veterans, and ensure help gets to those who need it. Services include immediate in-person, online, and telephone assistance to help Veterans in need of temporary shelter and access to Government of Canada programs and benefits.

VETS Canada’s team of volunteers includes still-serving and retired members of the Canadian Armed Forces and still-serving and retired members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. These “boots on the ground” teams will help identify at-risk Veterans and accompany and/or refer them to VAC area offices, shelters, the Royal Canadian Legion, medical and substance abuse treatment programs, as well as provide peer support and coaching.

Quick Facts

  • A 12-month contract, valued at approximately $300,000, has been awarded to VETS Canada. It is a one-year contract, with two one-year options to extend the contract period to three years in total.
  • VETS Canada works to support Veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces and former members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who are homeless or at risk.
  • Veterans Affairs Canada has emergency funds to assist Veterans in meeting immediate emergency needs. At-risk Veterans can also access emergency funds from other sources, including the Royal Canadian Naval Benevolent Fund and the Canadian Forces Personnel Assistance Fund.
  • Through the VAC Assistance Service, Veterans can reach a professional counsellor at any time—24 hours a day, 365 days a year—by calling 1-800-268-7708.


“Today’s announcement is part of our government’s broader initiative to communicate with Veterans the services and benefits available to them. Our partnership with VETS Canada will better enable us to identify Veterans at risk and ensure they have access to services and support.”

~ The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs

“By funding this reputable organization, the Government is taking a decisive step forward to address some of our concerns and improve the chances of successful rehabilitation for Veterans at risk. It is also recognizing the importance of Veterans helping Veterans.”

~ Guy Parent, Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman

“VETS Canada will provide its leadership, best practices, governance, on-the-ground network, leading-edge mobile app and infrastructure to seek out homeless Veterans and those at-risk, and help them get help via VAC and other agencies.”

~ Jim Lowther, Director, VETS Canada

“Wounded Warriors Canada is a proud national funding partner of VETS Canada. We have witnessed firsthand the direct impact of their work and the outcomes delivered as they continue to identify homeless veterans across the country and work to get them the help and care that they need. We once again applaud Minister Fantino’s timely action and look forward to working with the Department of Veterans Affairs on this important project.”

~ Phil Ralph, National Program Director for Wounded Warriors Canada

“The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) applauds the Government of Canada for its decision to partner with Veterans Emergency Transition Services (VETS) Canada. The in-person, online, and telephone assistance offered by volunteers around-the-clock to military veterans at risk will ensure that individuals receive the assistance they need and deserve.”

~ Chief Constable Jim Chu, President, Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police

(Veterans Affairs Canada)

VETS Canada