Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Meet the new Ombudsman

I was somewhat surprised to learn that Col Pat Stogran is about to become the new Veterans Ombudsman on Remembrance Day this year:

Le colonel Pat Stogran a été nommé ombudsman des anciens combattants, lundi, afin de superviser les plaintes et demandes des anciens combattants canadiens de toutes les époques.

M. Stogran, qui a servi au sein du 3e bataillon d'infanterie légère Princess Patricia en Afghanistan, en 2002, est présentement en charge de la recherche scientifique et technologique au sein des Forces armées canadiennes. Il quittera son poste avant d'entrer en fonction le 11 novembre prochain, le jour du Souvenir.

Quite frankly, I wasn't expecting anyone with as much name recognition as Stogran. Hopefully he can do a good job in the role, because as sites like this one indicate, there's certainly a need for someone to hold the VAC bureaucracy's feet to the fire.

We'll see how it all pans out eventually, but at first glance, this is good news. This appointment gives the impression that the government is taking the job reasonably seriously - they didn't just staff it with some plug of a bureaucrat, they staffed it with a decorated, respected, and fairly well-known-in-media-circles infantry officer. It will be pretty hard to handcuff such an individual, or bury his reports when they come out. It's a step forward in my books.


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