Soldiers’ Aid Commission mandate letter
Read the minister’s instructions to the Soldiers’ Aid Commission on priorities.
January 1, 2021
Mr. Colin Rowe
Chair, Soldiers’ Aid Commission
Dear Mr. Rowe,
As you begin planning for next fiscal year, I am pleased to write to you in your capacity as chair of the Soldiers’ Aid Commission to provide you with direction for the commission in the year ahead. As per the requirements of the Agencies and Appointments Directive, this letter sets out my expectations for the Soldiers’ Aid Commission for the 2021-22 fiscal year.
Ontario’s board-governed agencies are vital partners in ensuring the delivery of high-quality supports to Ontarians. Together with your fellow commissioners, the people of Ontario rely on you to establish the goals, objectives, and strategic direction for the commission consistent with your agency’s mandate, government policies and directives, and my directions where appropriate.
Pursuant to the Soldiers’ Aid Commission Act, 2020, your agency is mandated to:
- Administer a financial assistance program for eligible Veterans and eligible family members of Veterans who reside in Ontario;
- Review applications for financial assistance and decide whether or not to approve them, in whole or part, in accordance with the regulations made under the act;
- Provide advice to the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services on matters affecting Veterans and their families; and
- Engage in any other activities that may be prescribed by the regulations made under the act.
By implementing the financial assistance program, the Soldiers’ Aid Commission will continue to make a positive difference to the well-being of vulnerable Ontario Veterans and their families by providing them with access to modest financial assistance.
As part of the government of Ontario, agencies are expected to act in the best interests of Ontarians by being efficient, effective, and providing value for money to taxpayers. In the 2021-22 fiscal year, I expect the Soldiers’ Aid Commission to focus on:
- Implementing the expanded financial assistance program in accordance with relevant legislation, regulation and program guidelines, and operating within your agency’s allocation;
- Working collaboratively with Veterans Affairs Canada, Royal Canadian Legion – Ontario Command and the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to ensure a smooth application process for Ontario Veterans and their families and explore digitization or digital modernization strategies for provision of supports online;
- Liaising with the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services as needed to ensure the commission meets its goals and objectives;
- Abiding by applicable government directives and policies and ensuring transparency and accountability in reporting, including adhering to requirements of the Agencies and Appointments Directive and responding to audit findings, where applicable;
- Maintaining an effective system of internal controls and compliance with applicable requirements to promote accountability and sustainability;
- Developing and implementing an effective process for the identification, assessment and mitigation of risks, including planning for and responding to emergency situations such as COVID‑19; and
- Supporting transparency and data sharing with the ministry, as appropriate.
I want to take this opportunity as well to thank you, John Stapleton, the vice-chair, and your fellow commissioners for working closely with the ministry over the past year as we prepared to launch the modernized commission. Our government is committed to making it easier for all Veterans in Ontario to get the support they need when they need it. The passage of the Soldiers’ Aid Commission Act, 2020 marks a historic milestone for the commission by enabling it to support all eligible Ontario Veterans and their families in financial need.
Thank you again for your willingness to serve and for the hard work you and the commission do to support Ontario Veterans and their families.
Original signed by
Minister of Children, Community and Social Services