Jeff Rose-Martland is an award-winning author and playwright based in St. John’s, Newfoundland. His work is widely available online and via booksellers.
In 2010, in reaction to the news of Canada’s failure to provide for its veterans, he founded Our Duty. The not-for-profit is dedicated to making Canadians aware of the issues with veterans’ benefits and to finding workable solutions.
The views expressed represent those of Jeff Rose-Martland and should not be construed in any way as official statements from Our Duty Inc.
When a master craftsman refinishes wood furniture, he'll clean it up, strip off the gunk, and, with care and attention, bring out the detail and grain until it glows. You'd never know it had been sitt...
We cannot continue to hide from the truth. We broke them; we owe them. No amount of re-framing will change that fact. If these veterans made it home from a war, then we should be able to stop them being further casualties.
They have demonized Lionel Desmond as a typical example of male entitlement and bemoan the media portraying Lionel as a victim - when the lack of mental health services is central to this tragedy. Lionel was trying desperately to get help. Lionel was denied that help. The Desmond family is now dead.
We all know where the problems are. Disappointingly, the Trudeau government is using the same delaying tactics of its predecessors. Canadians won't ignore this. Veterans were a key issue in the last election and will continue to be until they are treated with respect and compassion.
In 1967, the Soviet Union's top science fiction writers - brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky - conceived a new novel. By the time they lovingly struck the last period, they knew this book, a master...
At what point does racism move from isolated incidents to a systemic problem in the Canadian Forces? Master Corporal Marc Frenette is quitting his decades-long service after years of racial harassment. Last May, Corporal Esther Wolki went public over the racial abuse she suffered and the damage it did to her mind. Not even the defence minister is immune from racist attacks. Then there's Private Wallace Fowler. For 16 years he has been trying to get the Forces to properly investigate the racism he says he endured.
One of the problems with living in Atlantic Canada is that very few big acts perform here; most "national" tours don't come east of Montreal. Which is why several thousand aging metalheads -- including me -- turned out on the 10th to finally welcome Judas Priest.
Blackstone is a character-driven drama about the people who are members of the fictional Blackstone First Nation. It is set on a reserve in rural Alberta, about an hour or so drive from "the city" (presumably Edmonton, where the show is filmed). There's coming of age, coming home, coming to grips, and coming apart. It's about death and life and survival.
2014 will go down as the year in which Canadians -- all Canadians -- truly became aware of the debacle that is Veterans Affairs. It was the year in which pictures spoke, in which talking points failed, and in which government reports were actually read. It was the year that Conservative misdirection drove increased awareness instead, thanks to Julian Fantino.
Recently, Canada's military has come under deliberate, sustained attack. In fact, our Forces may already have been vanquished. Not by an enemy, but by the nation it defends. Faith in Canada's support is the one thing our Forces absolutely, positively must have to be effective. But that was taken away last year, bringing the days of selflessly charging into danger to a crashing halt.
Every day, women and men put on uniforms for the RCMP and RCAF, RCN, and the Canadian Army. Every day, those men and women set out to be the wall of flesh between us and harm. Every day, whether a major catastrophe affecting thousands or just one of us lost in the wilds, we know who to look for, who to trust in.
Artwork by: David Cran Good protest songs - the ones that endure - never preach to the choir. They don't rally the converted. They never tell you what to do, just that something should be done. Good p...
May 9th is a Day of Honour. Two RCAF fly-pasts and a military parade, which will salute the PM. A moment of silence, with the inevitable TV close-up of the PM. Afghanistan veterans saluting the PM. Disabled veterans presenting a flag to the PM. So who is really being honoured?
Last week, while everyone was getting separation-burnout and Crimea-river syndrome from the relentless coverage of little else, a very important press conference was held in Halifax. A group of vetera...
General, might I offer up that, at the heart of the problem of suicide in the Forces, is that soldiers feel trapped and with no way out? That the widespread stigma against mental injury and illness, that the attitude you present -- that helping is coddling, and that your condescending attitude exemplifies the problem which soldiers face?
There is a stark contrast between what Veterans want and need, and what the Harper Government is presenting. Veterans need benefits, pensions, enough money to live on, and assistance accessing programs. Veterans are in crisis across Canada -- mental health crisis, financial crisis, family crisis resulting from both -- and deserve help. Decorated Veterans are suing Canada for not providing for them; a shameful situation which decent people would settle quickly. What has Harper offered? No jobs, more expensive health plans, more emphasis on the depersonalized VAC web service.
Allow me to introduce you to Master Corporal David Desjardins, a decorated veteran and former CF Military Police officer who was present at the now infamous meeting with Minister Fantino. Dave has a few things he'd like to explain.
In seven days, Canada lost four soldiers to suicide. They died of despair. Suffering mental wounds from their service, able to foresee the end of their careers but unable to see how they could survive after, they succumbed to their injuries and took their own lives. We might give it fancy clinical names, like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or Operational Stress Injury, but that doesn't change the condition: broken mind.
I am continually amazed at the speed with which Canadians abandon Veterans in the name of the holidays. We rush into the holidays like some people to drink, seeking obliteration of bad memories. We are trying to obliterate the stories of sacrifice we heard the previous week. It's not just the mall, it's everywhere. Even the media quickly drops Veterans' Day stories as if it is taboo after Remembrance to talk about how we treat those who stand on guard for us. The poppies are gone, the poinsettias are out, and here's to a white Christmas and a Happy New Year!