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The Trudeau government — like all of its predecessors — refuses to take responsibility for the affairs of veterans.
How can I impress upon them the importance of this very special day? I'll admit it's a heavy task.
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Canadians are pretty deep, actually.
The 54-year-old served in the Gulf War, Bosnia and Iraq.
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Canada's military veterans are suffering another condition of late: envy. They watch National Defence Ombudsman Gary Walbourne, relentlessly petition government to improve the lives of soldiers. Veterans long for their Ombudsman, Guy Parent, to have the same backbone.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau's new fiscal plan called for $725 million in additional benefits for injured veterans.
Bernice and Eddie Graf
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.
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They've come a long way since they were 20-somethings performing for troops in the army. Today, Eddie and Bernice (also known as "Bunny") are 95-years-old, and both live together at Sunnybrook's Veterans Centre.
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If I were a member of the Liberal caucus who unceremoniously and quietly replaced a parliamentary secretary that cared about veterans with someone that helped ensure that 2015 would not be the last past-the-post election, I know I couldn't look myself in the mirror.
In Canada, men account for three out of every four suicides -- with seven men dying by suicide every day. And the risk is even greater for gay and bisexual men, who are four times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual men. Which isn't surprising since they also experience higher levels of harassment, discrimination in the workplace and are more likely to be the victims of violent crime.
My message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is that Lionel Desmond's death and his killing of his family could have been avoided. It's time to stop lying to veterans. It's time to stop fighting veterans.
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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.
Whether help comes in the form of artillery fire, jet fighters, or helicopter gunships, no expense is spared to support and protect our troops when the bullets start flying. But is the federal government willing to continue to fork out $85 a day to keep each of our veterans with PTSD out of harm's way? Apparently not!
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Former Canadian combat engineer Fabian Henry used to thrive on adrenaline - especially in combat zones - during his 12 years in the military. Now he smokes medical marijuana to avoid stressors that remind him of his most disturbing wartime experiences. And that's what now keeps him sane, he says.
Chris Wattie / Reuters
Remember that today marks the culmination of a militarist, nationalist ritual organized by a reactionary state-backed group. While there's some criticism of the nationalism and militarism driving Remembrance Day, the organization sponsoring the red poppy campaign receives little critical attention.
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.
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At Sunnybrook -- home to the country's largest veterans centre -- 30,000 flags will be planted in the ground for Remembrance Day. It's a campaign known as Operation Raise a Flag, and it's an opportunity for Canadians to show their appreciation for our country's veterans. Proceeds from the campaign will go towards the hospital's Veterans Grant a Wish Program.
The costs of war are borne by all, from those on the front lines to the spouses, families and communities who serve on the home front. As such, it is critical that we focus not only on the short-term investment that a mission requires, but the life-cycle costs and resources requisite for any mission.
Here in Canada, we are so far removed from the realities of war that sometimes we forget there continue to be conflicts being fought all over the world. This Remembrance Day - and every day - I challenge you to take a moment and connect with veterans in your family or community.
A new poll suggests Canadians would like to see efforts to honour fallen soldiers extend well beyond Remembrance Day. The study commissioned by Historica Canada found a vast majority of respondents wo...
While physical disabilities like blindness more obviously demonstrate the need for a service dog, the animals can be trained to serve a host of people with invisible illnesses as well. These service dogs learn how to respond to mental health issues including PTSD and social anxiety; detect silent conditions like irregular heartbeats or blood sugar levels; and provide emotional support for victims of sexual abuse.
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"If a veteran tells another veteran about something that is working for disability, you can be guaranteed that they will tell a hundred other vets.'
"We have an obligation to address this issue of veteran homelessness.''
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A private member's bill calls for raising retirement benefit payments to surviving spouses and children.
There have been thousands of pages devoted to the skills necessary to raise a child. I am quite sure my father never read one book about parenting. Common sense was his guiding force. He was a humble, compassionate man who knew right from wrong, and good from bad.
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The Liberal government is actually taking veterans back to court after a legal truce of sorts reached by the former Conservative government expired in May.
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What was left off of Budget 2016 as well as the reestablishment of life-long pensions was a line stating "increase the veteran survivor's pension amount from 50 per cent to 70 per cent." This means that every day 30 veterans are dying and their widows or widowers are still having their partner's pension cut in half.
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While it's great to hear a majority of Ontario seniors have access to proper nutrition, there is still a big number of those who don't for many reasons. And as more individuals live longer and independently, it's important to continue the dialogue about how to create solutions, especially during Seniors' Month in Ontario.
I want to thank Bruce Moncur for his piece, "Trudeau's Liberals Anything But Sunny Ways For Veterans," and for attending Veterans Affairs Canada's (VAC) stakeholder summit on May 9 to 10. To date, it was the department's largest and best-attended, and he made some invaluable contributions both as a member of the greater assembly and individually when we had an opportunity to speak one-on-one during a lunch break. Bruce points out in his piece that Budget 2016 did not include all of the items in the mandate letter I received from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when I took office as minister of veterans affairs in November 2015. He's right.
The Liberal government was going to allow the abeyance on the Equitas lawsuit -- the court case in which the government has been arguing the "moral obligation" they have to soldiers maimed in war -- to run out. The biggest piece of the Liberal party platform and mandate letter was the reestablishment of life-long pension, and now they are going to court to argue against it.
Four stories of life, death, and service in the Canadian Forces.