Veterans

CP

Don't Blame the Unions For Your Behaviour, Mr. Fantino

Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino's behaviour towards a group of veterans last week disgusted me. And, when he blamed his behaviour on the actions of a union I became outraged. The union may very well have told the veterans a one-sided story about how their poor members are being hard done-by. That doesn't excuse the minister's behaviour. As a free public service for cabinet ministers and others in leadership roles, I'm going to offer up some completely unsolicited advice, right here, right now, at no charge. When a veteran is angry with you for being late, you say, "I'm sorry."
Diane Macdonald via Getty Images

Soldiers Commit Suicide Because of Invisible Wounds

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.
CP

Canada, I Fought For You and You Let Me Down

For a soldier, the battle does not end once you leave the warzone. I will be fighting the effects of my injuries from "the incident" for the rest of my life, and that is why I am writing this piece. Over the past seven years I have been fighting another battle, one for a pension that befits the injury and the effects that the terrible day in Afghanistan left me with. I have sought the help of my MP, doctors, the media, the military ombudsmen, and Veterans Affairs, but they have all left me no further ahead than when I started, and with the startling conclusion that 5% of a soldier's brain is worth a mere $22,000.
Getty

Whitewashing Remembrance: I Wear A Poppy For Native Veterans

I choose to wear the poppy for a different reason. I choose to wear it because as a woman with Native ancestry, I want to remember those whose faces we never see in the Heritage moments or on the Remembrance Day TV spots. While we remember the many veterans who fought in the many wars Canada has been involved in, the iconic images of these veterans are whitewashed.
CP

Why Our Veterans Are Not Disposable

Just months ago, the Minister for Veterans Affairs stood in a Legion in London, Ontario and promised members that soldiers would no longer be cut loose. Clearly, that practice continues. I am calling upon the government to stop giving weak excuses and apologise to these Canadian heroes who have been dismissed because of the Conservative government's efforts to balance the budget.
Getty

Remembrance Day Is More Than Wearing a Poppy at a Parade

The 11th was named Remembrance Day for a reason. The name was chosen to remind Canadians that we must remember the sacrifices our Veterans make for us. It was also named to remind us to remember the obligations we have to those who serve -- an obligation our Government is working hard to deny. Currently, a group of Veterans are suing Canada for failing them. Remembrance Day is more than saying "We Will Remember Them" -- You actually need to do it.
Getty

What Fantino Wants Us to Do on Remembrance Day Is Forget

Forget the homeless Veterans. Forget the lawsuits, and how the Harper Government says they are not obligated to provide for Veterans. Forget the closure of VAC Offices, the cuts to staff and the consequent loss of service to Veterans. Forget the Veterans kicked out of the Forces before they are eligible for pensions. Forget the families of poor Veterans, denied funeral expenses.
CP

Injured Canadian Troops Get The Boot

OTTAWA - Gravely injured troops are being booted from the military before they qualify for a pension, despite assurances to the contrary from the Harper government.A former reserve combat engineer was...
CP

How the Throne Speech Buried Veterans

For Canada's veterans the Throne Speech was a big flop. It devoted a total of 10 sentences to vets, and only two of them said anything about Harper's plans. The other six were self-congratulatory backslapping: meaningless rhetoric from a government which appears to think supporting veterans is as simple as saying those words over and over.
AP

Feds To Appeal Veterans' Lawsuit Ruling

OTTAWA - The Harper government says it intends to appeal a B.C. court ruling that cleared the way for a class-action lawsuit involving veterans of Canada's war in Afghanistan.A group of ex-soldiers is...
CP

Disabled Vets Could Be Out In The Cold

OTTAWA - Some of the country's most severely disabled soldiers will take a major financial hit once they arrive at old age and risk living out their final years in near-poverty, Canada's veterans ombu...
AP

The Streets Are No Place for the Mentally Ill

I see him everyday, standing out in the street in the heat or the cold fighting ghosts in his head. All too often in Canada, the street or the emergency ward has become the place where those with severe mental illnesses end up. Those with mental illnesses make up a disturbing percentage of the homeless.
Getty

Tories Treat Vets Like Second-Class Citizens

A travelling tribute to the men and women who lost their lives in Afghanistan will arrive in your province or territory during the next year or two. The memorial appears to be straight-forward but, in reality, it carries with it a heavy dose of hypocrisy regarding the Conservatives' real objective of the tour and their treatment of military veterans.

A Visit With Bob Dole, the Last Centralist

When Bob Dole subsequently offered me the job as his press secretary, I at first resisted. What I subsequently came to learn over the next several years was that Bob Dole was at heart a centralist, a pragmatist, a problem-solver. Unlike some of his colleagues, he understood and enjoyed the machinery of the Senate.
AP

Why Are so Many Veterans in Prison?

Increasing numbers of military veterans are entering the U.S. prison system. Why? A recent study highlights the important role that anger can play in how well veterans reintegrate into society after traumatic tours of duty -- and how likely they are to run into problems in prison, if that's where they end up.
Alamy

Why Are We in Such a Hurry to Forget Veterans?

Every year, we put on a poppy, read a few feel-good stories about the surviving Second World War veterans, and maybe observe a moment of silence on the 11th. But veterans' news stories disappear almost immediately and are replaced with tales of holiday consumer-orgies. We should not be so quick to forget them.
Alamy

Is Veterans Affairs Canada Targeting This Family?

Retired Corporal Dennis Manuge is the driving force behind the SISIP class action lawsuit over pension clawbacks. Last year, Manuge revealed that, in 2009, the Minister of Veterans Affairs was briefed on private details of his medical conditions and finances. Now, the former mechanic with the Royal Canadian Regiment says VAC also breached the privacy of his brother, Anthony.
CP

What Harper Needs to Do for Veterans

A few days ago I was on Sun News' Charles Adler show having been invited to appear to talk about Grant Humes' campaign to bring national attention to the plight of our Veterans. Remembrance Day has come and gone -- and still there has been no action by the Harper government.
Alamy

Privacy Violation as a Weapon Against Veterans

There are many cases of privacy violation at Veterans Affairs. Those that have gone public have two things in common: they have all spoken out about VAC policy and they are all veterans. Some can prove the Minister was given their information. Some can only prove that Ministerial staff was reading their files. Why is this happening?