Your Quess/Choice for the new VA minister and MND?

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Re: Your Quess/Choice for the new VA minister and MND?

Post by Guest on Wed 04 Nov 2015, 15:26

yup for sure danny but if he accomplishes what was promised and get to work on the other issues him and JT will be treated like lesser gods by most of the military/vet community .

propat

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Re: Your Quess/Choice for the new VA minister and MND?

Post by Dannypaj on Wed 04 Nov 2015, 15:48

Shooting victim builds new life
Published: June 12, 2004 | Source: calgarysun.com
Spinal cord injury didn’t stop Kent Hehr
There it was in the middle of his face, itching. And it would take Kent Hehr some six months to do what he had done millions of times before — reach up and give his nose a scratch. Relearning simple tasks and how to live a new life was all about baby steps, hard work, confronting fear and moving on.
It was a process the Calgarian was thrust into after a bullet in a drive-by shooting hit his neck and left him a quadriplegic 13 years ago.
Hehr wasn’t in hospital long when he realized fighting fate wasn’t a battle to be won.
Instead, he focused on striving for a future forever changed by a single moment when a stranger’s actions put a bullet in his flesh and ripped apart life as he knew it.
“The doctor was pretty clear on the prognosis and didn’t offer any illusions,” Hehr says matter-of-factly.
“I knew she wasn’t lying and reality set in immediately.
“Then they are trying to get you ready to survive in the big, bad world out there.
“They call it Rehabilitation but it’s learning how to live with a spinal cord injury and setting up a game plan.”
Unable to do anything about the past, Hehr knew he could have a say in his future.
“You know you are not going to walk but what the hell are you are going to do with your life,” he recalls of those early dark days.
“You go through some major conundrums, you’ve spent 21 years of your life living in a certain way and define yourself, as an athlete, working a certain job — you are no longer Kent-the-athlete or Kent-the-Safeway-employee … I no longer had an identity.”
Initially, he says, there was a futile bid to cling to “remnants” of who he once was — a college football player planning to be a teacher.
“But you are not involved in the hockey game next week and are left a little on the outside looking in — that’s until you get out and involved in life, again,” he says.
Today, the 34-year-old works as a junior lawyer at a downtown law firm and counts his blessings.
The pivotal point in Hehr’s soul searching may have been returning to school 11 months after his injury.
“It’s a difficult balance between asking for help and being independent, but you have to learn to ask for certain things,” like letting a stranger pull his wallet out of his wheelchair so he can buy a coffee, “and you find people don’t mind helping.”

“Now I’m almost a pain in the ass,” he adds.
YOU BETTER BE JUST AS MUCH AS A PAIN IN THE ASS AND FIX OUR FILE, THANKS!

His memories of that Oct. 5, 1991, night are blurry and time has made recollection worse, but Hehr has never seen the sense in dwelling on that devastating moment.

He was on his way home after a night out with friends and words were exchanged with a stranger in another car.

Hehr, the passenger, remembers thinking two things — no one carries a gun in Calgary and that’s got to be a water-gun.

He was wrong on both counts.

“Hey, a pretty bad thing happened to me, don’t get me wrong, life gets complicated and I’ll probably make a mountain out of the next molehill,” he says.

“But that spinal cord injury happened 13 years ago and it’s almost a distant memory now.”

Martin Malaska, 22, the driver of the car from which the shot was fired was convicted of criminal negligence causing harm and given three years in prison after a witness in his car came forward a year after the drive-by.

His passenger got six months for pointing a firearm.

“I hoped the sentence would be more severe but any victim of any crime knows it doesn’t make it better or change anything,” Hehr says.

The courts never really figured out what exactly happened or who did what but Hehr says it doesn’t matter as much as making a decision to move on.

“There’s no doubt they changed my life, and if I had an option I wouldn’t be on this road, but I’m very happy with my life,” he says, cognizant some disabled people can’t access some of the basics, like affordable housing, transportation and job opportunities, needed to build a good life despite an injury.
“I don’t think a disabled person should be a firefighter but there are certain places where individuals with disabilities could work where they are not working,” he says, sitting in a sunny office overlooking the city at the Fraser Milner Casgrain law office.
Hehr loves being a lawyer but hasn’t ruled out politics later.
“Without a doubt, these past 13 years have been fabulous,” he says quick to point out that bullet could have put an end to his life.
“I’ve been alive, life ain’t over.”
By NADIA MOHARIB, CALGARY SUN
- See more at: http://www.spinalcordinjuryzone.com/news/3298/shooting-victim-builds-new-life#sthash.IKgbZkta.dpuf
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Re: Your Quess/Choice for the new VA minister and MND?

Post by Guest on Wed 04 Nov 2015, 17:27

It won't take long to know how this guy will perform , as long as he comes out an say's he will work to implement ( ALL PROMISES ) I'm OK with that , we all understand how things can be delayed - or slowed down a bit with certain unavoidable road blocks , this we are use too , if it's not him , himself causing the road blocks I will not fault him for the faults of others.
He knows what was promised as do we , now he has to come forward an say he will honor every single one of those promises.

So like others here have said , let's give him a little time to organize himself , an show himself , an then we will know more of what to expect from him.

I'm a bit surprised that Leslie was the spokes person on that CBC interview following the Liberals outlining of their Veterans platform , an not Kent.
I'm curious to know who all was involved from the Liberal party that help set up that platform.
Perhaps Kent played a major role in that , could be one of the reasons why Leslie an others were not replying in detail of that platform , when answering questions from some of our members here.

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Re: Your Quess/Choice for the new VA minister and MND?

Post by Guest on Wed 04 Nov 2015, 19:25

Trooper your an optimistic fellow aren't you, I'm a skeptic I have been kicked in the nads enough to know there is nothing on the table for us older foggy headed dudes who are past the point of education and to foggy to learn and will not partisipate in rehab are screwed. It is going to be if I can do it you can do it that is what I read, the difference is he brought it on himself we didn't, he is young were not. he suffered no stress before his injury and was not serving his country. The PA better be reinstated without demands like they promised because I feel a world of night mare coming from this disabled lawyer, hope i'm wrong.

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Re: Your Quess/Choice for the new VA minister and MND?

Post by Guest on Wed 04 Nov 2015, 20:42

Correct , I am for sure optimistic until such a time things change in the way that shows us that the MVA is not fulfilling the promises that were promised by the Liberals to Veterans.
That said you raise a good point , a point I'm sure that is on the minds of others , it is a point that we all must look for in the future of the mindset an attitude of Mr. Hehr , but that said , it has not happen yet , an hopefully will not happen.
It is still to early I think to really know how this guy will perform , but as I said in my above post , if he comes out saying that he will work to implement all that was promised , I'm OK with that , after that has been said , we hold him to his commitment.
Veterans know exactly what was promised , an we know what to look for in our new MVA in how he performs fulfilling those promises.
So again , I think we should allow him a little time in doing what it is we all want him to do , in order for us to decide on his performance.

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Re: Your Quess/Choice for the new VA minister and MND?

Post by pinger on Wed 04 Nov 2015, 21:11

trooper and wild thing. Optimistic? Sceptical? Funniest thing, I'm a optimistic sceptic. Is why I will remain pretty much cautiously optimistic in the next 3 - 6 months... Cool
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Re: Your Quess/Choice for the new VA minister and MND?

Post by Guest on Wed 04 Nov 2015, 21:15

Wish I was still an optimistic person just feel he was put in there to sell the media and public on what ever he decides whats best because he is disabled not the same mental experence at all, do you's think we have to wait for the budget in march before things happen.

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Re: Your Quess/Choice for the new VA minister and MND?

Post by pinger on Wed 04 Nov 2015, 21:32

March or sooner is a benchmark wild thing. Some things are quick, some ain't. With JT having a majority, it really helps. Depends on what the things are. Some are quick, some ain't. Treasury board, politics, chain of command stuff. teen spelled it out recently.
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Re: Your Quess/Choice for the new VA minister and MND?

Post by Dannypaj on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 06:30

Work on what? Just implement the changes, they know exactly what they promised. Give us details how it will happen, so we are not left waiting in the dark.
Time to go on Facebook and onto other social media to work the social network, see if there is more info. Knowledge is power boys and girls and we have it at our finger tips.
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Re: Your Quess/Choice for the new VA minister and MND?

Post by Dannypaj on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 06:46

I like this guy!
Michael Blais

7 hrs · Edited ·

.
Sit rep... okay, all is good, made it to hotel, rested up and was at war museum on time and on target. Great engagement, talked to pretty well everybody I wanted to including a brief meeti g with minister. Nice to be eye level as we are both riding, he in his electric chair, me on scooter. He certainly knew who I was. wink emoticon. Looking forward to working with him implementing liberal election promises. All of em! No pics, this was business, not pleasure. Got to crash, up at 545, in studio by 645, Canada am eta 710. Remainder of morning senate remembrance services, after that... patrolling time. wink emoticon
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Re: Your Quess/Choice for the new VA minister and MND?

Post by Dannypaj on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 06:49

Social Media is great! I am telling you, we will get'er done!

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Re: Your Quess/Choice for the new VA minister and MND?

Post by Guest on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 08:24

Interesting article outlining the new governments goals. NO MENTION OF VETERAN ISSUES.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/new-governments-first-goal-income-tax-changes

When a new session of Parliament begins Dec. 3, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government will try to quickly pass its planned income-tax changes, as the new cabinet grapples with a range of complex challenges.

The announcement came Wednesday, immediately after Trudeau’s freshly minted cabinet held its first meeting on Parliament Hill.

It’s the first federal Liberal cabinet in nearly decade and virtually everything about its composition spoke of the kind of change Trudeau had pledged in the election campaign.

Of the 30 ministers appointed, 15 are women. Eighteen of the 30 ministers are first-time MPs. The diversity of the group is also evident. There are two aboriginals, four Sikhs, and two disabled Canadians.

It is, said Trudeau, a cabinet “that looks like Canada.”

“We have an awful lot of work to do in the coming weeks, months and years, but I know that Canadians expected us to come together and put forward a team that is going to be able to deliver on the change, on the ambitious plan for this country that the Liberal Party ran on,” Trudeau said outside Rideau Hall, as members of the public cheered.

Trudeau turned to some political veterans for cabinet stability: Ralph Goodale (Public Safety), Stéphane Dion (Foreign Affairs), Scott Brison (Treasury Board), John McCallum (Citizenship and Immigration), and Judy Foote (Public Works).

But he also trusted some major portfolios to rookies: Bill Morneau (Finance); Harjit Singh Sajjan (Defence); Ottawa’s Catherine McKenna (Environment); Jody Wilson-Raybould (Justice); and Jane Philpott (Health).

In a signal that change was afoot, even some of the ministers’ titles were altered from what they had been under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.

There is no longer an aboriginal affairs minister. Now, the portfolio is run by a minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs. The job is held by a woman, Carolyn Bennett, in a government that plans to appoint a public inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women – something Harper had refused to do.

As well, the Liberals have signalled their intention to make climate change a priority. McKenna, a rookie who defeated the NDP’s Paul Dewar in Ottawa Centre, was appointed to cabinet with the title of minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Trudeau’s Liberals were elected with a strong majority of 184 MPs after running on a platform chock full of promises.

Among the more urgent issues they must contend with: making good on a promise to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of the year; crafting a legislative response to the Supreme Court decision on physician-assisted suicide; relaunching the long-form census for 2016 after it was cancelled several years ago; and appointing the inquiry into missing indigenous women and girls.

The Liberals will waste no time trying to move forward their agenda. House Leader Dominic LeBlanc said that MPs will be in the House of Commons Dec. 3 to elect a Speaker.

The next day, the government’s throne speech will be read in the Senate by Gov. Gen. David Johnston. It’s unclear how long MPs will remain in Ottawa, although under the parliamentary calendar the House is only supposed to sit until Dec. 11 before the Christmas break.

LeBlanc said the government’s priority is making good on the Liberals’ campaign promise to restructure income taxes. Under that pledge, taxes would be lowered for the middle class and be hiked for those earning more than $200,000 annually.

Asked if the government can get a bill through Parliament quickly to make those changes, LeBlanc responded: “We’ll see the will of Parliament.” He said he will discuss the matter with the opposition parties.

“But the prime minister has made it very clear to us that it is his hope and his intention that the tax measures will be in place for Jan. 1. And that’s frankly one of the reasons why we are asking Parliament to come back in the first week of December.”

After a decade on the opposition benches, Trudeau’s Liberals tried to signal a new era of more open government.

The public was invited to attend the swearing-in at Rideau Hall, watching it on large TV screens outside. About 3,500 people showed up and were treated to the sight of Trudeau, his wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau and the cabinet ministers, walking up a long laneway to the Governor General’s official residence.

After the cabinet was sworn in, once again walked down the laneway — this time, stopping repeatedly to pose for selfies and sign books for those waiting.

Trudeau had promised a slimmed-down cabinet. In forming his team, he had to balance new faces with experienced hands, geographic and minority representation, and an equal number of men and women.

He also had no choice but to leave some extremely experienced and qualified Liberal MPs out of cabinet. As a result, some surprises – and bruised egos – were expected.

Among the notable stars who didn’t make it to cabinet: Orléans MP Andrew Leslie, a former lieutenant general in the Canadian military; Bill Blair, Toronto’s former police chief; former Toronto city councillor Adam Vaughan, who is an expert in urban issues; and B.C. MP Joyce Murray, who came second to Trudeau in the 2013 Liberal leadership race.

“There are an awful lot of extraordinary Canadians who are not in this cabinet behind me who are also going to be strong voices for their community and their country because one of the things that I am committed to is ensuring that all parliamentarians – all 307 of them who aren’t here with us today – are able to be strong voices for their communities,” said Trudeau

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Re: Your Quess/Choice for the new VA minister and MND?

Post by Guest on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 08:34

In juxtaposition to above news article where there is no mention of Veteran issues this article  outlines the work and solutions that Kent Hehr will need to fulfill as the MVA.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/new-veterans-minister-has-faced-hurdles-of-his-own

Kent Hehr caught a bullet on the streets of Calgary, not on the dusty streets of Afghanistan or the killing fields of Bosnia. But the impact on his life was no less devastating.

“It was one of those unfortunate incidents of being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he recently said.

Many ill and injured veterans who served overseas might relate to that.

Hehr, a star junior hockey player, was being driven home by a friend in the early hours of Oct. 3 1991 when a car pulled alongside at a traffic light. Someone inside randomly fired a bullet that severed Hehr’s spinal cord. The shooter was later arrested.

Paralyzed from the neck down, Hehr eventually rebuilt his shattered life, becoming a lawyer, then a Liberal member of the Alberta legislature, where he held numerous shadow cabinet posts.

Canadians Veterans Advocacy founder Mike Blais said he was surprised when Hehr was named the new Veterans Affairs minister, but is optimistic that Hehr will be a forceful and compassionate minister.

“I didn’t know who he was when I first heard his name today,” said Blais Wednesday. “He is disabled so he must understand what it’s like – understand what it’s like to be a wounded soldier, at least indirectly.”

Hehr, 45, has a basketful of Liberal promises to deliver to veterans.

Related
Kent Hehr overcomes enormous personal and political obstacles to become Calgary Liberal MP

First among them will be the reopening of nine regional Veterans Affairs offices closed by the Conservatives, and the hiring of 400 more staff to deliver more efficient, speedier services.

Crucially, the Liberals have promised to amend the New Veterans Charter and immediately re-establish the lifelong pension option for veterans
.

The Conservatives had replaced pensions for newer veterans with one-time lump sums based on the severity of injury.

Veterans’ advocates said the one-time payments were inadequate for the permanently injured and were often quickly spent, especially by younger veterans with mental injury and related addiction problems.

The Liberals have also said they will spend $80 million a year on education and training opportunities for veterans and cover the cost of up to four years of university, college or technical education.

Longer term is the promise to create two centres of excellence specializing in mental health, including PTSD and other service-related mental injuries suffered by veterans and first responders, such as paramedics, firefighters and police.

Hehr finds himself in the federal cabinet after an impressive seven years as an opposition MPP in the Alberta legislature where he won praise for his persuasive political skills.

He will need both in his new job at the helm of a ministry with currently one of the most vocal group of detractors.

The Liberals worked closely with those detractors to develop their election platform and advocate Blais has said if all the promises are kept, his group will eventually close shop.

But not quite yet.

“The battle isn’t won,” he said. “We will be watching and holding them accountable. We are expecting them to have fulfilled their promises to veterans within two years of this mandate.”

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Re: Your Quess/Choice for the new VA minister and MND?

Post by Dannypaj on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 09:18

Thanks for that Sparrow 😊
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Re: Your Quess/Choice for the new VA minister and MND?

Post by bigrex on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 10:01

I'm not really concerned with what the first article says, or doesn't say, because there were a lot of promises made during the campaign, and it would be hard to list all of them, in a single article. As long as the changes get made, I don't care if any reporter talks about it.
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