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Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

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Re: Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Guest on Thu 03 Nov 2016, 21:30

my opinion they are a shyte show flat out .

ya got your good and bad branches don't get me wrong .

bottom line these guys actively promoted the NVC with the buyout included .

use to be a vet watchdog now a GOC lap dog .

the only problem they had was the buyout should be equal to what civies get in tort .

all in line with going below tort expecting a fight to give in and equal tort to look good while robbing disabled vets of billions .

this AINT tort frackers !!!!

these aint accidents due to neglect of following all the safety practices and laws in the Canadian work force .

these are guys injured knowing their safety is not protected by these things signed up and threw themselves into the battle for this country anyway with only one assurance if they became disabled or fell in battle they and or their families will be well taken care of .

turns out the GOC changed that before they threw them into the fray and these frackers said hey great idea we will even promote it . but hey with all they money you are saving on this make sure we get a little piece down the road . well done and done .

ya not a big fan .

always question authority



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Legion reminds veterans, service members that help is available

Post by Guest on Fri 04 Nov 2016, 07:25

Published on December 17, 2013

The Provincial Command of The Royal Canadian Legion and its more than 4,000 members has a long and proud tradition of assisting veterans and their dependents.

By Ross Petten

The Provincial Command of The Royal Canadian Legion and its more than 4,000 members has a long and proud tradition of assisting veterans and their dependents.

The Legion was founded on three pillars: remembrance; veteran care, and community service, and it was within these parameters that in 1918 the wounded and returned First World War servicemen established The Great War Veterans Association of Newfoundland, the forerunner of our NL Provincial Command.

As president, on behalf of our members, I want to firstly express our deepest and most sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of our four hero veterans who succumbed to the lingering ravages of war by means of suicide, possibly brought on by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/Operational Stress and perceived desperation.

The challenges facing veterans, both serving and after release, are widespread and have uniquely developed through the roles and responsibilities they take on while serving.

Some Canadian Forces and RCMP members may have suffered grave wounds, loss of colleagues and friends, operational stress injuries, mental health challenges, and difficulties transitioning to civilian life. The Legion is there to support them, just as we have always been, through our ability to offer camaraderie at our branches, and more importantly our Service Officer Network that can connect veterans to the help they need.

Often, the biggest challenge in the veteran’s community is getting information and assistance to those who need it and identifying those individuals in our neighbourhoods that need support. Our local Legion branches are the “boots-on-the-ground” connecting veterans and their families with available funds and programs.

Here are some facts:

• our mission is to care for all veterans, including serving Canadian Forces and RCMP members, as well as their families;

• our Service Officer Network has more than 48 officers at every Legion branch across Newfoundland and Labrador;

• we have a command service officer, who provides assistance with access to Veterans Affairs disability benefits and services;

• veterans and their families do not need to be Legion members to request help from a service officer. 

Regarding suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder:

• suicide is a complex issue that has many contributing factors. We can never assume any reasons for why someone would take their own life;

• While everyone experiences PTSD differently, there are three main symptoms:

1. re-experiencing the traumatic event;

2. avoiding reminders of the trauma; and,

3. increased anxiety and emotional arousal.

Members of the Canadian Forces, RCMP and veterans are not violent people, they joined the services to care for and protect people and the country they love.

In closing, on behalf of our command, I implore, that if you are a veteran who needs assistance, or a person who is aware of a veteran — or a member of a veteran’s family who needs assistance, please call us at 753-6666 or 725-5727.

Our Provincial Command service officer is Boyd Carter, a retired veteran of the Canadian Forces, and he is here to help you.

We will remember them.

— Ross Petten is president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Command of the Royal Canadian Legion. He is a resident of Port de Grave.


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Re: Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Ex Member on Fri 04 Nov 2016, 08:44

All great things, but will they come good for pa if we don't qualify for eelb.

Ex Member

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Legion president resigns over wreath controversy

Post by Guest on Sat 05 Nov 2016, 11:34

Legion president resigns over wreath controversy

Veteran upset with Hampton Legion now allowed to lay wreath

By Matthew Bingley, CBC News Posted: Nov 03, 2016 6:26 PM AT Last Updated: Nov 03, 2016 7:23 PM AT

Veteran Jamie Keating will get to lay his wreath in memory of nine soldiers during Hampton's Remembrance Day service after initially being told by the local legion he could not.

The legion branch's president has since resigned.

Keating went to the Hampton branch of the Royal Canadian Legion last Wednesday. After paying $45 for the wreath, he was told he would not be allowed to lay the wreath and have names read during the service.

He first joined the reserves in 2002 and became a technician with Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team. After his service, which included being deployed to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Keating's family still lives in Hampton and the intimacy of the small Remembrance Day service is what drew him back.

So he was stunned when he was told he couldn't pay his respects the way he was used to. "I've done it before and have [had] the names read," he said. "I was shocked, I was a little bit dismayed."

'That's where this kind of blew up'

After making several calls, including to Hampton MP Alaina Lockhart's office, he heard back from John Sherwood, the Hampton legion branch's president.

"That's where this kind of blew up," said Keating, who felt Sherwood was arrogant on the call.

Keating took his grievances online, posting a video rant on Facebook that has now been seen more than 350 thousand times. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

Keating said Sherwood told him there was an issue because he no longer lived in Hampton. What bothered Keating most was Sherwood's position on the nine names he wanted read.

"None of those nine soldiers were from Hampton," Keating said he was told, "that's the one that really struck me."

Keating knew four of the nine soldiers he wanted to recognize. The others, including Saint John's Pte. David Greenslade, were killed on Easter in 2007. Regardless of where they were from, Keating said remembering their sacrifice is what really mattered.

Video rant seen more than 350,000 times

After hanging up the phone with Sherwood, Keating went outside and aired his grievances in a video rant on Facebook, which has been seen more than 350,000 times.

Among those who saw his video was the Royal Canadian Legion's Dominion Command.

Two days after Keating posted online, the legion reaffirmed its policy for placing wreaths. "Branches organizing local ceremonies are responsible for their individual events," said the statement, "however, anyone who wishes to place a wreath at a Remembrance Day Ceremony should certainly have the opportunity to do so."

The legion's New Brunswick Command was also alerted to Keating's video. "I was very upset because that's not the way things are," said its executive director Cynthia Saunders.

She said the Hampton Legion's services were changed to a local honour roll only to cut-down on the time veterans were at the outdoor service. Other than wreathes laid by dignitaries, they are typically laid en masse at the end of the ceremony.

Cynthia Saunders, the executive director of the Legion’s New Brunswick Command, was very upset when she saw the video rant. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

"It was an unfortunate situation that was handled wrong," said Saunders, who believed Sherwood was trying to clarify with his executive if laying the wreath along with dignitaries would be acceptable.

While Sherwood has since resigned, Saunders said the command was prepared to suspend him from his post. Saunders also said every Afghanistan soldier who lost their life will have their name read at the service.

Others reaching out with similar stories

Despite not receiving an apology from Sherwood, Keating said he will still attend the Hampton service to lay his wreath.

"I was torn because with all this attention, as of last week I was ready to do my own service, not lay the wreath."

Since posting his video he says hundreds of people have sent him messages of support, including legion branches from across the country. Many of them will also include the nine names he wanted read in their honour roll.

Officials at both the Royal Canadian Legion's Dominion Command and its New Brunswick Command were alerted to Keating's video rant. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

What concerns Keating was the number of people who messaged him with similar stories.

"People see the video and say the same thing happened to them at their branch in Alberta, Manitoba, all over Canada."

He thinks more work needs to be done to improve compassion for veterans, especially at the country's legions.


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Mistake pits legion against organizers of craft fair

Post by Guest on Sat 05 Nov 2016, 18:56

Mistake pits legion against organizers of craft fair

The Canadian Press
Published on November 05, 2016

A veteran lays a poppy during a recent Remembrance Day service in Charlottetown in this Guardian file photo. A group of crafters and the legion in Sydney, N.S. are engaged in a spat over location of the craft fair.

Remembrance Day service has to find new location

SYDNEY, N.S. - An unlikely public spat that seemingly pitted a craft sale against several local legions over the location of a Remembrance Day service, drawing hostility and threats of a boycott, was caused by a simple bureaucratic bungle, the municipality says.

Home Crafters of Cape Breton had booked Sydney's Centre 200 arena next weekend for its annual craft sale, and came under fire when it appeared it had bumped Remembrance Day ceremonies.

“The initial story was along the lines of the services being bumped for the craft fair, and that's not the case,” said Christina Lamey, communications adviser to Mayor Cecil Clarke of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

“It brought a lot of negative feelings towards people who do the craft fair. Those people doing that craft fair are the salt of the earth and they've been doing it for 30 years ... and some of the comments directed to them are out of line.”

Home Crafters' Audrey Pyke said her 29-year-old group has held its three-day event at Centre 200 for the last decade, and books the dates years in advance.

The legions have held their service at Centre 200 for the last two years without overlap, but this year Remembrance Day falls on the sale's first day, Nov. 11.

Stephen MacLennan, president of the legion in nearby Whitney Pier, said his organization booked Centre 200 for Remembrance Day in an email with Clarke back in March - but staff with the facility didn't tell him about the conflict with the crafters' show until last month.

MacLennan said the service was moved to the smaller Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion, which holds a much smaller crowd - a revelation that angered residents and resulted in dozens of emails, calls and Facebook postings criticizing the crafters.

Pyke said that has caused some members to take down their social media sites because of a slew of hostile comments, including some that say they will boycott the sale because of the misperception that the group forced the veterans out of the location.

“They're saying we're disrespectful to veterans, which we are not,” she said.

“My grandfather fought at Vimy Ridge, I have the utmost respect for veterans. And so do many of the other crafters, we've never had an issue. It's just because of this mixup at Centre 200. That's the whole crux of the issue ... had we known in February, who knows? We probably could have avoided this whole mess. But nobody approached us until all this crap hit last week.”

Pyke said the craft show takes hours to set up and can't be moved on such short notice.

MacLennan said the legion is disappointed with the change of venue, but doesn't fault the crafters, saying Centre 200 officials should have notified the legion of the conflict as soon as they knew about it in March.

He said the legions certainly don't condone the torrents of abuse that have been directed at the crafters' association over the last week.

“My mother-in-law used to be in that crafters association and her husband was in the merchant navy,” he said. “He went to Korea in '51, so if he didn't have a problem with her going in the craft show on Remembrance Day, why would I?

“The veterans fought for our freedom and for peace, for people to go on and threaten these crafters, we don't condone that. It's not OK.”

Lamey said the municipality isn't sure exactly why the legions weren't told sooner about the conflict.

“This is where we're not sure what happened,” she said. “I've heard various different things about what happened.”

Pyke said the whole episode has left her and her fellow crafters feeling disheartened and apprehensive about attending the popular annual sale, which typically attracts anywhere from 5,000 to 7,000 people.

“We're just plain simple people. I do it because I love doing crafts. Other people, young single mothers do it to make money for Christmas, older people to help with their expenses, they're on fixed incomes and this little bit of money they make at a craft show helps them out during the winter,” she said.

“Sure, we want to have a good show, but what we're concerned about is that our crafters are safe and comfortable being there.”


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Re: Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by BinRat on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 12:45

Hmmm, quite the story..

So who is right who is wrong, from my point of view, Yes the crafters have been doing this for Decades
my only thought was, who looked at the calendar back then, did they not see that this weekend date
would of been the 11th of November and go, Oh remember day that weekend, okay make it the following weekend
and or the weekend before.

I dunno, In a sense maybe I'd blame the crafters since there event is 3 days, so they take the friday sat and sunday
And for them saying, we can't change the venue now it takes to long to setup..

poppy wash, you haven't gotten to that date yet, no one has set anything up, find a new place and Just send out emails
to venders of the Move to a new venue place, and place signs at the place to the new Location date and time where the
venders have now setup since they have been informed of the new location,

But what do I know

CSAT Member

Number of posts : 257
Location : Komoka
Registration date : 2008-09-18

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There is a changing of the guard as Canada's veterans grow younger

Post by Guest on Tue 08 Nov 2016, 17:38

There is a changing of the guard as Canada's veterans grow younger

Stirling Legion Sgt.-At-Arms Parry Chrysler and president Judy Heasman read the names on the Afghanistan memorial inside the National Air Force Museum of Canada in Trenton. One of those names was a person Chrysler served with in Afghanistan.

Central Hastings News
By Terry McNamee

Nov 08, 2016

Stirling—When the Royal Canadian Legion was founded in 1925, Canadian war veterans were mostly young men who had served overseas before coming home and trying to resume their lives.
Their local Legion branches were places where they could talk with other veterans who shared similar experiences and could understand the scars on their bodies and the wounds to their souls.
As time passed, the veterans of the two world wars grew old. Younger veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces had not served in wartime and had little in common with old soldiers. But recent foreign conflicts in places such as Bosnia and Afghanistan have resulted in a new generation of veterans who now carry those same soul-searing memories and physical wounds.
“People think veterans are a bunch of old men sitting in a bar, drinking beer, and that's not what it is,” said Judy Heasman, president of Stirling Branch 228. “They're not old men. They're young men and women.”
Parry Chrysler is Sergeant-At-Arms for both the Stirling Branch and Zone F3. Still on active duty as a warrant officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force, he has served two six-month tours in Bosnia and six 60-day tours of Afghanistan as loadmaster on transport aircraft, primarily C-130 Hercules. He also has deployed twice with the Canadian Armed Forces Disaster Assistance response Team (DART). His job included ferrying home the flag-draped caskets of eight soldiers killed in Afghanistan. One was a friend.
“I have seen more than the average Canadian should have to see,” Chrysler said.
When he retires next month at age 50, he will be facing unemployment for the first time in his entire adult life.
“The military is all I've known for 31 years,” he said. “I've never had a job interview.”
He will have one year to find new housing and vacate his PMQ (Permanent Married Quarters) at CFB Trenton, so he will need to get a job and find a place to live as soon as possible. It's a daunting task, one faced by many younger people coming out of the military. Many currently serving or who recently left the military are under 40 years old, and some have no place to go once they leave the service.
“We've got young veterans (in Canada) sleeping on the street,” Heasman said.
That's where the Legion steps in to help, providing financial assistance for housing and basic needs for people who are in desperate need of help.
“Those are the veterans that we, as a Legion, are there for,” said Chrysler.
The money comes from contributions to the Poppy Fund, all of which goes to charitable causes.
The Legion also helps veterans get into programs that deal with both physical and mental issues caused from serving in war zones. Chrysler knows first-hand what war can do to a person's mind.
“Because of the things I have done and the things I have seen, I have been diagnosed with an operational stress injury,” he said. “It's like a never-ending video that never stops playing, but we learn to deal with it and live with it.”
Once called battle fatigue, shell shock or war neurosis, the common name used today is post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Heasman said the Legion has brought in a new program to help veterans with PTSD as well as those with physical health issues. The peer support group program is open to both veterans and their families and gives them a chance to sit down and talk about these issues with others who have shared similar experiences — which is exactly what the Legion was created for.
“The support system is not just for the old guys — it's for the young ones, too,” Heasman said.
Any veteran is welcome at any Legion, whether they are Legion members or not.
“Our duty as Legion members is to honour all veterans, no matter where they served or when,” Heasman said.
For more information, contact your local Legion branch. The Stirling branch can be reached at 613-395-2975.


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Why today’s veterans avoid the Royal Canadian Legion

Post by Guest on Thu 10 Nov 2016, 10:29

Why today’s veterans avoid the Royal Canadian Legion

Most members of today’s Legion have never spent a day in military uniform


NOVEMBER 10, 2016 8:00 AM

Little seems to be standing in the way of the Royal Canadian Legion, its Remembrance Day poppies and the respect and gratitude that Canadians so willingly bestow upon it.

Our government looks upon the RCL as a primary stakeholder in veterans affairs. As a sign of our collective gratitude, many municipalities exempt their Legion branch from paying taxes. And on Remembrance Day across the country on Friday (November 11), many of its 1,400 branches and more than 300,000 members will be front and centre.

All this might be appropriate if the Legion were actually an organization of veterans advocating for other veterans and their families. But despite the praiseworthy efforts of some of its veteran members, the Royal Canadian Legion no longer represents the vast majority of today’s vets either demographically or politically.

After the Korean War, instead of embracing new generations of returning soldiers, the RCL began to assume a community focus that gradually opened its membership to non-vets.

Most members of today’s Legion have never spent a day in military uniform. As a result today’s veterans, myself included, see little at our local branch that makes us feel welcome.

“I used to be a big fan of the Legion” says former member Michael Blais, who served for 16 years in the Royal Canadian Regiment. “But it seemed to be pointless, as there were too many civilians and you were the token veteran on the executive.”

Today, Blais advocates for veterans through his own organization, Canadian Veterans Advocacy.

Retired army colonel Michel Drapeau, an Ottawa lawyer, says, “Modern-day veterans do not join the Legion, because they consider it a ‘civilian’ club.”

Just how open is the Legion’s door to non-veterans? These military wannabes can wear the Legion “uniform” and occupy leadership positions right up to the highest “command” levels, making decisions and advising government on behalf of actual military veterans.

They’re also entitled to wear the Legion’s own merit medals, which trusting, inexperienced members of the public often mistake for real military decorations. You do not have to serve in the military to earn them. According to the Legion it is an uphill battle to reach out to younger generations of veterans.

“Engaging younger generations in community organizations is a challenge for most, if not all, not-for-profit organizations,” says Bruce Poulin, manager of communications at the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command. “It is not specific to the Legion.”

This is not to say that those who have never served in the military cannot understand and advocate for veterans.

But service, and especially wartime and extended service in the military, generates a culture of familiarity based on shared experience, both good and bad. This sense of kinship can be invaluable when seeking support and assistance due to a service-related disability. The same group spirit can also galvanize veterans to organize when government attempts to limit or deny them benefits.

And it’s with respect to these benefits, which together embody government’s “sacred trust” to provide today’s veterans with the supports they need, that the Legion has most noticeably lost its way.

When the battle-hardened veterans of the First World War formed the Legion in 1926, one of their main objectives was “to secure adequate pensions, allowances, grants and war gratuities for ex-servicemen, their dependents, and the widows, children and dependents of those who have served, and to labour for honourable provision being made for those who, in declining years, are unable to support themselves.”

But by 2000, the civilian-dominated Legion was more concerned with beer, darts and photo ops with politicians. So perhaps veterans like myself should not have been surprised that the Royal Canadian Legion supported the New Veterans Charter passed in 2005, which eliminated disability pensions for all Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans newly injured after 2006.

As a result, today’s younger disabled veterans have to settle for one-time lump sum payments that typically fail to come close to the lifetime pensions their fathers’ and grandfathers’ generation could rely on.

In May 2005, then president of the RCL Mary Ann Burdett told the Senate committee examining the legislation that “there should be no doubt whatsoever that the Royal Canadian Legion fully supports this initiative. We want this legislation.”

Today, in the face of near-universal derision over the New Veterans Charter by veterans and their families, the Legion is trying to qualify its previous support for the government initiative, stating on its website that it “never fully and unconditionally supported the Charter” and that at the time they were told that it was a “living charter which would be amended as flaws or gaps were identified.”

To be fair, there are signs that the Legion is aware of the need to redefine its mandate. Earlier this year, a group of concerned veteran members of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 15 in Brampton surveyed veterans on their perception of the Legion and its services.

Says Branch 15 third vice-president Chris Banks, a veteran of both the Bosnia and Afghanistan wars: “Responders pointed out that branches weren’t attracting younger veterans because, in their opinion, there was nothing for them. Many said the Legion is too old-fashioned and out of touch. And some told me the Legion didn’t live up to their expectations.”

Looking squarely at where it has gone wrong could be the first move in a reformed RCL that actually stands for today’s aging ex-soldiers like me.

Robert Smol served in the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 20 years.


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Canada's legions are changing and not all veterans are happy about it

Post by Guest on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 05:56

Canada's legions are changing and not all veterans are happy about it.

'It has lost what I joined for,' says Winnipeg veteran

By Nolan Kowal, for CBC News Posted: Nov 11, 2016 4:30 AM CT Last Updated: Nov 11, 2016 4:30 AM CT

Arthur Christensen (left) has been a member of the West Kildonan Legion for 73 years, while his daughter Diane (right) attends the legion’s Remembrance Day service every year with her father.

Legions are struggling to maintain core membership and their traditions, say Winnipeg veterans.

Murray Monette, 76, served nine years in the Canadian Armed Forces. He said fewer and fewer veterans and their families come to the West Kildonan Legion.

"People today, it's like passé for them ... Because most of them have never had people [family] in the Armed Forces," said Monette.

"It has lost what I joined for."

Royal Canadian Legion needs injection of youth, Afghan vet says

Monette joined the legion eight years ago and since then, he has noticed an increase in patrons with no relation to veterans while events like Remembrance Day hold less importance.

"Most of the people who come in here now couldn't care less about all the veterans in the Canadian Forces who died in the First World War, Second World War, Korean War," said Monette.

Winnipeg West Kildonan Legion has 831 members, 79 of whom are still actively serving.

To make up for slumping revenues, the West Kildonan Legion now provides VLTs.

"Basically what's keeping this legion going is the gambling," Monette said.

Just a club, says oldest member

Arthur Christensen will turn 100 in December. He is the oldest and longest-serving veteran at the West Kildonan Legion. He said he attends the Remembrance Day ceremony there every year.

"I don't think they can do anything about it," said Christensen about changes at the legion.

"Now it's just a club, it's just a club for entertainment."

Robert Watling, the president of West Kildonan, said their services still centre on the First and Second World Wars because they're the most important to members.

He said veterans from the Afghanistan War tend to stay away.

"There's probably only six to eight [from the Afghanistan War] who are actually members of our legion," said Watling.

"They don't really join the clubs because a lot of them are still active so they spend most of their time wherever they're stationed."

Monette added active soldiers rarely come to the Remembrance Day service at the legion anymore.

"When Patricia's [Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry] came back from Afghanistan last time, we invited them to come, and I think we got one person," he said.

While some legions in the city have closed due to lack of membership, West Kildonan is still doing well with 831 members, 79 of whom are still actively serving.

Only St. James Branch No. 4 has more members, as they are into the thousands, according to Watling.

This is one in a series of stories written for CBC Manitoba by Red River College journalism students that looks at ways conflict abroad has shaped Winnipeg.


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Royal Canadian Legion Has A Dark History We Must Also Remember

Post by Guest on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 17:42

Yves Engler

Royal Canadian Legion Has A Dark History We Must Also Remember

Posted: 11/11/2016 11:44 am EST


Remember that today marks the culmination of a militarist, nationalist ritual organized by a reactionary state-backed group.

Every year the Royal Canadian Legion sells about 20 million red poppies in the lead-up to Remembrance Day. Remember that red poppies were inspired by the 1915 poem "In Flanders Fields" by Canadian army officer John McCrae. The pro-war poem calls on Canadians to "take up our quarrel with the foe" and was used to promote war bonds and recruit soldiers during the First World War.

Remember that today, red poppies commemorate Canadians who have died at war. Not being commemorated are the Afghans or Libyans killed by Canadians in the 2000s, nor the Iraqis and Serbians killed in the 1990s, nor the Koreans killed in the 1950s or the Russians, South Africans, Sudanese and others killed before that. By focusing exclusively on "our" side, Remembrance Day poppies reinforce a sense that Canada's cause is righteous. But Canadian soldiers have only fought in one morally justifiable war: the Second World War.

The organization sponsoring the red poppy campaign receives little critical attention.

While there's some criticism of the nationalism and militarism driving Remembrance Day, the organization sponsoring the red poppy campaign receives little critical attention. Incorporated by an act of Parliament, the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Services League was formed in 1926.

Renamed the Royal Canadian Legion in 1960, from the get-go it was designed to counter more critical veteran organizations. In The Vimy Trap: or, How We Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Great War, Ian McKay and Jamie Swift write, "benefiting from government recognition, the Legion slowly supplanted its rivals. It was consciously designed as [a] body that would soothe the veterans temper and moderate their demands."

In 1927 the federal government granted the Legion a monopoly over poppy distribution and the Veterans Affairs-run Vetcraft made the Legion's poppies for 75 years. The Legion has benefited from various other forms of government support. Its branches have received public funds and the Governor General, head of the Canadian Forces, is the Legion's Grand Patron, and numerous prime ministers and defence ministers have addressed its conventions.

Poppies are placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier following a Remembrance Day ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa Nov. 11, 2010.

While its core political mandate is improving veterans' services, the Legion has long advocated militarism and a reactionary worldview. In the early 1930s it pushed for military build-up and its 1950 convention called for "total preparedness." In 1983 its president, Dave Capperauld, supported U.S. cruise missiles tests in Alberta, and into the early 1990s the Legion, reports Branching Out: the story of the Royal Canadian Legion, took "an uncompromising stand on the importance of maintaining a strong Canadian military presence in Europe through NATO, and by supporting the United States build-up of advanced nuclear weapons."

The Legion has also espoused a racist, paranoid and pro-Empire worldview. In the years after the Second World War, it called for the expulsion of Canadians of Japanese origin and ideological screening for German immigrants. A decade before then, notes Branching Out, "Manitoba Command unanimously endorsed a resolution to ban communist activities, and provincial president Ralph Webb ... warned that children were being taught to spit on the Union Jack in Manitoba schools."

The veterans group has sought to suppress critical understanding of military history.

Long after the end of the Cold War the organization remains concerned about "subversives." Today, Legion members have to sign a statement that begins: "I hereby solemnly declare that I am not a member of, nor affiliated with, any group, party or sect whose interests conflict with the avowed purposes of the Legion, and I do not, and will not, support any organization advocating the overthrow of our government by force or which advocates, encourages or participates in subversive action or propaganda."

The veterans group has sought to suppress critical understanding of military history. In the mid-2000s the Legion battled Canadian War Museum historians over an exhibition about the Second World War Allied bomber offensive. After shaping its development, the Legion objected to a small part of a multifaceted exhibit, which questioned "the efficacy and the morality of the ... massive bombing of Germany's industrial and civilian targets."

White poppies representing peace in a bouquet of red poppies.

With the museum refusing to give the veterans an effective veto over its exhibit, Legion Magazine called for a boycott. The Legion's campaign led to hearings by the Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs and a new display that glossed over a bombing campaign explicitly designed to destroy German cities. It also led to the director of the museum, Joe Guerts, resigning.

A decade earlier the Legion participated in a campaign to block the three-part series The Valour and the Horror from being rebroadcast or distributed to schools. The 1992 CBC series claimed Canadian soldiers committed unprosecuted war crimes during the Second World War and that the British-led bomber command killed 600,000 German civilians. The veterans groups' campaign led to a Senate inquiry, CRTC hearing and lawsuit, as well as a commitment from CBC to not rebroadcast The Valour and the Horror without amendments.

Rather than supporting the militaristic, jingoistic, nationalism of the Legion, Canadians of good conscience should support peace organizations' white poppy campaign to remember all victims of war.


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Windsor's Royal Canadian Legion Branch 143 dedicates members' lounge to Afghanistan veterans

Post by Guest on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 05:27

Windsor's Royal Canadian Legion Branch 143 dedicates members' lounge to Afghanistan veterans


Published on: November 13, 2016 | Last Updated: November 13, 2016 9:10 PM EST

The plaque over the entrance to the members' lounge at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 143. The legion hall dedicated the room to Cpl. Andrew Grenon - Windsor's fallen soldier - on Nov. 13, 2016.

Windsor’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch 143 is reaching out to veterans of the Afghanistan mission with a symbolic gesture: dedicating its members’ lounge to a Windsor soldier who died in Afghanistan.

On Sunday, Branch 143 members gathered to unveil the new framed picture over the entrance of what will henceforth be known as the Cpl. Andrew P. Grenon room.

“We, the members of Ambassador Branch 143, feel that it would be a great tribute to one of our fallen modern-day heroes,” said Jack Parker, the branch’s president.

“(We want) to show them that they do have meaning, and are welcome here at this branch.”

On Sept. 3, 2008, Grenon was killed when insurgents attacked his patrol in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan.

It was Grenon’s second tour of service in Afghanistan. He was two weeks from completing the tour at the time of his death.

“As we enter this room, may this (picture) remind us of our commitment,” said Rev. Stan Fraser at the dedication ceremony at Branch 143 on Sunday.

Along with a prominent image of Grenon, the framed picture displays the faces of other Canadian soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan.

Theresa Charbonneau, mother of Cpl. Andrew Grenon, pulls a rope to unveil the framed picture at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 143 that dedicates the branch’s lounge to Grenon. Photographed Nov. 13, 2016.

Theresa Charbonneau, Grenon’s mother, was on hand for the occasion.

“The support from this legion hall, to do this — it means the world,” she said.

The framed picture was paid for by Cheryl Gravel, whose son Jeff also served in Afghanistan.

Parker said Branch 143 has been trying to do a better job of connecting with veterans of Canada’s Afghanistan mission.

“We’ve been trying to figure out for months now how to get the Royal Canadian Legion to be more relevant for the modern-day veterans,” Parker said.

“We have such a large gap. The legion’s members are getting fewer and fewer all the time … We need to build our ranks back up.”

Asked why Afghanistan veterans haven’t embraced the Royal Canadian Legion the way that Korean War veterans have, Parker said: “It’s not a relevant place for them. We’re trying to make it relevant.”

“We need them to come forward. Give us ideas — give us a new path to follow.”

Parker said Branch 143’s current membership is just over 400 people. “Fifteen years ago, we were 1,500,” he said.


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Poppy sales help veterans

Post by Guest on Sun 27 Nov 2016, 17:14

Poppy sales help veterans

Sunday, November 27, 2016 1:04:16 EST PM

More than 21 million poppies were sold across Canada in 2016.

The Royal Canadian Legion’s Poppy Fund is celebrating the sale of 21.5 million poppies in November.

Through Canadians’ donations, the poppy funds will be used to provide financial assistance and support veterans, including Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP and their families who may be in need.

Funds are used for grants for food, heating costs, clothing, prescription medications, medical appliances and equipment, essential home repairs, emergency shelter or assistance.

The donations can also be used for housing, funding veteran transition programs and accessibility modification to assist veterans with disabilities.

The Poppy Fund also supports the work of Legion Command and Branch Service officers across Canada.

A portion of donations is also used for relief of federal or provincial disasters, which impact veterans living in those communities.

The poppy campaign is organized and run by local Legion volunteers at more than 1,400 branches across Canada and abroad.


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Re: Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Teentitan on Sun 27 Nov 2016, 22:28

Great to see Canadians buying so many poppies.

Now can Canadians how much money was raised for veterans on the sale of 21.5 million poppies?
CSAT Member

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Fight over $300 in poppy funds leads to legion losing certification

Post by Guest on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 15:28

Fight over $300 in poppy funds leads to legion losing certification

Branches required to send portion of poppy fund to Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command every September

By Elizabeth McMillan, CBC News Posted: Dec 15, 2016 6:12 PM AT Last Updated: Dec 15, 2016 11:01 PM AT

Each branch of the Royal Canadian Legion has a poppy fund.

A year-and-a-half long dispute over roughly $300 has led to a rural Nova Scotia legion being stripped of its certification following a bitter clash with provincial leadership in Halifax.

Members of Clare Branch #52 in Saulnierville dug in their heels and didn't comply with a bylaw requiring the chapter to send a small portion of money raised through its annual poppy campaign to the Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command of the Royal Canadian Legion.

After Clare didn't pay for the second time, the Royal Canadian Legion withdrew the branch's charter in November. But that doesn't seem to bother the branch's former president.

"They wanted it, they got it, they can keep it," said Russell Comeau, who also served as Clare's local service officer.

He said members didn't feel the command supported or provided any services for their area.

"Nothing, nothing whatsoever. They'd just say send us money," he said.

Increased workload

The disputed portion of the poppy fund supports the command's service officers in Halifax, who assist veterans across the province access pension or disability benefits, said Steve Wessel, president of the Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command, which has its headquarters in the Burnside Industrial Park in Dartmouth.

He said all legion branches also have local service officers like Comeau who are volunteers. But questions and issues are frequently sent to staff working in Halifax.

Wessel said if people from the Clare area called, they would also receive help.

"Due to [Veterans Affairs Canada] office closures and the greater amount of veterans that are in our communities these days ... our workload had increased tremendously," he said.

The legion branch in Clare gave its building to the municipality a few years ago and has rented the space from it, according to former president Russeel Comeau.

Branch for 79 years

The bylaw relating to the poppy fund was passed at a convention in May 2015. The Clare branch didn't attend and gave its proxy vote to another branch.

The bylaw means Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command gets 10 per cent of the remaining balance of a branch's poppy trust fund, after the year's expenses have been paid out.

Comeau said last year his branch had about $3,000 left in the fund, which means $300 was destined for Halifax.

Wessel said he's "extremely upset and disappointed" the Clare branch has lost its charter over the issue. "They're throwing away 79 years of history of this branch over this one little item."

Money isn't the issue

In August, branch members voted 32-1 in favour of not sending the money, Comeau said.

The Clare branch is the only one that has refused to comply. Wessel said the amount of money isn't the issue, but rather the refusal to abide by the rules.

"Through their refusal to support through the poppy fund, they're basically disregarding the aims and objectives of the Royal Canadian Legion, which is to help veterans," he said.

New group planned

But Comeau said his area had little contact with command and he often spends a couple hours a week working directly with veterans.

"I'd visit the veterans when they had problems filling out their forms or they would get phone calls. Some were unilingual French, Acadian or couldn't understand the forms. I would fill it out for them or make the necessary phone calls," he said.

He said the need for services should decrease now that Veterans Affairs offices are reopening.

Members of what was the Clare branch are discussing forming a new group, the Clare Veterans Association. Comeau said they plan to meet in a building the legion has been leasing from the municipality.


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More than money an issue at former Clare legion

Post by Guest on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 20:24

More than money an issue at former Clare legion

Published December 16, 2016 - 8:53pm

While Clare no longer has a Royal Canadian Legion, it still has a membership willing to serve local veterans, says its former president and service officer Russ Comeau.

“You don’t need to be a legion member to do that,” he told the Chronicle Herald in an interview. “We’ll survive without [the money],” referring to the poppy funds members recently collected.

Comeau was suspended by Nova Scotia Nunavut Command executive in August after he allowed the active membership at former branch #52 to vote on a bylaw that would see 10 per cent of its poppy fund balance sent to Halifax.

The bylaw was passed by a majority vote at the last biennial provincial convention in May 2015. But at the unsanctioned vote in Saulnierville, the motion was defeated 32-1.

On Nov. 29, after refusing to turn over its share to Halifax for a second year, and not abiding legion rules, the branch was stripped of the RCL charter it had since January 1937.

Comeau said he’s had good results with Veteran’s Affairs in Ottawa for local requests. “You need to make some phone calls and wait, but they come through,” he said.

He also intends to establish a local veteran’s association in the new year and reserved a name at the Registry of Joint Stocks.

“It still disappoints and upsets me greatly that we had to do that and they don’t seem to care, after almost 80 years of having a charter,” said the legion president Steve Wessel.

Comeau said at issue is more than just a matter of $300 of a $3,000 poppy fund balance, which now they are expected to lose all of, as well as the amount they collected in November.

“Halifax was either coming down on us for how we were spending our poppy fund that we raised or not responding to our questions on what we wanted to spend it on,” said Comeau. “Or how they would spend it.”

Comeau said it was becoming harder to go back to businesses and locals with a hand out not knowing where the donations were being spent.

There was also confusion over decisions, such as when the branch wanted to give its building to the local municipality, which it did earlier this year.

“Halifax approved it, but then questioned who gave us the authority,” said Comeau.

Wessel said branches are expected to get command’s approval on how to dispose assets, but the turn over of the building to the municipality was not an issue.

Comeau said legions were told at the end of September, after local veterans’ needs were met, there was an $800,000 surplus around the province.

“So they expect to receive $80,000 but we’re not told where that money is spent. They are quite secretive of it,” he said.

Wessel agreed the dispute is not about the money, but denies there are secrets.

We do report to the legion branches three times a year and also submit a full audit report every year as part of our requirements as a non-profit organization. We also have to abide by our bylaws and that includes the branches, too,” he said in an interview.

Wessel said they’ve sent information to the former branch to indicate what needs to be done next, which includes having to turn over the entire balance of its poppy fund that will be held in trust.

“Certainly we will respect how the branch members want to have it spent on their local needs.”

Nova Scotia Nunavut Command does make a positive impact in the southwest region, says Zone 12 commander Don McCumber.

“I know the work and the caseload command has. They do a lot of good work,” said McCumber. “The money goes directly for veterans and no other purpose.”

He said in the past two years he’s been a zone commander, provincial command has spent at least $14,000 to replace four of the beds at Veteran’s Place in Yarmouth, for example.

McCumber said he learned this week that a member from Clare is there after a service officer from the former legion delivered holiday fruit baskets to each of its 15 veterans.

Despite aging and dying vets and legion closures, the poppy fund is still important to also meet the needs of younger veterans from Bosnia and Afghanistan that are increasing, said McCumber.

There are other local contributions that are considered, he said. Legions can also opt to give 20 per cent of their surplus to local cadet corps.

McCumber says he feels bad about the dispute, which he hopes is just a misunderstanding.

“I wouldn’t want the legion to hurt because of this. Many branches work together to support each other,” he said.

Down to six members, Port Maitland in Yarmouth County is in the process of closing now and is working with Command this week to determine where its remaining funds will go.

“All of those members expressed interest in transferring to neighbouring legions,” he said.

They still conduct poppy campaigns in areas where legions have closed so that area’s veterans still get support. Lockeport collects in Shelburne, which no longer has a legion, he said.

“Now in Clare that work will go to neighbouring legions,” said Wessel.


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Re: Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

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