Precarious optimism for veterans

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Re: Precarious optimism for veterans

Post by pinger on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 17:27

Sean B. really is one of the good guys, articulate and a verrry sharp cookie.
He's got more than smart eyes.
jmo
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Re: Precarious optimism for veterans

Post by RCN-Retired on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 04:39

As one of those PA guys that when VAC offered me EIA because I am TPI getting $475/month tax free but cannot cancel and eligible to receive CIA and CIAs which after tax would be in the neighbourhood of $1,400/month is criminal. These lying cheating SOBs, wish one would get a kiss once in awhile after being f ked so many times.
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Re: Precarious optimism for veterans

Post by Guest on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 09:14

Agreed , Chief ! They always make rules that discrimate one way or the other!

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Re: Precarious optimism for veterans

Post by Guest on Sun 10 Apr 2016, 11:28

Compassion for Veterans not Cloaks and Daggers

By Sean Bruyea

"Plus ça change…" the more things stay the same is a humiliating truism for veterans. Has a well-intentioned Minister of Veterans Affairs been coopted by a cliché?

This past week (April 6-7, 2016), a Ministerial advisory group met under highly surreptitious circumstances. Identity of members, their credentials, agendas, minutes, remuneration, confidentiality clauses and nomination process are all concealed as if this were a CSIS operation. Sadly, veterans whose future is affected by such meetings have been widely excluded.

Minister Hehr and his department have applied this template to five more advisory groups and to the closed-door discussions with the class-action lawsuit, Equitas. I have learned that most participants have been notified. Nevertheless, in an email to me on the eve of the first meeting of the policy group, the Department audaciously claims, “membership in these groups is still being finalized and will be made public in the coming weeks.” Secrecy reflexively defended with misinformation is the Veterans Affairs way of doing things over the past decade. Nothing has apparently changed under the new Liberal government.

Yet this is not what Prime Minister Trudeau promised. In a welcome breaking of precedent, cabinet ministers’ mandate letters were made public. They are an inspiration of open and accountable government. “It is time to shine more light on government to ensure it remains focused on the people it serves. Government and its information should be open by default,” the mandate letter stresses.

Even under the Conservatives, almost every other federal department established advisory groups which often seek public nominations of individuals with an expertise in the relevant area. Advisory groups to the US Department of Veterans Affairs hold open hearings, accepting public input. The Ottawa Police Board holds monthly public meetings during which the public may express their “needs, concerns and priorities”. Isn’t such openness and transparency the bare minimum to ensure government “remains focused upon the people it serves”?

Unlike post-World War II, current Veterans Affairs programs predominantly serve only injured and disabled veterans. Yet, Minister Hehr has included individuals who are neither disabled nor departmental clients. The usual suspects continue to participate after being complicit in the current mess. Many come from organizations that refuse to divulge their membership numbers. Three of the veteran organizations combined have 500 members or less. They provide no evidence that any of their membership is disabled. Others have no membership and no expertise in the group they sit on. Yet they are included with a sycophancy to government as Perry Gray of VeteranVoice.info described to me during a recent telephone conversation, “they’ll do anything government wants because the policies and programs don’t affect them.”

We do know that Canada’s second largest veterans’ organization with 7,800 verifiable veteran members, VeteransCanada(.ca), is excluded from the Minister’s secretive groups. Its national president, Don Leonardo, is a registered lobbyist, perhaps the only veteran representative who has followed the open and accountable government rules. Further excluded are VeteranVoice.info and its sister community, Canadian Soldier Assistance Team (CSAT). The CSAT community has 900 registered members sharing information and support on dealing with their injuries an average of 4500 instances per month.

Along with Don Leonardo, excluded are Perry Gray, Harold Leduc and Wayne Johnston, injured veterans with some of the most recognized and respected expertise in injured veterans’ policy and programs. They are also the A-list of individuals who, along with me, have had their psychological injuries involuntarily or voluntarily disclosed. Senior Veterans Affairs bureaucrats and non-injured veterans have long stigmatized and misunderstood those with injuries, especially the psychological kind. Is Minister Hehr falling victim to prejudice against psychologically injured veterans?

Imagine white burly male lumberjacks secretly meeting to advise the government of Canada on the status of aboriginal women. Absurd, yes? Veteran status does not confer insight into disabled veterans. Quite the opposite. Military culture has been and continues to be grossly insensitive to the injured, particularly the psychologically wounded. The veteran community is rife with malicious attacks on the wounded when they speak out. Yet speaking out is precisely what is needed for change to occur, including in the compassion-challenged senior bureaucratic culture at Veterans Affairs. Processes to create programs are as important as the programs themselves.

There is nothing about veterans that requires secrecy other than their personal files. Prime Minister Trudeau’s mandate letter emphasizes “inclusion, honesty…and generosity of spirit.” Thus far, Minister Hehr’s first steps with his advisory groups has been anything but. Secrecy, insensitivity and exclusion would be an apt de facto mission statement for Veterans Affairs Canada. Let’s hope this does not become the Liberal legacy.

Sean Bruyea is the Advocacy Advisor to Veterans Canada (.ca) and vice-president of Canadians for Accountability, also a retired Air Force intelligence officer and a frequent commentator on government, military, and veterans’ issues.

http://community.veteransofcanada.ca/forum/topics/cloaks-and-daggers-masquages-et-poignards

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Re: Precarious optimism for veterans

Post by Trooper on Sun 10 Apr 2016, 16:27

Thanks propat ,

Sean comes through with another well written paper.

Hopefully this gets noticed and the Minister starts listening to what Sean is saying.

By the looks of things thus far our Minister maybe more of a follower then a leader.
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Re: Precarious optimism for veterans

Post by teentitan on Sun 10 Apr 2016, 22:08

Wow secret meetings with vet orgs....seems the Libs are picking up where they left off in dealing with veteran issues. Telling vets not asking vets.
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Re: Precarious optimism for veterans

Post by Guest on Mon 11 Apr 2016, 08:08

not something I like to do on here . I actually think its not a good thing to do in MOAST cases . not even sure its allowed on here . thing is it gives a little bit of insight of the attitude of at least one of the people at the table discussing OUR future so here goes .

comment on sean's article by a guy with a seat at the table and his response .

Mark Campbell ·April 10, 2016 at 9:10am

Sorry, but as a not so secret member of the not very surreptitious Policy Advisory Group and a publicly known Equitas Plaintiff, it is time to unwind ýour conspiracy knickers and loosen the tin-foil hat a notch or two....

The fact that Veterans.ca's leadership has to date gone uninvited to one or more of the Advisory Committees is no reason to get all defensive and lash out. Those with nothing whatsoever positive to say, seemingly ever, ought not act so surprised when the dance card goes unfilled.

Sean Bruyea > Gord Hockridge ·April 10, 2016 at 7:43pm


Thank you Cliff and Gord for your insightful and fact-based reply to Mark Campbell's unfounded comments.

Perhaps Mark you would like to debate the facts of what I write rather than make personal accusations about not having anything positive to say or that I propagate conspiracies. If you had actually read the article, you will notice that there are some highly positive comments made about the mandate letter to the Minister and the direction given to Hehr by the Prime Minister. You may also notice that I say quite positive things about Don Leondardo, Harold Leduc, Perry Gray and Wayne Johnston.

You may also notice if you read the article that I have positive things to say about VeteransCanada, VeteranVoice and Canadian Soldier Assistance Team by virtue of the fact that they should be included for the value they have to offer the debate.

As for conspiracy mongering of which you accuse me, there is nothing I imply or suggest. I merely point out a factual statement of reality: the vast majority of veterans or their representatives have not only been excluded from the process, government is not providing the most basic of opportunity for them to be made aware of the process let alone have the opportunity to sit at the table. What makes you more eligible than others to sit at the table? Every veteran has a right to be heard. Let's face it, we are in a modern era of technology where there is no excuse for exclusion or secrecy.

But since you started to make personal attacks on me for no reason whatsoever, you have now opened the door for some personal questions:

I am wondering how many veterans are in your organization Mark? How many do you represent?

Did you consult with them?

If you don't have the consensual agreement to represent veterans, what educational or academic background do you have to be speaking about veteran policy?

Many veterans are wounded and surely their point of view is valid but what makes your point of view more valid than others?

Did your application for a position on the Policy group require an open and independent nomination process wherein your resume was vetted and compared against other potential candidates?

Why was the lawsuit in which you involved agree to an abeyance and to not speak publicly during a time period which included the election when this gag order appeared only to have benefited the ruling Conservative party which gained by keeping plaintiffs like you from speaking to the media during this time or am I incorrect in that? Veterans are still scratching their heads about that abeyance agreement. They don't know the full reasons behind it, who gained what, especially when the Conservative Minister who signed it seemed to benefit the most by keeping plaintiffs from speaking publicly according to the terms of the abeyance agreement.

The truth is Mark, I don't know you and judging from your uneducated and misinformed slurs directed at me, you don't know me at all.

Before you chose to start making personal attacks, perhaps you had better get to know the person beforehand or at least read my more than 85 published newspaper articles, multiple peer-reviewed academic presentations, multiple presentations to Parliamentary committees and the hundreds of media comments over the past nearly 20 years. The truth is that I always advocate for issues on a fact-based basis that will benefit veterans and their families. Rarely do I advocate for a program that would include me. Most of my advocacy is for programs for which I am not or would not be eligible. Can you say the same Mark?

Please, debate me on the facts, and keep the childish personal comments out of this.

Sean Bruyea


http://community.veteransofcanada.ca/forum/topics/cloaks-and-daggers-masquages-et-poignards

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Re: Precarious optimism for veterans

Post by teentitan on Mon 11 Apr 2016, 11:01

propat these are the kinds of posts that need to be put on CSAT. If on another forum someone takes a shot at a vet who is at the table then the whole veteran community needs to know.

We here on CSAT have aired our laundry for everyone to read that were shared on other forums so why not post them here?

This is the kind of crap that happens at these meetings. Someone like Sean, Perry, Don and myself try to get the info out and there is a total meltdown by the bureaucrats AND other veterans.

Like I stated sycophants sit at that table. HAND PICKED sychophants! They are there to puff their chests, feel ever so important knowing down the road they will get something from VAC. Like free trips to Cyprus, Italy, Normandy, Vimy for VAC PR campaigns and photo ops. All of us have asked for membership numbers from a lot of groups and the answer is nothing but crickets!

Here's two examples of the BS....Don Leonardo was live tweeting at one of the meetings and guess what happened at the next meeting? Cell phones had to be handed in before the meeting started.

Perry Gray writes some very indepth articles for VVi so he records the meetings to help him remember because he has a hard time remembering things because of his PTSD. He wouldn't need to record the meetings if minutes, that are promised, are sent to participants in a timely fashion. Minutes that take 4-6 months to get after harassing them for weeks.

Remember people it was under the last Liberal government that the NVC was created in secrecy. Six veteran orgs were sat down individually and were told what the NVC was with zero input from them. They then signed a confidentiality agreement not to speak to the public or even their own membership.

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Re: Precarious optimism for veterans

Post by Guest on Mon 11 Apr 2016, 11:23

teen thank you for that.

thing is mark is at the table and seems to me he wants to keep the meeting and minuets secret so badly that when someone calls for these things to be open and public he lashes out without ANY point of facts just derogatory crap in a completely defensive nature.

WTF .

I mean what is this guy saying or agreeing to that he wants hidden from us so badly ?????

what happened ????

did he fight for the PA pension as THEE option ??? is so whats to hide ????

did he sell vets down the river ????? if so.... well ok I get that.

guess we will never know .

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