“Nothing has changed” — Pat Stogran’s battle cry for veterans care continues under Trudeau

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“Nothing has changed” — Pat Stogran’s battle cry for veterans care continues under Trudeau

Post by Trooper on Thu 10 Nov 2016, 12:06



“Nothing has changed” — Pat Stogran’s battle cry for veterans care continues under Trudeau

BY RON CORBETT
POSTED NOVEMBER 10, 2016 9:55 AM

In April, 2014, Ottawa Magazine ran a profile on Pat Stogran, (The Battle Cry of Pat Stogran) Canada’s first Veterans’ Ombudsman and the man who led Canada’s first troops into Afghanistan in 2002. A constant thorn in the side of the Harper government, we recently caught up with Stogran for his thoughts on some of the issues visited in that article, especially with regard to the care of veterans, and whether or not those issues have changed under Trudeau.


Pat Stogran. Photo: Luther Caverly

As Canada’s former Veterans’ Ombudsman, how do you think the current federal government is performing, in regards to its treatment of veterans.

I see a continuation of the same policies we had under the Harper government. Nothing has changed. The lifetime pension is the big one. Getting rid of that was a fundamental change in how we treat veterans. The liberals promised to revisit the issue and they haven’t. There are starting to be quite a few promises [that haven’t been fulfilled] by this government.

It seems almost certain that Canada will soon be sending troops on a peacekeeping mission in Africa. As the commanding officer of the first troops Canada deployed into Afghanistan, what are your thoughts on this potential mission?

I think it would be a mistake and I’ve said as much. We do not have the supports and resources to treat our veterans properly when they return home. We have turned our backs on the sacred trust that used to be the life-long pension for service to your country. Until we have better treatment for our veterans, I would be leery of any peacekeeping or combat mission.

It was a combat mission you led into Afghanistan, the first for Canada since the Korean War. Our next mission will be peacekeeping. What do you think of this return?

I think its politics by the Liberal government. It’s the image they want to convey, a peacekeeping, neutral sort of country. Problem is, peacekeeping is virtually impossible today. The bad guys are little more than criminals. No rules are respected. Any mission is going to be dangerous, and to be pretend otherwise is being dishonest.

When we profiled you for Ottawa Magazine in 2014, you said you were becoming an activist. How is that going?

Full speed ahead. My book is called Rude Awakening: The Government’s Secret War Against Canada’s Veterans and that’s what happened to me when I became Veterans’ Ombudsman. I had a rude awakening as to how government and power really works in this country. It was not pretty. I would be quite content to be a sort of Ralph Nader-type pain-in-their-asses for as long as I can.

Where will you be attending Remembrance Day ceremonies this year?

I used to go to the National Cenotaph every year, but I may not go this year. Remembrance Day has become quite personal for me. I feel it in my heart, but I don’t want to be part of any photo op or pageantry. Not until our veterans are treated with the respect they deserve.

http://ottawamagazine.com/people-and-places/nothing-has-changed-pat-stograns-battle-cry-for-veterans-care-continues-under-trudeau/
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Former vets ombudsman considers NDP leadership bid, criticizes 'elite' Liberals and Tories

Post by Trooper on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 06:36

Former vets ombudsman considers NDP leadership bid, criticizes 'elite' Liberals and Tories


Trudeau and Harper 'cut from same cloth,' says former vets ombudsman

By Murray Brewster, CBC News Posted: Mar 14, 2017 4:04 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 14, 2017 4:04 PM ET


Pat Stogran is not yet a member of the NDP. 'But I believe it's where I belong, because their heart is the right place,' he says.

Former veterans ombudsman Pat Stogran says he is considering a bid for the federal NDP leadership.

Until 2007, Stogran was a career soldier who led the first Canadian battle group into Kandahar during the Afghan war.

Stogran says he is worried about the direction of the country and what sort of environmental, social and security legacy will be left for his children and their children.

"I served, and I say we need a government with a vision," Stogran said. "I have been apolitical all of my life. I have never belonged to any party. And I have voted based on issues, not the colour of tie they wear."

At the moment, he isn't a member of the NDP.

It is a "huge handicap," Stogran said. "But I believe it's where I belong because their heart is the right place."

Stogran emphasized that he has not made up his mind about running for the leadership, but is being motivated by broken Liberal government promises, including those made to veterans.

Although the Liberals have poured billions of additional dollars into the benefits and treatment of ex-soldiers, they have yet to fulfil a campaign pledge to return to system of lifetime pensions as compensation for injuries.

1st veterans ombudsman

Handpicked to be the country's first veterans ombudsman by the former government of prime minister Stephen Harper, Stogran had many backroom battles with the bureaucracy over benefits and political indifference.

It culminated in 2010 when his term was not renewed and the disagreements with the Conservative government spilled out in the public. Stogran at the time described the attitude of Veterans Affairs as "penny pinching."

In making a bid for the NDP's top job, Stogran said he already brings a reputation of standing up for average people, who are often ignored.

He said he believes people are tired of politics as usual and they're fed up with "corporate elites" running the country through either the Conservatives or the Liberals.

"People have had a gut full of the initiatives of Harper, but [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau is cut from the same cloth," said Stogran. "Same garbage in a different bag."

4 candidates in NDP race

There are currently four candidates in the race to replace Tom Mulcair: Guy Caron, Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton and Peter Julian.


The four declared candidates for the NDP leadership so far, from left: Niki Ashton, Charlie Angus, Guy Caron and Peter Julian.

Each of them has long-established roots in the party, something Stogran does not.

The NDP's traditional fault lines — between being a progressive voice and mainstream electable — have re-emerged since Mulcair's ouster last year.

The party's soul-searching was on display at last weekend's leadership debate, as candidates struggled to explain the 2015 election loss.


Charlie Angus speaks during the first debate of the federal NDP leadership race while Niki Ashton and Peter Julian look on, in Ottawa on March 12.

"The left needs to retrench," said Stogran, who believes the party needs to be a rallying point for the disenfranchised.
"Government is about rule of law and human rights. Government is about helping us provide for families. You need pragmatic due diligence in government, but it's about taking care of people."

PTSD treatment

Stogran has been an outspoken advocate for better treatment of soldiers suffering with post-traumatic stress. In 2013, he told CBC News he was being treated for PTSD, which he attributed to the stress of his battles within government, as well as his overseas service.

The party's leadership race remains open to new candidates until July 3.

Ontario NDP deputy leader Jagmeet Singh is another person who is considering a bid for the leader's chair.

The results of the leadership contest will be announced in October.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stogran-ndp-leadership-1.4024617
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Re: “Nothing has changed” — Pat Stogran’s battle cry for veterans care continues under Trudeau

Post by sailor964 on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 07:06

Good for Mr. Stogran.
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CTV Power Play Interview with Pat Stogran on the NDP Leadership Race

Post by Trooper on Tue 21 Mar 2017, 15:30

NDP leadership candidate Pat Stogran discusses why he decided to become the fifth candidate in the race.


March 20, 2017

Click on the link below to view the video:

http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1082401
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Re: “Nothing has changed” — Pat Stogran’s battle cry for veterans care continues under Trudeau

Post by NAVRATILOVA on Tue 21 Mar 2017, 17:36

Might be something to consider

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Re: “Nothing has changed” — Pat Stogran’s battle cry for veterans care continues under Trudeau

Post by pinger on Tue 21 Mar 2017, 20:23

Quote  " Problem is, peacekeeping is virtually impossible today. The bad guys are little more than criminals. No rules are respected. Any mission is going to be dangerous, and to be pretend otherwise is being dishonest. "

Latvia won't be a cake walk either. Bad news in my opinion...
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Re: “Nothing has changed” — Pat Stogran’s battle cry for veterans care continues under Trudeau

Post by bruce72 on Tue 21 Mar 2017, 20:30

If Pat Strogan becomes the leader of the NDP, I will give him my vote in the next federal election without hesitation.

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Pat Stogran targets Trudeau for ‘smiling selfies and loquacious lies’

Post by Trooper on Thu 20 Apr 2017, 15:14

NDP leadership aspirant Pat Stogran targets Trudeau for ‘smiling selfies and loquacious lies’


In a fiery, populist speech to launch his campaign for the NDP leadership Thursday, the Afghanistan veteran and former veterans ombudsman slammed the political establishment.


Battle tested: Col. Pat Stogran, at Kandahar Airbase in Afghanistan, in 2002.

By ALEX BALLINGALL Ottawa Bureau Thu., April 20, 2017

OTTAWA— Billing himself as an everyman warrior who will fight for “us commoners” against the corporate-friendly political establishment, former veterans ombudsman Pat Stogran launched his campaign to lead the federal New Democratic Party on Thursday.

The retired colonel and Afghan war veteran railed against the Liberals and Conservatives, who he accused of governing in their own self-interest and leaving ordinary Canadians behind through unfair trade deals, corruption and the “fiasco” of trickle down economics.

He took dead aim at Justin Trudeau, claiming the prime minister hides behind “smiling selfies and loquacious lies.”

These include his broken promise to change the electoral system and a failure to adhere to a human rights tribunal ruling to devote more resources to the wellbeing of indigenous children.

“It’s just the same old garbage in a different-coloured bag,” Stogran said in fiery, energetic remarks in a hotel conference room, as he cracked jokes and strayed from the podium, pacing and gesticulating.

“Our system of government is morally and functionally bankrupt,” he said.

“I want to break the system.”

The Canadian Forces veteran served as a United Nations military observer in Bosnia during the outbreaks of ethnic violence in 1994. He also led a Canadian infantry unit that spearheaded operations in Afghanistan in 2002.

Stogran entered the public arena in 2007, when he was appointed Canada’s first-ever veterans ombudsman by then Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He accused the government of nickel-and-diming veterans, and his position was not renewed in 2010.

Although Stogran is registered to run for the NDP leadership with Elections Canada, he has yet to pay the $30,000-entry-fee and still needs to submit a list of the signatures of 500 members, party spokesperson Guillaume Francoeur confirmed.

Stogran’s communications director, Cameron Holmstrom, said they expect to raise the money and get the signatures in time to appear at the next candidates’ debate on May 27 in Sudbury.

At that point, Stogran will join NDP MPs Niki Ashton, Peter Julian, Charlie Angus and Guy Caron on the ballot to replace current leader Tom Mulcair.

In Thursday’s speech, Stogran said he wants to lead the NDP to bust the entrenched “monopoly rule” of the Liberal and Conservative parties, and to bring a new, compromise-oriented style of governance to Ottawa.

He said the social democratic party has never won power federally partly because members have been “reticent” to compromise on their principles.

Stogran’s NDP would pursue ideas such as an end to the use of fossil fuels, but this would be incremental, not rushed, he said. He isn’t against oil pipelines, for example, and he criticized carbon pricing and road tolls for having an outsized impact on people with lower incomes.

Scant on policy prescriptions, Stogran suggested he would push to eliminate parliamentary pensions for MPs and took a dig at Trudeau’s marijuana legislation for leaving “so many loose ends.”

He added that he hopes to “disrupt” a leadership race that has seen little open conflict between contenders.

“Their (the NDP’s) hearts are in the right place, but what they need is a pragmatic, long-term approach that works progressively towards these goals, instead of this piecemeal patchwork,” he said.

He said his pitch to members is that he can fight for the party’s principles while bringing in moderates from outside the NDP who are tired of the “Politics Incorporated” of the Liberals and Tories.

Stogran heaved a sigh at the end of his speech, as if exasperated, and asked: “Now I’m a politician, how do I look?”

Moments later, he posed for a selfie with a supporter from the audience, Trudeau-style.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/04/20/ndp-leadership-aspirant-pat-stogran-targets-trudeau-for-smiling-selfies-and-loquacious-lies.html
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Former veterans watchdog Pat Stogran could shake up NDP leadership race

Post by Trooper on Mon 24 Apr 2017, 05:46

Former veterans watchdog Pat Stogran could shake up NDP leadership race


GLORIA GALLOWAY Apr. 23, 2017

The collegial race to lead the federal NDP received an injection of drama this week with the announcement that former veterans ombudsman Pat Stogran is now a candidate.

The New Democrats need something to turn the eyes of Canadian voters their way as they languish below 20 per cent in public opinion polls. And Mr. Stogran, whose frenetic patterns of speech and apparent lack of interest in sticking to the NDP script, could stir the placid waters.

The contest to succeed Tom Mulcair is in a bit of a holding pattern as the party waits for the British Columbia election on May 9 and for the federal Conservatives to elect their leader on May 27. There is hope among New Democrats that, by the end of next month, their leadership fight will gain a national spotlight.


Other candidates are spending this time quietly touring the country and trying to lock up support at the local level. But Mr. Stogran is eager to get into the fray.

“Did you see the two debates?” he asked at a news conference last week to announce his candidacy. “This is one of the reasons why I actually made the plunge. I actually reached out to the party and said how can I interrupt things?”

The debates that were held in Ottawa and Montreal saw the four main contenders – MPs Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton, Guy Caron and Peter Julian – chat congenially about social-democratic values and offer many words of agreement about each other’s policies and positions. There were no hard hits like those dished out at similar Conservative events.

Mr. Stogran is unlikely to adhere to that pattern. When asked why he chose to run for the NDP leadership before trying to win a seat as an MP, he said most politicians are “first followers” – supporters whose job is to make a leader’s ideas credible.

“I don’t want to be a first follower,” Mr. Stogran said. “I’ve got to be in charge because I want to break the system. I want to set the conditions for success of the NDP so that there are no longer two parties [the Liberals and the Conservatives] controlling the agenda.”

Karl Belanger, the former interim national director of the party and the former principal secretary to Mr. Mulcair, said he expects Mr. Stogran to shake things up.

“His approach is counter to type for an NDP candidate at this stage,” Mr. Belanger said. “He has a no-nonsense approach, he comes from a military background, he’s been known to speak his mind and he will not hold back. That’s not his style. So that might force some of the other candidates to take a clearer stand on some of the issues.”

The four MPs who are in the race have mixed views about whether the gloves will come off before October.

Mr. Angus has been consulting with Canadians across the country and says his campaign will focus on the “growing economic divide.” The first debates were about establishing the ground work, he said. Going forward, “there’s going to be a lot more testing of ideas.”

Mr. Julian says he has differentiated himself from the others by taking a hard line against the Kinder Morgan and Energy East pipelines. “I know the other candidates, I know how effective they have been. So I think there is an enormous mutual respect that is there, but there are clear issues that are different.”

Ms. Ashton says she has been the only candidate to say the NDP must stay well to the left of the Liberals in the coming election. “I think there is a real sense that the NDP needs to find its way,” she said. But “if people are expecting the same kind of dynamics as the Conservative race, I don’t think they will find it here.”

Mr. Caron, who says he has distinguished himself from the others by proposing a basic minimum income for all Canadians, does believe the discussion will get more heated. “I expect the next debates will be more robust, indeed more rough,” Mr. Caron said. But “we are all in this together. We know what it means to be NDP, to be a social democrat and that is why there is so much agreement.”

There is a fifth candidate in the race named Ibrahim Bruno El-Khoury, a Montreal resident who is relatively unknown in NDP circles and who says he wants to make life better for Canadians. Mr. El-Khoury’s entry is unlikely to affect the established tone.

Mr. Strogran’s might.

And there is still time for other leadership hopefuls to declare their intentions.

New Democrats pushed for a long campaign to encourage outsiders to jump in, said Mr. Belanger. “There is one now. He is a serious candidate. So it will be interesting to see how all these people react now that their wish has been granted.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/former-veterans-watchdog-pat-stogran-could-shake-up-ndp-leadership-race/article34793762/

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