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Canadian Forces welcomes transgender troops after Trump's ban

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Defence chief hopes to show solidarity, spark recruitment with Pride march

Post by Guest on Fri 25 Aug 2017, 17:37

Defence chief hopes to show solidarity, spark recruitment with Pride march

LEE BERTHIAUME, THE CANADIAN PRESS Aug 24, 2017



Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance is shown in his office in Ottawa on Thursday, June 8, 2017. Vance wants to send a message of solidarity - and spark a rush for the military's recruiting centres by becoming the first chief of defence staff to march in a pride parade this weekend.


OTTAWA — Gen. Jonathan Vance wants to send a message of solidarity — and spark a rush for the military's recruiting centres — this weekend by becoming the first chief of defence staff to march in a Pride parade.

Canada's top general will lead a contingent that includes many of the military's most senior leadership through the streets of Ottawa during the city's annual Capital Pride Parade on Sunday.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Vance said he wants to show members of the LGBTQ community already serving in the uniform that he and the rest of the top brass support them.

But the defence chief is also hoping his participation will spur other members of the community to think about a possible career in the Armed Forces by demonstrating its openness to all.

"We want to recruit people from as diverse a segment of society as we can," he said. "And that includes those LGBTQ folks that would be interested in the Canadian Armed Forces."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also scheduled to march in the Ottawa parade, but Vance insisted he was marching to strengthen the military and not because of any political agenda.

"It's not a political act, it's a leadership act. I'm not doing this to ride any coattails," Vance said.

"I'm doing this to speak to the Armed Forces. I want them to know their chief of defence staff supports them, that broad LGBTQ community, and those of you who are out there thinking about joining."

The Canadian military's history when it comes to LGBTQ issues is checkered, starting with the forced resignation of some service members because of their sexual orientation in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s.

Things began to change in 1992, when a high-profile case forced the military to lift its ban on members of the LGBT community serving in uniform.

But it has been only recently that the Forces forces under Vance have made a concerted effort to reach out to the community — a move that coincides with the military's need for thousands of recruits.

It has also been working to entice more women, visible minorities and Indigenous people to join.

"We have an Armed Forces that has the operational need to be able to choose its recruits from the widest possible segment of Canadian society," he said.

"And any segment that's left out, whether you're a new Canadian, LGBTQ, Indigenous, if they are left out in any way, then it is a loss to us."

Vance recently issued a directive encouraging military personnel to attend Pride events in uniform, but he said "it's about time" that he started leading by example.

"This is one act, one effort on my part, to speak with action," he said. "Actions speak louder than words to Canadians about the sincerity of our position that the Armed Forces are on the move."

U.S. President Donald Trump touched off a storm of dismay and anger last month when he announced on Twitter that he would reinstate a ban on transgender personnel in the American military.

Trump said one of his reasons for the ban was the "disruption that transgender in the military would entail."

While Vance did not want to talk about Trump's comments, he did say that accepting transgender personnel had no negative impact on the Canadian military's ability to do its job.

"Those people are valuable and they've got a job to do and we're helping them do their job," he said.

"And I have never seen where the necessary adjustments to infrastructure or what have you have had an impact on operational capability."

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/defence+chief+march+ottawa+pride+parade/14343156/story.html


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Defence chief hopes to show solidarity, spark recruitment with Pride march

Post by Guest on Fri 25 Aug 2017, 17:25

Defence chief hopes to show solidarity, spark recruitment with Pride march


LEE BERTHIAUME, THE CANADIAN PRESS Aug 24, 2017


http://www.ottawacitizen.com/g00/2_d3d3Lm90dGF3YWNpdGl6ZW4uY29t_/TU9SRVBIRVVTMjMkaHR0cDovL3d3dy5vdHRhd2FjaXRpemVuLmNvbS9saWZlL2Ntcy9iaW5hcnkvMTQzNDQyNzEuanBnP3NpemU9c3c2MjB4NjUmaTEwYy5tYXJrLmltYWdlLnR5cGU%3D_$/$/$/$/$
Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance is shown in his office in Ottawa on Thursday, June 8, 2017. Vance wants to send a message of solidarity - and spark a rush for the military's recruiting centres - by becoming the first chief of defence staff to march in a pride parade this weekend. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA — Gen. Jonathan Vance wants to send a message of solidarity — and spark a rush for the military's recruiting centres — this weekend by becoming the first chief of defence staff to march in a Pride parade.

Canada's top general will lead a contingent that includes many of the military's most senior leadership through the streets of Ottawa during the city's annual Capital Pride Parade on Sunday.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Vance said he wants to show members of the LGBTQ community already serving in the uniform that he and the rest of the top brass support them.

But the defence chief is also hoping his participation will spur other members of the community to think about a possible career in the Armed Forces by demonstrating its openness to all.

"We want to recruit people from as diverse a segment of society as we can," he said. "And that includes those LGBTQ folks that would be interested in the Canadian Armed Forces."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also scheduled to march in the Ottawa parade, but Vance insisted he was marching to strengthen the military and not because of any political agenda.

"It's not a political act, it's a leadership act. I'm not doing this to ride any coattails," Vance said.

"I'm doing this to speak to the Armed Forces. I want them to know their chief of defence staff supports them, that broad LGBTQ community, and those of you who are out there thinking about joining."

The Canadian military's history when it comes to LGBTQ issues is checkered, starting with the forced resignation of some service members because of their sexual orientation in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s.

Things began to change in 1992, when a high-profile case forced the military to lift its ban on members of the LGBT community serving in uniform.

But it has been only recently that the Forces forces under Vance have made a concerted effort to reach out to the community — a move that coincides with the military's need for thousands of recruits.

It has also been working to entice more women, visible minorities and Indigenous people to join.

"We have an Armed Forces that has the operational need to be able to choose its recruits from the widest possible segment of Canadian society," he said.

"And any segment that's left out, whether you're a new Canadian, LGBTQ, Indigenous, if they are left out in any way, then it is a loss to us."

Vance recently issued a directive encouraging military personnel to attend Pride events in uniform, but he said "it's about time" that he started leading by example.

"This is one act, one effort on my part, to speak with action," he said. "Actions speak louder than words to Canadians about the sincerity of our position that the Armed Forces are on the move."

U.S. President Donald Trump touched off a storm of dismay and anger last month when he announced on Twitter that he would reinstate a ban on transgender personnel in the American military.

Trump said one of his reasons for the ban was the "disruption that transgender in the military would entail."

While Vance did not want to talk about Trump's comments, he did say that accepting transgender personnel had no negative impact on the Canadian military's ability to do its job.

"Those people are valuable and they've got a job to do and we're helping them do their job," he said.

"And I have never seen where the necessary adjustments to infrastructure or what have you have had an impact on operational capability."

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/defence+chief+march+ottawa+pride+parade/14343156/story.html

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Canada's top soldier issues directive encouraging Pride participation

Post by Guest on Wed 02 Aug 2017, 17:52

Canada's top soldier issues directive encouraging Pride participation


MORGAN LOWRIE, THE CANADIAN PRESS 08.02.2017


Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance speaks to the media at Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ont., on Wednesday March 29, 2017. Canada's top soldier has issued a directive encouraging military personnel to attend Pride events in uniform. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

MONTREAL — Uniformed Canadian military personnel who march in Montreal's Pride parade for the first time later this month will do so with the blessing of Canada's top soldier, according to a recent directive from the Department of National Defence.

"In an effort to promote diversity and inclusion, the (Chief of the Defence Staff) encourages all members of the CAF to attend and participate in Pride events in uniform," said the directive, which was written in June by Gen. Jonathan Vance.

Lt.-Col. Sarah Heer, the Canadian Forces director for diversity and human rights, says the directive means soldiers no longer have to ask for permission to wear their uniforms at Pride events.

"This (directive) authorizes all members of the Canadian Armed Forces, both regular and reserve force, who want to attend and participate in Pride events to be authorized to do so in uniform," she said in a phone interview Wednesday.

The order specifies the uniform can't be altered in any way.

The vice-president of Montreal Pride welcomed the news and said a group of army members from Quebec will march in the city's parade for the first time this year.

"As LGBTQ, no matter where we work or what we do, we want to be accepted," Jean-Sebastien Boudreault said in a phone interview.

"So when a government body as strict as the army makes a step forward, it's always a positive news for the LGBTQ community."

He says that while military personnel have been present at some Pride functions before, he believes it's the first time they'll march in the parade as a group.

Recently, some groups have taken issue with the inclusion of uniformed police officers in Pride events, saying their presence makes some members of the LGBTQ community feel unsafe.

As a result, police in both Toronto and Ottawa were asked not to wear their uniforms to their cities' Pride parades this year.

Boudreault says he doesn't anticipate a similar controversy when it comes to military troops.

"The army doesn't have regular contact in the city streets with Canadian citizens, so there's not the same fear as there is with police corps," he said, adding the soldiers will not be armed and won't be travelling in military vehicles.

He said about 10 members of the army have so far signed up to participate in the Aug. 20 event.

Vance's directive came on the heels of a similar order issued earlier in the summer by Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, head of the Canadian Navy.

The order is part of a wider strategy to increase diversity and inclusion in the Canadian Forces and address a long-standing reputation for intolerance and misogyny.

Heer said part of the diversity strategy involves rethinking the military's policies regarding sexual orientation.

"The viewpoint has always been that it doesn't affect our operational effectiveness, so it's not something we discuss," she said.

"But with the diversity strategy we're realizing that maybe we need to change that narrative."

The strategy is aiming to provide a more inclusive workplace for all groups, including women, visible minorities, Indigenous groups and people with disabilities.

To continue those efforts, the Forces plans to name a senior leader as a diversity and inclusion "champion," create a peer support initiative to encourage people to express their concerns, and provide local base commanders with a tool kit containing resources and options to foster inclusion.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/soldier+issues+directive+pride/14018578/story.html

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Transgender diversity weakens Canadian military

Post by Guest on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 07:02

Transgender diversity weakens Canadian military


By Brent Stafford, The Duel
Sunday, July 30, 2017 1:36:56 PDT PM



Canadian military personnel in Winnipeg. (Kevin King/Postmedia Network/Files)

This week's question: Should transgender people be allowed to serve in the Canadian military?


On Friday former premier Christy Clark resigned as leader of the B.C. Liberal Party and Kelowna MLA. Her downfall at the polls and subsequent departure from politics is largely a result of her abandoning long articulated principles.

Many on the Left relished demonizing her and would never have voted for her. Yet, over the course of the 18 months preceding the May election Clark began pandering to the Left.

Just before Vancouver’s annual Pride Parade in 2016 Clark suddenly abandoned the government’s principled position, which refused to provide special protections to transgender people in the B.C. Human Rights Code. The decision left many on the right wondering if Clark had ever been the principled leader she had so often touted. We learned the complete answer during the post-election throne speech — Christy Clark has no principles.

It seems, neither does the Canadian military unless one considers 'virtue signaling' a principle, which it is not.

Almost instantly following President Trump’s courageous and principled decision to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military, the Canadian Armed Forces tweeted from its official account: "We welcome Cdns of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Join us!" accompanied by a photo of flute playing forces and the hashtag #DiversityIsOurStrength.

This tweet demonstrates the perilous impact of allowing social justice ideology to infect the Canadian military. How does diversity defeat radical Islam? It doesn’t. It empowers radical Islam and weakens resolve here at home.

Don’t take my word for it. Camille Paglia, the fiery feminist, university professor, renowned author and fearless advocate of gender equality said in a 2014 interview with the Feminist Times “transgenderism has taken off like a freight train ... there has been a collapse of perspective here that will surely have mixed consequences for our art and culture and that may perhaps undermine the ability of Western societies to understand or react to the vehemently contrary beliefs of others who do not wish us well.” This is an ominous prediction, yet it partially explains why the West seems unable to mount any defence against those seeking to destroy our society.

I do concede Garth’s point that gender fluidity is not a new phenomenon. However, as Paglia warns “transgender phenomena multiply and spread in 'late' phases of culture, as religious, political, and family traditions weaken and civilizations begin to decline.”

Canada must resist the pressure to transition our battle-ready forces into social justice warriors.

Brent Stafford is a veteran television producer and marketing specialist. His company ShakyEgg.com works in the brand, entertainment and resource space.


http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2017/07/30/transgender-diversity-weakens-canadian-military

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Canadian Forces welcomes transgender troops after Trump's ban

Post by Guest on Thu 27 Jul 2017, 06:49

Canadian Forces welcomes transgender troops after Trump's ban



The Canadian Forces posted this image to Twitter on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 in a show of support for transgender members of the military. The post comes after U.S. President Donald Trump announced a sweeping ban on transgender members of the American military.

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, July 26, 2017 5:46PM EDT


OTTAWA -- The Canadian Forces says it is pressing ahead with improvements to its transgender policy, even as U.S. President Donald Trump looks to bar transgender people from military service south of the border.

Trump surprised many Wednesday when he announced on Twitter that he was reinstating a ban on transgender people serving in uniform, after the previous Obama administration lifted the ban last year.

"Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory," he wrote, "and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."

The announcement sparked concern for the hundreds of trans members already serving in the U.S. military, and accusations that the president was exaggerating the challenges of accommodation.

It also cast a light on the Canadian Forces, which lifted its own ban on transgender people and LGBT members following a court case in 1992 -- a fact the Forces highlighted on its own Twitter account Wednesday.

"We welcome (Canadians) of all sexual orientations and gender identities," the military wrote under a picture of three sailors playing instruments at a recent Pride parade. "Join us!"

National Defence spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier said work continues on an update to the Canadian military's transgender policy, which first came into effect in 2012.

While many of the changes are expected to be technical in nature, it is also expected to give commanding officers and units more guidance when it comes to such basics as bathrooms and showering.

The update, which started last year, is expected to be complete in the fall.

There are no official figures for how many transgender people are in the Forces, but estimates put the number at about 200.
Le Bouthillier also said the military has paid for 19 sex-reassignment operations between 2008 and October 2015, at a total cost of around $309,000. That works out to about $16,200 per operation.

While the costs do not include any hormone therapy, Alan Okros, an expert on diversity in the military at the Canadian Forces College, said many service members receive such treatment for various conditions -- not just sex reassignment.

By comparison, Veterans Affairs Canada spent nearly $20 million on medical marijuana last year.

Okros also said he was unaware of any negative impacts that allowing transgender people to serve in uniform has caused on operations or the military's overall ability to do its job.

Canada is one of 18 countries that currently allow transgender military personnel, which includes Israel, Australia, Britain, Germany and France.

"The disruption factor is not a major issue for these countries at all," Okros said. "So some of (Trump's) objections are based on concerns or exaggerations that aren't borne out."

Randall Garrison, who serves as both the NDP

's defence critic and its LGBTQ critic, called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to denounce Trump's "despicable" comments.
"Service to one's country is of the highest honour. Transgender people who are currently in the military and those who wish to serve are, in many ways, the bravest of the brave," Garrison said in a statement.

"Prime Minister Trudeau must denounce this policy immediately in order to demonstrate that Canada not only respects human rights but that we will stand up against discrimination."

The Liberal government sidestepped questions about Trump, however, as Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan's office noted transgender military personnel have been allowed to serve openly for 25 years.

"Our position on their valuable service in the Canadian military has not changed," spokeswoman Jordan Owens said in a statement.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/canadian-forces-welcomes-transgender-troops-after-trump-s-ban-1.3520379

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