Birth of the Canadian Veterans Advocacy — See how you can join.


Today, Canadian veteran Mike Blais presents the mission statement for the Canadian Veterans Advocacy and explains how and why he founded this organization. BONNIE

Canadian Veterans Advocacy Mission Statement Update

Mike Blais Rcr Cfds January 14 at 11:04pm 
Canadian Veterans Advocacy
Founder Michael L Blais CD
Commissioned December 6, 2010

 

Canadian Veterans Advocacy Mission Statement

To advocate for Canada’s sons and daughters as they serve in Harm’s Way.
To advocate for the abolishment of the lump sum award and restoration of a lifetime pension.
To advocate for an end to the widows tax.
To advocate for a comprehensive, family inclusive, PTSD program.
To advocate on behalf of all Agent Orange victims, CFB Gagetown.
To advocate on behalf of all veterans exposed to chemical agents at CFB Suffield.
To advocate for RCMP and police officer veterans who served beside our troops abroad.
To advocate for the crew affected by the fire on HMCS Kootenay.
To advocate for an end of the system clock back on 6,500 veterans VAC pensions.
To advocate for an end to the reduction of service/CPP disability pensions at age 65.
To advocate for substantive change and improvement to the New Veterans Charter.
To advocate for veterans and their wives in nursing homes to be united, not separated.

There are many other smaller issues that the Advocacy is willing to address on veterans behalf.

Do you have a veterans related problem that you feel needs to be addressed?
Do you have a suggestion that might improve efficiency at VAC?
Do you live in Ontario, where the Advocacy has formed a relationship with the Ontario Trial Lawyers to provide free representation?

Please, the Canadian Veterans Advocacy is very active on the veterans file and is committed to attaining our primary mission – TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF OUR VETERANS!

Canadian Veterans Advocacy History

My name is Michael L Blais CD. I am a veteran of the Canadian Forces, joining in 1977 and serving a majority of my military career with the 1st and 3rd battalions, The Royal Canadian Regiment. After sustaining a lower back injury while on UN Peacekeeping operations in Cyprus, 1984, I was air evacuated to NDMC and after surgery, medically reassigned to the Canadian Forces Dental Services. A medical release would follow in 1993 after a second lower back operation in Germany while completing my second NATO tour at CFB Baden Soellingen.

On August 17, 2010, I would become a reluctant veterans’ advocate after viewing the extraordinary press conference of former PPCLI Colonel Patrick Stogran, Canada’s first veterans ombudsman. I believe that it is my duty as a veteran to stand up for those to who I have passed the torch and when I was apprised of the hardships they were enduring, I felt I had no alternative but to act. Many military, RCMP and police veterans share these loyal convictions and rallied to the Advocate’s call to unite and participate in the Canadian Veterans National Day of Protest, a successful national event that occurred at 11 AM local, 6 November, 2010. 

Across the nation, thousands of veterans representing small and large communities gathered at their federal parliamentarian’s riding office to respectively demand that they Stand Up for Canada’s Sons and Daughters by restoring the lifetime obligation, the Sacred Trust between soldiers and nation the government abandoned in 2006 through the enactment of the New Veterans Charter. Amongst other issues!

The Canadian Veterans Advocacy was born of this successful mission, a veterans association guided by the One Veteran, One Standard motto and Canadian veterans’ patriotic zeal to defend Canada’s military heritage and Canadians currently on guard in the Canadian Forces. 

Our duty, ladies and gentlemen, does not end when we turn in our uniforms. Our duty, my brother and sister in arms, is and always will be to Canada’s children, Our Children, many who have followed in our footsteps, honourably taken their places in our regiments, squadrons, the ships of the navy and the Coast Guard, the RCMP/police officers who deploy abroad and the veterans who have been injured and wounded on behalf of Canada.

Are you a retired member of the Canadian Forces, an RCMP or police officer who has attained veterans status? Did you feel the patriots call when reading this brief as have hundreds of others? Do you believe that your voice and support can contribute to the advocacy’s objectives? 

We need your help. Only through uniting and waging our campaign on a variety of levels will veterans prevail. If so, Step Up! Join the Canadians Veterans Advocacy. Add your voice to ours as we exercise our democratic rights in defence of our wounded warriors, the same democratic rights we have defended with blood, toil and sacrifice.

Next year’s Canadian Veterans National Day of Protest is scheduled for November 5th, 2011, 11 am as the hour strikes in your community. Here is a link fo CTV’s national coverage for last year’s event.  

We are not radicals or hooligans. We are proud veterans fulfilling our duty and, with all due respect, insisting Parliament’s life-time obligation to the nation’s disabled veterans, a responsibility abandoned by the New Veterans Charter and still, regardless of Minister’s Blackburn’s recent time restrictive and reactive proposals, still adrift.

Membership fees are based on the need to provide a war chest for next year’s operations, to finance ongoing Advocacy operations, particularly expenses incurred through travel, and to build a dedicated web site. Many veterans, myself included, incurred substantial expenses last November and we have been very active since. For example, we brought a carload of CAV advocates to Toronto on December 5th where I participated with an extraordinary press conference arranged by the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association. These patriotic barristers have volunteered to provide pro-bono representation to veterans who have been denied or experienced adversarial consequences during the VAC claim process. We have been working diligently to expand this program nationwide. I also travelled to London and will be going to Toronto to meet with Ms Duncan, VA critic, Liberal party by the end of the month.

There is also a very important meeting with VAC senior bureaucrats from Charlottetown in Hamilton tentatively scheduled for the 3rd of February. At this time, the Advocacy’s service department volunteers will be briefed on how to better serve the Advocacy’s veterans should they require assistance filling out their VAC claims. There will also be informal and preliminary discussions on a variety of issues wherein we can, for the veterans improvement in quality of care, work together.

Should Minister Blackburn’s legislation actually move forward, I have plans to travel to Ottawa and at the invitation of MP Peter Stoffer, address these issues before parliamentary committee. There will also be a lobbying campaign initiated and a national press conference.

Membership fees have, purposefully, been kept low. I believe that if we all chip in twenty bucks into the Advocacy war chest and commit to rally to the call locally when required, there will be sufficient funds to cover the expenses and we can maintain/increase our momentum to attain our objectives. Several patriots have sent more as a donation and I will express our gratitude via a special page of commendation once the web site is up and running. Be advised that I am committed to fulfilling my duty and that I receive NO WAGES to pursue the advocacy’s goals, only expenses based on reality, not inflated mileage rates or meal tickets. All funds go to operations and logistics; wages, when necessary, will be limited to the cost of a business manager and accountant. I promise you, there will be transparency.

Be advised that the Canadian Veterans Advocacy will operate on several levels and has not been created simply to protest. This summer the CVA is planning a nation-wide Support The Troops rally tentatively on July 9th, 2011, in order to celebrate the end of the combat mission, honour those who have fought in Afghanistan war at a local level and raise funds for the creation of a new homeless centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. More to follow but I am currently involved in discussion with my local MPP etc etc wherein Niagara Falls would be the base for a National Veterans Rendezvous to coincide with the national event. I hope to organize a BIG concert down by the falls at night, a magnificent fireworks show and fall illuminations programs inclusive of the regimental-unit colours of Canada. The weekend event will be family friendly and include discounts on accommodations and attractions such as a Support the Troops rally / BBQ in the afternoon and a concert Saturday evening down by the falls.

Mark it on your calendar. Think about what YOU, the veterans of YOUR community, can do to support this effort by hosting a rally in YOUR town or city.

Michael L Blais CD
Founder/President, Canadian Veterans Advocacy.

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3 Responses to Birth of the Canadian Veterans Advocacy — See how you can join.

  1. To whom it may concern,

    Having had to ‘battle’ with the VRAB for more than 15 years and having lost my home, my family, all of my possessions and more than half of my meagre RRSP savings, I seek your assistance in obtaining professional legal assistance/direction/representation prior to the 30-day deadline (ends April 14, 2011) so that I might obtain something resembling the service of justice from Canadian law courts.
    Thank you very much.
    Brian Bradley
    Ph.: (403) 455 – 9353
    homepage: https://sites.google.com/site/bcbrad3evennow/how-much-do-we-really-pay/continuing-payments?pli=1

    P.S. How much would you be willing to bet that this veteran, after waiting for more than 15 years to obtain a disability pension from the Government of Canada, will have to wait for at least another 4 or more months until the (appropriate/perfunctory?) government is elected?

    P.P.S. Although my exposure to pharmaceutical research was very brief (Scotland 1974-76; Denmark 1976-77 & Montreal 1978-1980), I am at least somewhat aware of both the pathological changes which are occurring with my CNS as a result of the injuries I incurred onboard the H.M.C.S. Qu’Appelle in 1990, and the increasing difficulty of treating these same injuries adequately with the increased delay in time of addressing same. Thank you.

    Note the following highlights of the Hon. Mr. Justice judgement may be of some assistance to other vets (Note: “……” indicates more in the same paragraph/area):
    Certified Copy of Reasons for Judgement and Judgement
    of the Honourable Mr. Justice Phelan filed on March 15, 201:
    [1] This Applicant, a self-represented former member of the Armed Forces, has been locked in litigation over his disability claim for a slip in the shower of HMCS Qu’Appelle for several years and to this Court since 1999 (see Bradley v. Canada (Attorney General), [1999] F.C.J. No. 144). ………
    ……….
    [8] The Applicant appealed to the Appeal Board, however, on August 5, 2008, the Appeal Board affirmed the negative decision. It is this decision which is the subject of this judicial review.
    [9] Despite the new evidence in the form of two medical opinions linking the fall in the shower to mechanical lower back injury, the Appeal Board rejected the causal relationship. While acknowledging the legisltative presumption favouring an applicant (including presumably s. 39 of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board Act, S.C. 1995, c. 18 (Act), the Board simply found itself not satisified that there was a linkage to the 1990 injury.
    [10] There was no evidence contrary to the Applicant’s own testimony or to the medical evidence submitted.
    ………
    [18] The Supreme Court of Canada has held that the words “arising out of” are to be interpreted broadly in circumstances akin to those of the case at bar. ……
    [19] The Applicant is back in the same circumstances as in Justice MacKay’s decision in Bradley v. Canada (Attorney General) 2001 FCT 793, in that the Board took the same narrow approach to causality and committed the same legal errors. …….
    [20] In assessing the reasonableness of the Appeal Board’s decision, the Court must consider not only the decision’s constituent parts but also its overall approach. For the reasons outlined below, the Court finds that the Appeal Board took an approach to the case which was inconsistent with s. 3 of the Act and approached the claim in a bureaucratic, narrow and parsimonious manner…….
    …….
    [22] In this instance, showering is an everyday event but it is also a matter of hygiene (critical in confined spaces of a ship) as well as a matter of discipline. The parallel with civilian iife is not entirely satisfactory.
    ……..
    [24] In considering the degree of control by superiors, the Appeal Board imports the requirement to be performing a “military duty”. That test conflates virtually all the other factors and raises the same problem of failing to consider whether the injury arose from military service (not a specific military duty).
    …….
    [27] The Appeal Board’s conclusions, so central to its overall analysis, are purely speculative. They are also inconsistent with s. 39, in particular paragraphs (a) and (c).
    ……..
    [31[ The Appeal Board, in general, focused on whether the Applicant was performing a specific military function or duty at the specific moment of the injury, rather than whether the Applicant’s injury arose from his being in military service. ……
    [32] Therefore, the Court concludes that the Appeal Board’s decision on this aspect was unreasonable.
    [33] On the question of the medical evidence of causation, the decision is also unreasonable. There is no contrary evidence yet the new medical evidence was dismissed out of hand.
    ……
    [36] For these reasons, this judicial review will be granted and the Appeal Board’s decision quashed.
    …….
    JUDGEMENT
    THIS COURT’S JUDGEMENT is that the application for judicial review is granted and the Appeal Board’s decision is quashed.
    “Michael L. Phelan”
    Judge

  2. I have recently (this year) received a decision of the Trial Division of the Fed. Ct. which “quashed” the previous decisions of the VRAB and granted me judicial review.

    While I also recently received notification that our lease would not be renewed, we are currently scrambling to find alternate accommodations for our family.

    Will try and keep you posted of changes on the legal front to make it easier for everyone who is a part of this November Sierra Delta club.

    Brian Bradley
    #801- 939 Bracewood Dr. S.W. / soon to hopefully be #33 – 9520 Bonaventure Dr., S.E., Calgary, AB T2J 0E5
    Calgary, AB T2W 3M4
    Phone: (403) 455 – 9353

    ‘We are all one’, lest we forget how much we really pay

    https://sites.google.com/site/bcbrad3evennow/how-much-do-we-really-pay;
    http://sites.google.com/site/bcbrad3evennow/lethal-environmental-threats

  3. Brian Bradley says:

    Searching for comments on the following:

    WITHOUT PREJUDICE
    December 30, 2013

    Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Bantrel Tower
    7th Floor – 700 6th Avenue Southwest
    Calgary, Alberta
    email:

    Re: Existing corruption & dishonesty

    Attn.: Hon. Mr. Julian Fantino

    Having failed to receive a responsible reply from the offices of Minister (Min.) of Veterans Affairs (VA) in respect to the recommendation of the very Hon. Mr. Justice W.D. Nichol of the Canadian Justice Review Board ( refer to attached letter) over the past 2 years, it is, in my opinion, only reasonable to attribute this lack of responsible action, by the Min. of VA as nothing less than a self-consideration of being over and above the same laws that successive Canadian governments have imposed upon Canadian citizens and veterans when failing to act responsibly and/or replying honestly to claims of other veterans of the Canadian Forces (CF) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) over the past 146+ years.

    While the greater burden of both fact and evidence is in direct support of this veteran’s claims, the “Veterans Canada” office continues to act above and beyond the same laws that you force upon all other Canadian citizens and veterans alike. Such complete disregard for the recommendation of the highly noted and respected member of the Canadian Justice Review Board (i.e., “Minister, we ask that you personally investigate this matter and rectify the situation”; ref. attached letter) represents, in my humble opinion, as being nothing less than a complete lack of law and order with your alleged management of this country.

    I urge you to address this matter forthwith (i.e., within 30 days of the date of this letter), since time is of the essence for both all veterans and myself.

    Yours truly,

    Brian C. Bradley
    #33 – 9520 Bonaventure Dr. S.E.
    Calgary, AB T2J 0E5
    Phone: (403) 455 – 9353
    email: bcbradl5y@inbox.com

    ccc.: very Hon. Mr. W.D. Nichol, CEO, Canadian Justice Review Board
    local MP: Min. of Citizenship, Immigration & Multiculturalism; Fax: (403) 225-3504

    bcc: FDA

    encl. Nichol/Blaney letter, Feb./Mar. 2012 (3 pages as attached)

    DRAFT/SENT Feb./Mar. 2012

    The Honourable Steven Blaney
    Minister of Veterans Affairs
    House of Commons
    Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

    Veterans Affairs Canada
    14th Floor
    66 Slater Street
    Ottawa, ON K1A 0P4

    Dear Minister;

    The Canadian Justice Review Board has received a complaint from Brian C. Bradley of Calgary Alberta.

    We can find no better words to describe Mr. Bradley’s situation than quoting his honour Mr. Justice J.E. Hershfield of the Federal Court of Canada.

    “[3] The battle with the [Veterans Review and Appeal Board ] VRA Board has, according to the Appellant’s testimony, been going on for more than a decade which included four judicial reviews of the Board’s refusal to recognize a disability pension entitlement. In all review cases, I am told that the Federal Court Trial Division sent the matter back to the Board for reconsideration.

    [4] One certainly has the impression listening to the Appellant that he has not
    been properly dealt with by the VRA Board and that his fight to establish his
    disability pension rights has resulted in his losing his home and become
    economically ruined.

    [5] His submissions reflect a genuine plea for justice which he feels can only be
    achieved by someone rectifying the treatment he has had to endure. He wants the
    Federal government departments that he holds responsible for the burdens he has
    suffered made accountable. He seeks compensation and includes in his plea for it,
    just and fair treatment from the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) taxation.

    /2..

    -2-

    [6] This leads me to direct myself to the taxation issues that have drawn the
    CRA into the Appellant’s line of vision as one the government agencies
    responsible for his financial regression, as he puts it.

    [7] In 2005, the Appellant launched his fourth action for judicial review of the
    VRA Board’s refusal to award him a disability pension. He retained the services of
    a prominent law firm. He paid a retainer and was quoted substantial fees, namely,
    fees in excess of $40,000. His only source of funds was a modest RRSP (currently
    valued at some $16,000 which includes a contribution that is at issue in this
    appeal).

    [8] To fund the litigation he withdrew $44,000 from his RRSP. That was in
    2005. However, his legal fees that year only came to $21,095. Realizing the
    withdrawal was excessive, he returned $24,000 to his plan and claimed $23,000 on
    his 2005 tax return as a deduction in calculating his net income for the year on the
    basis that it was an innocent mistake to have taken it out. In effect, he sought to
    treat the excess withdrawal as a non-event. I will note here, as well, that he claimed
    the legal fees of $21,095 as a deductible expense on the advice, apparently, of his
    legal advisor.

    The reassessment being appealed denied both deductions.

    [10] Given that the most recent Federal Court review of the VRA Board’s refusal
    to award the Appellant a disability pension has resulted in the matter being referred
    back once again to the Board and given his hope of finally having his entitlement
    to a disability pension confirmed, one might think that the Appellant will finally be
    allowed to deduct his legal fees. However, that is not the case, at least not in
    respect of the 2005 taxation year. The Appellant has repeatedly acknowledged that
    he never received one cent of income from the pension source in respect of which
    he incurred the legal expenses at issue. The relevant provision of the Income Tax
    Act (the “Act”) allows that deduction only against the source of income in respect
    of which the legal expense at issue is incurred. This leaves the Appellant in the
    unfortunate circumstance that his legal expense deduction cannot be taken, at least
    not yet.”

    Minister, it appears to the Canadian Justice Review Board that on four separate occasions the Federal Court of Canada has found a lack of fairness and due process on the part of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board in this matter; a deficiency so serious that the Court saw fit to quash each VRA Board decision. Mr. Bradley appears to have a legal opinion from his federally funded Bureau of Pensioners’ Advocate (BPA) confirming that his claim has merit. This arguably constituting reasonable grounds for him to have believed that, considering the Federal Court judgments against the VRA Board, a pension or compensation would be forthcoming (from which he could then have properly deducted his expenses for tax purposes).
    /3..

    -3-

    As you can see from Mr. Justice Hershfield’s remarks, Mr. Bradley’s financial resources have been no match for the deep pockets of the federally funded VRA Board. This tends to foster the public impression that the government favours a system of “justice” where the party with the most money wins (regardless of law). It also creates the impression that the VRA Board has been able to engineer a scheme, and a vicious circle for Mr. Bradley, which effectively ignores the rule of law contained in the Federal Court judgements against it. Considering also that the VRA Board knows, or ought to know, the limited mandate of the Bureau of Pensioners’ Advocate precludes it acting for anyone in Federal Court, Mr. Bradley was put to expenses he could ill afford (to paraphrase Justice Hershfield). This creates a concern that the VRA Board vindictively set out to bankrupt Mr. Bradley. Our understanding of Mr. Justice Hershfield’s remarks is that this is anything but justice.

    Minister, we ask that you personally investigate this matter and rectify the situation.

    Sincerely,

    William D. Nichol
    Executive director

    Diary date: February 6, 2012

    cc. Mr. Brian C. Bradley, #33 – 9520 Bonaventure Dr., S.E. Calgary, AB T2J 0E5

    cc. Hon. Mr. Jason Kenney, Member of Parliament for Calgary Southeast. House of Commons
    325 East Block Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6 & 1168 137 Ave SE Calgary, AB T2J 6T6

    http://www.CanadianJusticeReviewBoard.ca

    P.O. Box 4853 Station E, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5J1

    Peace be with you & yours,

    Brian Bradley
    #33 – 9520 Bonaventure Dr., S.E.
    Calgary, AB T2J 0E5
    Phone: (403) 455 – 9353

    homepage: https://sites.google.com/site/bcbrad3evennow/how-much-do-we-really-pay

    “It’s time for us to begin a real revolution – one that begins by challenging our individual beliefs and changing our diets, and ends with the transformation of our society as a whole.” (Campbell, 2013, p. 290)
    Campbell, T. Colin (2013) “Whole, Rethinking the Science of Nutrition”, Dallas: BenBella Books Inc., 328pp., ISBN 978-1-937856-25-0.

    “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
    – George Orwell

    Of what value or point is there to having a system/culture which is completely void of both the intent and service of actual justice if those who enact the laws turn a ‘cold shoulder’ and/or completely ignore the intent of the laws that they have enacted?
    ——- ——— ——– ——– ———- ———–

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