In a recent article posted on the Canadian Veterans Advocacy website, retired colonel Pat Stogran (former Veterans Ombudsman) and Ryan Elrick, a 38-year-old former soldier who had his legs blown off by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2006 and is now suing the federal government because the military alleged he is not sufficiently fit to carry on his duties, point to changed attitudes within the U.S. military.
In an undated article about the U.S. army’s amputee patient care program, Dr. Jeff Gambel, of the Amputee Coalition of America, noted that “today’s military amputee who wishes to remain on active duty commonly finds a more receptive atmosphere, if not strong encouraging support from their chain of command.”
Canada, on the other hand, is stuck in some kind of mindset out of the dark ages. Instead of our veterans receiving better and better consideration and care as we’ve grown more knowledgeable over time, they have been treated with more and more disrespect and less empathy.
Stogran blames an outdated military policy called the “universality of service conditions.”
Rear Admiral Andy Smith, chief of Canadian military personnel, says our Forces are prepared to offer wounded veterans jobs either training cadets or providing administrative work for that organization. In addition, there are jobs supporting the Canadian Rangers, a reserve force that operates in the Arctic.
That’s a far cry from the full integration to the services the U.S. allows for its wounded who Gambel says can “effectively meet and exceed rigorous performance standards for a wide range of military occupations.”
In Canada, Elrick, who was retrained to be an intelligence analyst and highly praised by his officers, was forced out when he wished to carry on his military career because he did not meet the physical fitness standard for the “universality of service conditions.”
As a result, our veterans have been forced to unite as one voice to make the public aware of the disconnect between government paper pushers hyperboling today’s combat missions and our “boots on the ground” who return home damaged while in service for Canada.
The following is the introduction to the Canadian Veterans Advocacy website. It’s time Canadians stand up for their own protectors, and you can do it by paying attention to our veterans’ voices united under one slogan: ONE VETERAN, ONE STANDARD. BONNIE
Welcome to the Canadian Veterans Advocacy
The Canadian Veterans Advocacy is founded primarily on the One Veteran, One Standard principle and was created to mobilize veterans and Canadian patriots to address the gross disparities that our Afghanistan veterans have been accorded when compared to the standards Canadian soldiers, airmen and sailors were provided prior to 2006. On November 6th, 2010, thousands of Canadians from across the nation participated in the 1st Canadian Veterans National Day of Protest, a day wherein loyal Canadians rallied to raise public support for Canada’s Sons and Daughters who, serving today, cannot speak for themselves yet will suffer profound consequences of the disrespectful Chump Sum Award and service orientated disability pensions that cease when they reach age 65 were they to be wounded or injured while standing on guard for thee!
One Veteran, One Standard.
Let there be no doubt! Canada’s modern warriors bleed the same as those who fought at Dieppe, they suffer the same abhorrent consequences of war as those who fought courageously at Juno Beach and they damn well deserve the same level of life time compensation as those who fought at Kapyong, Hill 355, 187, the Medak Pocket, Kabul and Khandahar prior the implementation of the New Veterans Charter in April of 2006.
Under the Canadian Veterans Advocacy Banner, veterans of all branches of the military and RCMP have united to respectfully petition an end to all taxation on Widows service related pensions and the automatic provision of Veterans Affairs Canada VIP services to those who have sacrificed so much. Let us unite to respectfully demand the end of the reduction to RCMP and military service pensions when these men and women reach the age of 65. Let us not forget this This was successfully resolved in Parliament when Bill C-201 was democratically addressed yet was never implemented because the government refused to provide Royal Assent. I have been assured by MP Peter Stoffer that this bill will once again be introduced once parliament resumes, accordingly, the CVA is preparing to launch a dedicated PR campaign and Silent Vigil on Parliament Hill to coincide with the parliamentary vote.
One veteran, One Standard
Let us unite for justice for the thousands of disabled veterans who have had their SPECIAL, TAX FREE Veterans Affairs Canada pensions for PAIN and SUFFERING off-set the Manulife SISIP Long Term Disability program, a program to which these veterans were mandated to contribute into for their entire career. These are Canada’s Sons and Daughters, those who have been wounded and injured on behalf of this nation during peacekeeping and war.
Let us unite behind ALL veterans who have been exposed to Agent Orange at CFB Gagetown, particularly those who have been excluded from the government’s compensation package through the limitation of eligibility to a mere seven-day period between 1966 and 1967. Let us stand behind those veterans who were used as human test subjects for chemical agent testing at CFB Suffield before the consequences of such exposures were clearly understood. Depleted Uranium? Toxic exposure from a variety of intensely stressful situations, including those valiant sailors who suffered as a consequence of the tragic fire that ravaged HMCS Kootenay? Who will stand for these veterans?
The consequences of the New Veterans Charter have been profound.
Canada’s first Ombudsman, Colonel Patrick Stogran, exposed the hardships veterans were experiencing during an explosive press conference on August 17th, 2010. Beside him, Veteran Brian Dyck, terminally ill with ALS, sat wheelchair bound, pleading for assistance. Brian Dyck, Veteran, Police Officer, husband and father, succumbed to this terrible disease on Friday, October 8, 2010 at age 42. Lest we forget! Veteran Ken Young, a Canadian Veterans Advocacy Charter member, was present to represent the thousands of veterans exposed to Agent Orange yet abandoned through time restrictive compensation packages. Veterans advocate Dennis Manuge was present to represent the thousands of veterans suffering fiscal hardship as a consequence of the unjust claw back of their Veterans Affairs Canada pension for PAIN AND SUFFERING through the Manulife SISIP LTD program.
Since this infamous press conference, there have been other consequential revelations in reference to serving members/veterans PTSD related suicides (Imminent BOI), repeated disability claim denials, issues wherein the Veterans Review and Appeal Board‘s have ignored veterans who have proceeded to the Supreme Court of Canada. Homeless veterans? You might recall the government once, not to long ago, dismissed this issue as minimal yet veterans advocates have identified serious problems in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver? Indeed, the CVA Pennies for Veterans program has been directly implemented to address this issue.
Now that these problems have been identified, I would respectfully ask all Canadians to support the Canadian Veterans Advocacy as we fight to restore the dignified, patriotic commitment abandoned in 2006 to Canada’s sons and daughters who serve today, a standard they bloody well deserve!
Will you answer the patriots call? Will you stand beside thousands of veterans as we strive to make a difference in these disabled veterans lives, as we champion the One Veteran, One Standard principles?
These principles apply on many levels, from the Chump Sum Award to the disparity between regular force and reservist programs for those who have served in Afghanistan and have sustained combat related wounds or non-combat related injuries. There is only ONE STANDARD in valour, a standard defined when Canada’s patrtiots swear the Oath of Allegiance to Queen and Country, when we volunteered to stand on guard for thee!
What about the veterans like Mel Birmingham, a Cape Breton Police officer who rallied to the RCMP call for assistance to serve Canada abroad in a United Nations Peacekeeping capacity? Mel returned home from former Yugoslavia forever changed, yet when unable to maintain his Law Enforcement responsibilities and he turned for assistance through the RCMP/VAC umbrella, he was denied services because he had not contributed to the federal pension plan. When he sought assistance from Nova Scotia’s WSIB program for aid, he was denied due to the fact that the injury occurred in former Yugoslavia, not on the job in Cape Breton.
Be advised, the Canadian Veterans Advocacy is not a traditional veterans organization.
We are proactive! We do not have a constitution that forbids civic action and we certainly intend to conduct Silent Vigils and, if necessary, demonstrations on Parliament Hill to draw public attention to our veterans plight, just as veterans, nation wide, did with great dignity and respect on November 6th last year during the first Canadian Veterans National Day of Protest.
Be a Canadian Veterans Advocate!
Listen to the patriots call! Stand with us as we fight to ensure the ONE VETERAN, ONE STANDARD principle is applied equally to all of Canada’s Sons and Daughters!
Stand with us as we, veterans, citizens and Canadian patriots campaing for the restoration of this nations lifetime obligation that was accorded to those who fought at Dieppe, Ortona, Juno Beach, Kapyong, Chai-li, Hills 355 and 187, the Medak Pocket, Kabul…
Answer… The… Patriots… Call!
Pro Patria – For Country
Michael L Blais CD
Founder, Canadian Veterans Advocacy