*** One Veteran One Standard ***
“Veterans Affairs Canada exists, in no small part, to repay the nation’s debt of gratitude and to shoulder its burden of responsibility to those whose courageous services have bequeathed this legacy of valour, citizenship, nationbuilding and global stewardship.”
La raison d’être d’Anciens Combattants est, dans une large mesure, de rembourser la dette de reconnaissance de la nation et d’aider celle-ci à assumer ses responsabilités envers les personnes dont les valeureux services nous ont légué cet héritage de bravoure, de patriotisme, de nationalisme et de vigilance mondiale.”
Canadian Veterans Advocacy – CVA Communications Network – 2011 Statistical Summary
Ladies and gentlemen:
One of the most important programs the Canadian Veterans Advocacy has undertaken since inception on December 6, 2010, was the establishment of an efficient, internet-based communications network capable of supporting various levels of CVA operations nationally and, equally important, a vibrant information portal/discussion forum about Veterans Affairs Canada’s programs. During our first year as a formal advocacy, the CVA team has taken extensive measures to expand our communication network and as our cadre of dedicated volunteers, each bringing unique skills, created various CVA-dedicated internet platforms and the necessary infrastructure to fulfill the objective’s mandate, we attained unanticipated levels of success.
I would remind readers, the Canadian Veterans Advocacy’s executive is composed of volunteers and the unique skills, hardware and personal time necessary to create and maintain a multi-level, global-reaching communications network. These are not insignificant. Team work and outstanding efforts on behalf of several have ensured the CVA’s footprint has steadily expanded to include, a year later, a professional web site, a thriving information portal/discussion board, several additional Facebook-based sites that are mission specific (Canadian Veterans National Day of Protest, Vigil for Veterans) and the new Facebook “Page” format which, in two months, has generated several hundred thousand hits. A CVA blog, twitter site and most recently, document repository designed to provide veterans downloadable documentation on current relevant information/policies/documents in their original forms has also been established and are flourishing.
CVA goals are primarily two-fold.
First, to provide a platform to deliver the CVA message for reform of the New Veterans Charter to conform to the One Veterans One Standard protocols, address current veterans-adverse issues such as the HALF BILLION dollar budget cut and to champion the major issues affecting veterans of all eras. Considering our statistical imprint, this objective has been attained.
The second objective, to provide a comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date electronic database wherein veterans and their families, according to their health conditions/medical requirements can research pertinent entitlement information as it applies to services/benefits/compensation provided by Veterans Affairs Canada. This has also, statistically, surpassed expectations.
Strategic Assessment: Has the Canadian Veterans Advocacy attained its goals?
Success or failure, I would suggest, can only be ascertained by the statistical numbers that our network of Internet-based mediums have generated. CVA Director of Information Dissemination Sylvain Chartrand has accumulated the numbers from the websites and has posted this information at the CVA Document Repository. Perspective wise, it is also important to recognize that a majority of the websites did not exist for the full twelve months.
Primary CVA Web Wite and Information Portal/Discussion Board.
While neither mediums have been operational a full year and there was a loss of almost two weeks stats during a transition malfunction, the numbers are certainly encouraging. Over TWO MILLION (2,194,000) site hits have been recorded between the two websites. On the Information Portal/Discussion Forum, nearly fifty thousand unique visitors have been recorded and 744,000 pages have been viewed. Most impressive, 27 Gigabytes of VAC-related information has been downloaded from our server, proof positive that our objective has been attained, that the service envisioned is being fulfilled.
We can also track the visitor origin points at our Information Portal/Discussion Forum’s. Globally, this one site has accommodated visitors from 67 COUNTRIES and 736 cities worldwide! Access from U.S, locations includes 47 states and 237 cities. In Canada, our home and native land… the CVA national footprint has expanded to include 354 cities coast to coast! Our main site, in addition to having an extensive Canadians’ audience, has also been accessed by visitors from Afghanistan, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Great Britain, Poland, Italy, Turkey, France, Sweden, Bosnia, Cyprus, Australia, Taiwan, Croatia, Iraq, Kuwait, Austria, Spain and Denmark…
I would take a moment to define the state of co-operation between the Canadian Veterans Advocacy and Veterans Affairs Canada in relationship to information dissemination. Due to the pro-active nature of our advocacy, the CVA has been assigned a VAC liaison officer who has been very supportive in our mutual quest to reach out to veterans of all eras who are oblivious to their entitlements and in clarifying the more confusing aspects of one policy or another. It is a vital component of the CVA mission profile to provide accurate/current information on VAC policies. We are grateful to CS, KM and the VAC team…
The Canadian Veterans Advocacy Facebook network has been the foundation of CVA operations since prior to conception and the primary group, currently fielding 4,400 advocacy-dedicated members, continues to be one of our most active forums. Unfortunately, statistical information ref visitors and post referral numbers is not available in this format. Statistics on the CVA “Page” format website, established on November 4th, can be monitored and has recorded almost three hundred and twenty thousand (319,199) post views in less than two months.
This is a fairly new service yet, in the first month of operation, 5,450 reads were recorded. Today, two weeks later, 13,653 reads! I would encourage veterans and their families to use the services this site provides with the assurances we have taken great efforts to ensure the VAC information has been confirmed accurate and current.
On closing, I would offer my sincere compliments to the special skills/efforts of Ann Marie, Blake, Sylvain, Kelly and the many volunteers who have contributed their time and effort to ensure the CVA communications network’s success in the past and in the future will be maintained at the same high level. The detailed report, including graphs and maps, can be found here. http://www.scribd.com/doc/77713011/Canadian-Veterans-Advocacy-2011-Yearly-Statistics\
Michael L Blais CD
Founder/President, Canadian Veterans Advocacy
6618 Harper Drive, Niagara Falls, Ont, Cda.
L2E 7K6 // 905-357-3306 // Cell 905-359-9247