Fellow veterans, ladies and gentlemen.
Be advised that the formal meeting between the executives of the Veterans Review Appeal Board and the Canadian Veterans Advocacy will take place in Niagara Falls on January 25, 2012. I would remind veterans’ advocates that this is primarily an introductory meeting wherein the VRAB team will provide an overview of VRABs organization structure, will explain the objectives/concerns of the Canadian Veterans Advocacy will be defined and then, as promised, frank and open discussions will ensue. Madame Gauthier, I believe, has expressed a sincere wish to address these issues in a respectful, yet open and frank manner.
Ultimately, our objective is to address the primary issues that are confronting veterans today and reestablish the spirit of trust that was envisioned in the VRAB Act. The level of trust is tragically lacking, a consequence of multiple issues that have been confirmed by the nature of your collective response.
Your input is vital to the course the Canadian Veterans Advocacy sets on any given subject of discord is a direct result of the advice, counsel, stories that so many of you provide. If we are to fight for your rights, you must tell us how you feel that you have not been accorded the respect owed to you through the Sacred Obligation this government is indebted to Canada’s sons and daughters who have suffered the consequences of war and peace in Canada’s name.
There is still time to participate in reference to any issue that you might have related to your experience with the VRAB decision and I would encourage you to take advantage of this email (blog) to respond before Wednesday morning, January 25, 2012.
I would also thank the dozens of veterans or family members who have reached out by voice, phone or the internet medium to this issue. Your stories have validated the principle issues identified in the CVA approved investigation submitted to the OVO last fall and while we are waiting for the OVO confirmatory report before fully engaging, I am reassured and confidant we have and will conti9nue to address YOUR concerns.
Your response also further identifies the need for more transparency between us as veterans as many complaints are similar and potentially identified trends or systematic shortcomings. If we bare to assure veterans are accorded a just and equitable appeal process, we must confront and penetrate the veil of secrecy that enshrouds the VRAB and limits veterans ability to decide whether they have been treated justly or not. How can we ensure there is fairness in the system, a status wherein all veterans are treated equally, the benefit of doubt protocols are applied and precedent set in one case is the benchmark applied in all subsequent cases?
The CVA has started a research/information database to study and address these issues, but only those who have gone through the process, both succefully and unsuccessfully, can assure that we have the information only you can help us in this quest, only you can provide the information necessary to ensure all generations of veterans presenting their appeals through the VRAB process will have the foundation inclusive of the veteran/VRAB relationship based on trust, fairness and a sacred obligation, by all members of the VRAB, to Canada’s sons and daughters.
Canadian Veterans Advocacy representatives.
God bless our nation, our troops and the veterans and families who have sacrificed so much on behalf of Canada now and in the future. Let us have the courage to engage upon their behalf, to unite under the principles of support and reform, to fight for those who cannot; the wounded, the injured and ill, those who have lost hope justice will ever be served and those who are adrift on the streets of this nation.
Make a difference. Join the Canadian Veterans Advocacy.
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