Archive for the ‘Telling Truth to Power and Whistleblowers’ Category

Monday, May 1st, 2017

by SeanBruyea  Newspaper columnist, veterans and government accountability advocate, humanitarian, ethicist, former intelligence officer, husband, & father Posted: 05/01/2017 3:46 pm EDT Updated: 05/01/2017 3:47 pm EDT Canada’s military veterans are suffering another condition of late: envy. They watch National Defence Ombudsman Gary Walbourne, relentlessly petition government to improve the lives of soldiers. Veterans long for their Ombudsman, Guy Parent, to have the…

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Thursday, January 1st, 2015

by Sean Bruyea ESPRIT DE CORPS-January 2015 MINISTER JULIAN FANTINO is the flypaper to which incompetent management and controversy persistently buzz around and stick. It is not clear why Harper keeps appointing this individual to various cabinet positions. What is abundantly clear: Julian Fantino is not capable of effectively managing the quagmire at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC)….

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Monday, July 21st, 2014

FAIR became a powerhouse of advocacy under the direction of David Hutton, who’s leaving the organization but not advocacy. Hutton’s leaving: Most frustrating for government were David Hutton’s thorough analyses of Canada’s disturbingly weak whistleblower laws and the frequent lame duck operations of the office entrusted to enforce them, the Integrity Commissioner’s Office, write Allan…

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Monday, July 14th, 2014

Never in modern memory has a Cabinet minister by his own poor example brought  so much attention to the profound cultural problems at Veterans Affairs Canada.   By SEAN BRUYEA- THE HILL TIMES Published: Monday, 07/14/2014 12:00 am EDT Last Updated: Monday, 07/14/2014 12:35 am EDT Dear Prime Minister Harper, Gosh, the Veterans Affairs portfolio has…

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Monday, June 30th, 2014

Former Air Force intelligence officer Sean Bruyea’s fight with Veterans Affairs Canada for veterans’ benefits and for his own reputation and privacy affected his health, his personal relationships, and his finances. But he’d do it again. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright Sean Bruyea suffered from fits of ‘suicidal ideation, physical and psychological breakdowns,…

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Monday, June 16th, 2014

By SEAN BRUYEA-THE HILL TIMES- Published: Monday, 06/16/2014 12:00 am EDT Prime Minister Stephen Harper has expressed his admiration for America. Explosive scandals in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the rapid response provide a powerful teachable moment for the PM and the “hero” of Canada’s own veteran scandals, Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino. Although longstanding, wait…

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Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Whistleblowers in our federal public service have become caught in a bureaucratic and political propaganda meat grinder. By SEAN BRUYEA-THE HILL TIMES Published: Monday, 06/02/2014 12:00 am EDT   OTTAWA—Canada’s public service integrity commissioner, the clerk of the Privy Council, the president of Treasury Board and Democratic Reform Minister of State Pierre Poilievre all need…

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Monday, April 28th, 2014

All oversight bodies need to be strengthened with impartial non-bureaucrats to manage them. By SEAN BRUYEA -THE HILL TIMES-Published: Monday, 04/28/2014   OTTAWA—Holding government accountable has been granted a ray of hope. Democracy Watch may proceed with a private prosecution of Nigel Wright for the secretive payment of $90,000 to Senator Mike Duffy. This initiative…

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Monday, April 14th, 2014

The government is clearly not holding up its end of the bargain on veterans. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright Veterans pictured last year in Ottawa on Remembrance Day. Sean Bruyea says MPs have never debated or given serious independent and binding consideration of the dramatic changes that the NVC made to the relationship…

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Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Opening Remarks: Sean Bruyea ACVA April 9 2014 Thank you most sincerely for your invitation to speak today. Nine years ago Parliament passed the legislation we now know as the new veterans charter or NVC.  The Elected Members of the House of Commons never debated any of its clauses. They have yet to give serious…

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Monday, March 24th, 2014

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright . The last Canadian soldiers returned from Afghanistan last week, pictured arriving in Ottawa. Veterans’ advocate Sean Bruyea says, spread over 41 years when the benefit ceases at age 65, the 24-year-old corporal takes home $23,193 annually in actual income loss. The Statistics Canada low-income cut-off in 2011…

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Monday, March 10th, 2014

When it comes to mental health and suicides in the military, the Canadian Armed Forces can do much to come clean and diminish the self-serving rhetoric. By SEAN BRUYEA  THE HILL TIMES-Published: Monday, 03/10/2014 12:00 am EDT When it comes to mental health and suicides in the military, the Canadian Armed Forces can do much…

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Monday, March 3rd, 2014

For 50 years, veterans have largely permitted government to choose the game,  dictate the rules, rig the arena, and select the players on the veterans’ team. If veterans allow this to continue, they should not be surprised that they score few, if any, goals.   Photo courtesy of Cpl Roxanne Shewchuk, Valcartier Imaging Section Veterans, pictured…

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Thursday, October 31st, 2013

And Canadians are looking on with a common reaction to Ottawa’s gruesome infighting: nausea.                                               By SEAN BRUYEA | Published: Thursday, 10/31/2013 10:51 am EDT                          OTTAWA—Ottawa is a scary place. It is so frightening that most Canadians avoid thinking about the blood-curdling, or is it blood-boiling, antics of Parliament and its bureaucratic minions. Much…

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Monday, October 14th, 2013

By SEAN BRUYEA Published: Monday, 10/14/2013 12:00 am EDT OTTAWA—Veterans aren’t happy and recently-appointed Veterans Affair Minister Julian Fantino is only fanning the fire with the usual parroting of bureaucratic misinformation. How do veterans and other Canadians hold a minister and his bureaucracy accountable for spreading half-truths and misleading claims? The first step to accountability…

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Monday, March 12th, 2012

The wider federal public service has grown by 34 per cent in the last 10 years, Veterans Affairs Canada staff has grown by a mere 12 per cent. The elimination of 500 positions alone will bring VAC to below its 2001 staffing levels. Veterans Affairs Canada files: Why is Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney eagerly…

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Monday, February 27th, 2012

Veterans say the Veterans Review and Appeal Board takes a far too legal interpretation of its responsibilities and that the hearings are intimidating and dehumanizing. Photograph by Jake Wright, The Hill Times Veterans files: Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney, pictured with Tory MP Candice Hoeppner. By Ian Bron and Allan Cutler Published: Monday, 02/27/2012 12:00…

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Thursday, February 16th, 2012

By: Murray Brewster, The Canadian Press Winnipeg Free Press Online Posted: 02/16/2012 4:21 PM OTTAWA – Veterans Affairs Canada and the independent board that reviews claims of ex-soldiers grappled with allegations of leaked personal information long before a privacy scandal blew up in public. A series of leaked documents show the department and the agency…

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Monday, February 13th, 2012

Just when Ottawa bureaucrats and politicians thought they would have a quiet week following unsuccessful attempts to placate stakeholders in an Ottawa conference room this week (click here for article), all of Hades breaks loose.  One conscientious Canadian reader was supportive of my latest piece (click here) . If only Ottawa was as supportive of…

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Monday, February 13th, 2012

by Murray Brewster- THE CANADIAN PRESS-2012/02/12 OTTAWA – A prominent, long-standing member of the country’s Veterans Review and Appeal Board had his privacy violated twice in an alleged smear campaign meant to discredit him using his private medical information as ammunition, The Canadian Press has learned. The behind-the-scenes fight involving Harold Leduc has been so…

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Monday, February 6th, 2012

Veterans need to shed their well-indoctrinated sense of loyalty and sacrifice to a government system that has neither shown them loyalty at the senior levels nor sacrifice. Photograph by Jake Wright, The Hill Times Veterans files: Veterans Affairs Canada, now led by Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney, pictured on Parliament Hill in this file photo,…

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Monday, December 5th, 2011

Our democratic building can withstand removing the bureaucratic and political façade which fails to cultivate trust through collaboration, coordination and cooperation. Photograph by Jake Wright, The Hill Times Power and Parliament: Should we care that we have lost substantial faith and much trust in Ottawa and its institutions, asks government accountability advocate Sean Bruyea. By…

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Saturday, September 17th, 2011

The reality is that the senior mandarins are the ultimate arbiters of power in Ottawa, not the politicians. And the oft-criticized hyper-centralized culture is centered not in the PMO but in Treasury Board and the PCO. By Sean Bruyea The Hill Times: Published September 19, 2011 OTTAWA—We should be forgiven if we believe that ministers,…

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Monday, May 9th, 2011

(The following article (at the link below) is excerpted from the 2011 report compiled and released by the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression “REPORT CARD” on the state of freedom of expression in Canada. This article articulates the reasoning for the government of Canada’s reprehensible grade in how it (mis)treats and deters whistleblowers from providing…

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Monday, May 9th, 2011

With a majority Government, CJFE says it’s time for Prime Minister Harper to keep his promises to reform the Access to Information system Canadian Journalists for Free Expression-CNW-May 9, 2011. TORONTO, May 9 /CNW/ – For the second year in a row, the Harper government has received a failing grade from Canadian Journalists for Free Expression…

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Monday, April 11th, 2011

By Sean Bruyea-THE HILL TIMES-April 11, 2011 OTTAWA—Just prior to the election campaign kick-off, Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn showed just how out of sync he and some in the department are with veterans and Canadians, not to mention Canadian law and Treasury Board policies. He recently made a number of public comments in Alexandria,…

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Monday, March 21st, 2011

By David Hutton-THE HILL TIMES-March 21, 2011. Photograph by Jessica Bruno, The Hill Times In the spotlight: Former public sector integrity commissioner Christiane Ouimet, pictured at the House Public Accounts Committee on March 10 on the Hill. Former integrity commissioner Christiane Ouimet’s testimony to the House Public Accounts Committee seemed to be all about her:…

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Monday, March 21st, 2011

By Ian Bron, Allan Cutler-THE HILL TIMES-March 21, 2011. When Christiane Ouimet was appointed as the first integrity commissioner in 2007 there was no reason to think anything but the best: her long service in the bureaucracy seemed free of blemishes, and she had experience in investigations and training in law When Christiane Ouimet was…

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Monday, March 21st, 2011

By Sean Bruyea-THE HILL TIMES-March 21, 2011. In a most bizarre déjà vu, history repeated itself on March 11 when the House passed Bill C-55. The bill was sold as the fix-for-all that ails veterans’ legislation originally passed in 2005, legislation which replaced lifelong payments for pain and suffering for injured soldiers with a one-time…

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Monday, March 21st, 2011

By Jessica Bruno-THE HILL TIMES-March 21, 2011. The gag order on former public sector integrity commissioner Christiane Ouimet’s $500,000 exit deal with the government is the most concerning part of the arrangement, says prominent lawyer Paul Champ. “If this was a private sector settlement then that would make sense, but we’re dealing with a significant…

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Monday, March 14th, 2011

By Jessica Bruno-THE HILL TIMES-March 14, 2011. Former disgraced public sector integrity commissioner Christiane Ouimet, who defiantly refuted Auditor General Sheila Fraser’s scathing report last week of her office and her conduct on Parliament Hill, may get the chance to tell her side of the story again when she’s called before the House Public Accounts…

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Monday, December 6th, 2010

By Ken Rubin-THE HILL TIMES-December 6 2010. OTTAWA—Ottawa under the Harper government operates with the principle that only a few insiders need to know what’s really going on. This results in tightly-controlled spin on what is said and makes a mockery of public access. For example, more than 900 Army personnel are to be stationed…

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Monday, November 15th, 2010

By Perry Gray-THE HILL TIMES-November 15, 2010.  Cynthian Münster, The Hill Times Time for a royal commission: Perry Gray is a retired Canadian Forces intelligence officer and a chief editor of veterans.info. OTTAWA—Considering the national outcry against the so-called “New Veterans Charter” and the lump sum these past few months, it is interesting to note…

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Monday, November 1st, 2010

By David Hutton, Allan Cutler, and Duff Conacher-THE HILL TIMES-November 1, 2010. The following is letter sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, NDP Leader Jack Layton, and Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe last week. It is ironic that, even while we were preparing this letter to you, calling for (among other…

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Monday, October 25th, 2010

By Jessica Bruno-THE HILL TIMES-October 25, 2010 Christiane Ouimet, Canada’s first federal public sector integrity commissioner, who resigned last week as her office is being investigated by Auditor General Sheila Fraser, will be called before the House Government Operations Committee to explain the situation surrounding her departure. “The committee agreed that we should call the…

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