Archive for the ‘Military Transition to Civilian Life’ Category

Monday, September 18th, 2017

Patronizing veterans is the salient problem, not the solution. Sadly, new Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan appears ready to reinforce, not resolve, the VAC cultural mess. Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan, pictured Aug. 28, 2017, at Rideau Hall in Ottawa shortly before he was sworn into cabinet. If the first public comments of newly appointed Veterans…

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Monday, September 4th, 2017

If O’Reagan and the Trudeau government truly wish ‘real change’ as they promised, then cultural change at Veterans Affairs must be their focus. Seamus O’Regan outside Rideau Hall on Aug. 28 just before getting sworn in as Veterans Affairs minister. Sean Bruyea says if O’Regan wants to have a positive impact, he must change the…

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Monday, July 17th, 2017

Omar Khadr’s settlement at the very least provokes conversation so that veterans do not have to suffer in silence. Maybe, politicians and bureaucrats will likewise comprehensively settle with veterans and their families. Omar Khadr, pictured when he was 14 years old. Mr. Khadr’s settlement at the very least provokes conversation so that veterans do not…

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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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Monday, April 10th, 2017

Budget 2017 for veterans is a hodgepodge of Band-Aid measures, shot-in-the-dark initiatives, and one or two hopeful tools for some to take steps towards a productive life. We need more than exclusionary piecemeal impulses and Band-Aid fixes for our veterans, such as what has so far been offered by the current Liberal government, writes Sean…

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Monday, November 7th, 2016

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals promised a return to lifelong pensions as their priority commitment to veterans. This should happen. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, pictured Nov. 11, 2015, at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright By SEAN BRUYEA PUBLISHED : THE HILL TIMES…

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Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Veterans Affairs Canada bombards media to sell inadequate programs with paltry incremental changes. Meanwhile, veterans and their families continue to suffer. Veterans will be unlikely to question Walt Natynczyk’s inaction and excuses for not moving on policy issues universally agreed-upon more than a decade before, writes Sean Bruyea. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright By SEAN…

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Monday, September 26th, 2016

Ultimately, politicians and the public must force change. The removal of incompetent and inept leaders perpetuating a culture of persecution, impunity and intransigence is a start. Then, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promised openness and transparency can begin. Without transparency and openness, the military and Canada will fail to keep faith with those who have got…

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Monday, September 19th, 2016

The real question is whether PCO, Treasury Board, and, ultimately, the PMO are complicit in ramrodding inadequate and regressive measures upon veterans? Or are they merely negligent in perpetuating a system that rewards style over substance? Members of Canada’s Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry, pictured training in Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area on Sept. 8, 2016….

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Monday, May 23rd, 2016

We need a new model of transition that looks at the military experience of every current and prospective veteran and their families. By SEAN BRUYEA PUBLISHED : Monday, May 23, 2016 12:00 AM “Seamless transition” is the latest buzzword for helping Canadian Forces members and their families releasing into a new civilian life. Throwing money…

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Monday, May 9th, 2016

The Trudeau government is hosting a ‘stakeholder summit’ May 9 and 10. But having a former general and federal government representative chair a group of often marginalized individuals who are highly indoctrinated to be subservient to authority is truly a farce of a most un-Canadian kind. By SEAN BRUYEA PUBLISHED : Monday, May 9, 2016…

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Monday, April 4th, 2016

This government has a chance to fix a small part of this and receive the praise of approximately 5,000 totally disabled and incapacitated veterans as well as thousands to follow. Incrementalism is demeaning for veterans who never hesitated to fulfill their obligation to Canada at a moment’s notice while in uniform. The 95 per cent…

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Monday, October 19th, 2015

Disenchanted and disabled veterans with their families have been enduring a decade of endless platitudes and rhetoric waiting for programs for which less than two per cent of them will qualify. DND photograph Veterans’ advocate Sean Bruyea writes, ‘Let’s stop lying to our veterans and their families. They deserve substantive and immediate action, not scripted…

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Sunday, October 18th, 2015

by SEAN BRUYEA-DEFENCE WATCH October 18, 2015 Not since the 1920’s has a governing party so mismanaged the care of Canada’s veterans that all political parties would include veterans’ promises in their platforms. Prime Minister Harper appointed Erin O’Toole this past January to clean up the mess at Veterans Affairs (VAC) after the public relations…

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Saturday, October 10th, 2015

In the first six months of 2015, which corresponded to O’Toole’s inaugural tenure, the Public Service Commission reports that he oversaw the priority hiring of zero medically released veterans. Since 2010, Veterans Affairs Canada has priority hired only six veterans, two of whom were hired by the Veterans’ Ombudsman. By SEAN BRUYEA  The Hill Times Published:…

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Monday, June 1st, 2015

Almost 120,000 Canadians have lost their lives and hundreds of thousands more have lived and continue to live with lifelong disabilities. Parliament can do better for its veterans. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole, pictured recently on the Hill. Sean Bruyea writes ‘in a bizarre and never-ending déjà vu,…

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Monday, March 9th, 2015

Despite what Prime Minister Stephen Harper says, Canada does not have the best veterans’ programs and services in the world. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole, left, pictured with NDP MP Nathan Cullen. By SEAN BRUYEA The Hill Times Published: Monday, 03/09/2015 12:00 am EDT Last Updated: Monday, 03/09/2015 2:56 pm…

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Monday, December 1st, 2014

By SEAN BRUYEA  THE HILL TIMES Published: Monday, 12/01/2014 12:00 am EST We can be forgiven if we mistakenly believe that Christmas has finally arrived for Canadian veterans suffering psychological injuries. However, veterans will have to hold on to their Santa wish list for another 50 years. Ottawa’s mental health strategy looks more like a sleigh…

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Monday, September 22nd, 2014

We need to hear much less about those veterans who don’t need our help and focus upon fixing the system comprehensively for those disabled veterans and their families who desperately need our help. A barrage of propaganda will fail to make the disabled veterans’ lives better. By SEAN BRUYEA THE HILL TIMES,  Published: Monday, 09/22/2014 12:00…

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Monday, July 21st, 2014

by Sean Bruyea ESPRIT DE CORPS July 2014 VETERANS HAVE EVERY reason to be disillusioned with Ottawa once again. But this time, the disappointment could become the nail in Veterans Affairs Canada’s coffin. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The House Veterans Affairs Committee released its much-anticipated report reviewing the New Veterans Charter. The legislation required a “comprehensive review” to…

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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 9th, 2014

The government had better start fighting for veterans soon or Canadians will stop fighting for government. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright Veterans pictured last week protesting on the Hill. Sean Bruyea says veterans have every reason to be disillusioned with Ottawa over the New Veterans Charter. By SEAN BRUYEA- THE HILL TIMES  Published:…

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Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

By Sean Bruyea-iPolitics  Jun 3, 2014 8:57 pm War is a terrible business. That is why we commemorate the fallen with two minutes of silence once a year, or on the anniversaries of battles, like June 6 for D-Day. What troubles many Canadians is our government’s inability to remember the survivors of war and their…

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Monday, May 19th, 2014

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright Finance Minister Joe Oliver, pictured with his top officials Brian Ernewein and Jeremy Rudin May 6 at the House Finance Committee. The omnibus budget bill is a perversion of democracy and ramming through legislation without proper scrutiny is an insult to the dignity of all that the military…

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Monday, May 12th, 2014

Canadians will hopefully remember this before they walk into a Canadian Forces recruiting centre. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright Veterans want respect: In the coming days, Parliament will release a highly-controversial report on the embattled veterans legislation known as the New Veterans Charter. Will this report help repair or will it contribute to the…

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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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Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

  By Sean Bruyea-ESPRIT DE CORPS-April 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. Chief of the Defence Staff Tom Lawson claims the public focus on military suicides could be aggravating the crisis in having…

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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, February 3rd, 2014

Without the Veterans Affairs Canada offices, political rhetoric about recognizing sacrifice and the debt owed to our military become as meaningless as graphic designs on cereal boxes. The Hill Times photographs by Jake Wright and Abbas Rana Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino. Veteran Ron Clarke, pictured on the Hill on Jan. 28. By SEAN BRUYEA…

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Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

There’s a dire need to directly involve Canadian society to help our Canadian Armed Forces veterans move closer to a productive life and away from the darkness of suicide. Photograph by Jake Wright The Hill Times Afghanistan veteran Kevin Berry, right, pictured Dec. 10 on the Hill with Conservative MP Ben Lobb, left, told the…

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Monday, December 9th, 2013

There is a 15 per cent to 20 per cent shortage of mental health professionals in the CAF and quality and consistency of the existing care is found wanting, exacerbated by sending military members to unmonitored outside providers. As well, by merely wiping their hands of those who don’t come forward, DND has perpetuated a…

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Monday, October 28th, 2013

Sean Bruyea, National Post | October 28, 2013 | Last Updated: Oct 24 2:51 PM ET Veterans are in an uproar after Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino fanned the growing blaze of discontent amongst our former service men and women by penning an op-ed in which he claims there is a “tangle of misinformation regarding…

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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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