Archive for the ‘The Cost of War’ 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…

Read More >>

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

‘He was a gifted broadcaster and is therefore a gifted communicator, and that’s an asset for this government,’ says former PMO staffer Scott Reid. Liberal MP Seamus O’Regan at the ceremony on Aug. 28 in which he was sworn in as Veterans Affairs Minister. Veterans advocates hopes he does more for former military personnel than…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

For veterans fighting for their compensation, it’s hard to watch the government hand over millions By Sean Bruyea, for CBC News Posted: Jul 15, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jul 15, 2017 5:00 AM ET Veterans’ reactions are being unfairly dismissed as little more than conservative barking. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press) About The Author Sean Bruyea Sean Bruyea,…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

Monday, October 31st, 2016

If there is a debt owed our veterans, and government fails to plan ahead, then government must incur fiscal debt to honour the moral debt to our veterans and their families. Justing Trudeau and the Liberals may well pay the price for Kent Hehr’s lackadaisical approach to leadership in Veterans Affairs, write Sean Bruyea. The Hill…

Read More >>

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….

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

Monday, April 11th, 2016

Secrecy reflexively defended with misinformation is the Veterans Affairs way of doing things over the past decade. Nothing has apparently changed under the new Liberal government. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mandate letter emphasizes ‘inclusion, honesty, and generosity of spirit,’ but so far Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr’s, pictured right with Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett,…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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,…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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,…

Read More >>

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:…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

Monday, February 24th, 2014

There is little doubt as to the good intentions of most veterans’ organizations in providing quotes to government. However, government has clearly been quite astute at using veterans’ good intentions to further a PR war that does little but says much about caring for veterans. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright Media relations teams…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

Monday, November 11th, 2013

And true democracy can only be guaranteed by transparency, responsibility, inclusiveness, open dialogue and representation of all (not just the party core). By SEAN BRUYEA Published: Monday, 11/11/2013 12:00 am EST OTTAWA—Another Remembrance Day has come and will quickly be gone. Lest We Forget. But we do forget. This is sad because now we need…

Read More >>

Monday, May 7th, 2012

This isn’t a game. Pain and suffering payments are often the only thing left for the military to know that their sacrifices meant something to Canada and to Canadians. To continue deducting their value also ‘extinguishes’ the value of military sacrifice. By Sean Bruyea -THE HILL TIMES Published: Monday, 05/07/2012 12:00 am EDT OTTAWA—A Federal…

Read More >>

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Medically discharged veterans Ron Cundell (left) and Dennis Manuge (centre) listen as Veterans Ombudsman Col. (ret.) Patrick B. Stogran (right) speaks at a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday Aug 17, 2010. Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS Michael Tutton Halifax— The Canadian Press Published Tuesday, May. 01, 2012 5:31PM EDT Last updated Monday, May. 07, 2012…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Retired Canadian Forces intelligence officer, shown during an Ottawa conference on Oct. 7, 2010, warns against aggressive budget cuts at Veterans Affairs. Chris Wattie/Reuters Comment By SEAN BRUYEA Special to Globe and Mail Update Published Wednesday, Mar. 07, 2012 7:36AM EST Last updated Wednesday, Mar. 07, 2012 7:45AM EST Prime Minister Stephen Harper calls enlisting…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

Monday, February 13th, 2012

by Byron Christopher-THE HILL TIMES-February 13, 2012 Re: “Just one more reason for a commission of inquiry into veterans’ issues,” (The Hill Times, Jan. 23, p. 10, by Sean Bruyea). Hats off to Sean Bruyea for his thoughtful article on how vets are being screwed over by the Canadian government. It’s an odd way for…

Read More >>