Archive for the ‘Mental Health and Psychological Injuries’ 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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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…

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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,…

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Monday, May 29th, 2017

MFRCs, at $28-million annually, account for less than 10 per cent of the CAF Morale and Welfare Services budget. Families are valued far less than one maritime helicopter that cost well over $100-million in 2003. Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance, pictured in Ottawa. Sean Bruyea, vice-president of Canadians for Accountability, says the federal…

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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, 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 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,…

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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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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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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, 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, 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 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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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

Minister Fantino last week in the Hill Times, chose to write a rebuttal to my article on How Veterans Shoot Themselves in the Foot While Government Hits Them over the Head. The Minister’s usual political rhetoric shines through absent any real action on improving the quality of life of veterans and their families. This week, Don Leonardo crafted a…

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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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Friday, May 25th, 2012

Veterans’ advocate Sean Bruyea called the payments “to senior managers at Veterans Affairs Canada way out of whack with reality.” Photograph by: CHRIS WATTIE, REUTERS By David Pugliese, The Ottawa Citizen May 25, 2012 6:59 PM OTTAWA — The senior managers at Veterans Affairs Canada received almost $700,000 in bonuses and extra pay last year…

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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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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…

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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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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 13th, 2012

by Perry Gray-THE HILL TIMES-Feb. 13, 2012 Re: “Veterans Board responds to Bruyea,” (The Hill Times, Jan. 30, p. 8, by John Larlee, chairman of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board). As an applicant and veteran, I question the veracity of Mr. Larlee’s letter. There are several different ways that a veteran may appeal decisions…

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Friday, October 21st, 2011

Alienation and abandonment by the Canadian government of its Canadian Forces veterans has long scarred our noble warriors and their families in a much more profound manner than what’s motivating the current worldwide protests. Into war: Canadian soldiers pictured in Afghanistan. Sean Bruyea says 600,000 CF veterans have been denied comprehensive programs including education in…

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