Archive for the ‘Veterans Affairs Systemic Problems’ Category

Monday, October 29th, 2018

We should remember veterans’ sacrifices and finding ways to make those who survive whole again. Unfortunately, for many veterans and an increasing number of other Canadians, remembering injustice, inequity, and abusive bureaucratic practices has overshadowed honouring sacrifice. Remembrance Day is fast approaching, but improvement for disabled veterans has been a slow trickle of painfully inadequate…

Read More >>

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

by Sean Bruyea OCT. 22, 2018 THE HILL TIMES The upcoming Veterans Stakeholder Summit on Oct. 29 is the summit of bureaucratic insensitivity when it comes to accessibility. Our disabled veterans and their families deserve more. More voice, more consequential input, and more dignified treatment. Mounties, pictured April 9, 2017, at the Canadian National Vimy…

Read More >>

Monday, September 17th, 2018

By SEAN BRUYEA      SEP. 17, 2018 The Hill Times   New veterans’ photo ID cards are not official government identification and they should be. Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan, pictured in this file photo in Ottawa. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade OTTAWA—Process is as important as product. When the product is destined for a group of…

Read More >>

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

  April 18, 2018 (Volume 25-01) By Sean Bruyea & Robert Smol-ESPRIT DE CORPS MAGAZINE Everything Veterans Wanted to Know About the Liberals’ Pension for Life Plan … And Should Not Be Afraid to Ask Changes to the Pension Act resulting from the New Veterans Charter led to a demand for a new benefits plan…

Read More >>

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

Opinion: The Liberals promised the first meaningful reintegration program for veterans in decades. Then, the bureaucrats got involved by Sean Bruyea Apr 5, 2018 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, centre, greets veterans while visiting the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 128 in Sydney, N.S. on Thursday, November 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese Sean Bruyea is a frequent commentator and…

Read More >>

Monday, March 26th, 2018

By SEAN BRUYEA-THE HILL TIMES-MAR. 26, 2018 The new benefit doesn’t come close to addressing what veterans asked for and families need. Having an all-or-nothing program that anticipates recognizing only those with a ‘disability assessment of 98 per cent or greater’ does not acknowledge immense sacrifices that families endure caring for those suffering significant disabilities. Veterans…

Read More >>

Monday, March 19th, 2018

By SEAN BRUYEA-THE HILL TIMES- MAR. 19, 2018 Behind the scenes, the Trudeau Liberal government continues a longstanding war on veterans in minimizing or denying access to democracy and due process, writes Sean Bruyea. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured recently on Parliament Hill. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade OTTAWA—”Why are we still fighting certain veterans groups…

Read More >>

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

Published on: February 20, 2018 | Last Updated: February 20, 2018 11:56 AM EST Shadows from veterans are scene on the ground prior to the start of a ceremony honouring the National Battle of the Atlantic took place at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, May 3, 2015. CHRIS ROUSSAKIS / OTTAWA CITIZEN By Sean Bruyea Defence Watch…

Read More >>

Monday, February 12th, 2018

The Hill Times-February 12, 2018 By SEAN BRUYEA The more Canadians and veterans learn of the 2019 Liberal programs, the more the confusion and anger grow. How do we survive the dizzying daze induced by trying to understand veterans’ benefits? Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan, pictured recently in Ottawa. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade…

Read More >>

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

CBC News Jan 02, 2018 5:00 AM ET by Sean Bruyea Not only does the pension option not pay any additional amounts for family members, the average monthly payment is expected to be around $200. Compare that to the pre-2006 pension that pays up to $2733 monthly, with an average of $680. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)…

Read More >>

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, 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…

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, 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…

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, 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…

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, 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…

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 >>

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:…

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 >>

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)….

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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…

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, 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…

Read More >>