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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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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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

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 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 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 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, 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, 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 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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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 17th, 2014

At potentially $7,500 per person, Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino’s Cyprus junket cost just over $100,000 for 14 individuals.              The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino is being criticized for taking a junket to Cyprus to commemorate the UN mission’s 50th anniversary. By SEAN BRUYEA | Published: Monday, 03/17/2014…

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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 10th, 2014

Maj.-Gen. David Millar tells House National Defence Committee that increased reports of PTSD show the military is ‘de-mystifying the stigma’ of mental illness. By CHRIS PLECASH | Published: Monday, 03/10/2014 12:00 am EDT Last Updated: Monday, 03/10/2014 12:59 am EDT By Chris Plecash The increasing number of Canadian Armed Forces members reporting post-traumatic stress disorder…

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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, 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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