'I think they’re waiting for him to die': Veteran with vision
loss denied benefits
Laura Brown Updated Sept. 21,
2021 9:09 a.m. CST, Published Sept. 21, 2021 8:52 a.m. CST VVi
12 Oct 2021
HALIFAX - A veteran from Halifax, who served
for almost 30 years in the Canadian Forces, says the country isn’t
returning the favour. Now legally blind, Stanley Wight has been
denied benefits to help, despite being able to prove his sight
started to deteriorate while he was still in uniform.
Stanley Wight served Canada for nearly 30 years, working as a
radar technician on aircraft for the Canadian Armed Forces.
Now at 85, he blames that work for his failing vision.
“Any radar that was working, I used to get in close enough to
check that it was working properly. It would be radiation, in
fact, I actually have, in my left-eye, a hole that has been burnt
there,” says Wight.
According to documents that Wight’s son
Stephen has gathered through access to information, three doctors
diagnosed his father with early onset macular degeneration back in
the 1980s, when he was still an active member of the Canadian
Despite that, the family says veteran affairs has
denied their appeal for help, time and time again.
very upset with the military because I was diagnosed in the
service with it, and I have three medical documents to prove it,
but I don’t think when they went to the board that they even
looked at them,” says Stanley Wight.
Stephen Wight, also a
retired member, thought that finding one of those doctors that
originally diagnosed Stanley might help.
“He responded ‘my
diagnoses of early macular degeneration stands’,” recalls Wight.
Wight says they will try again with that new evidence, but he
feels other documents have been overlooked, and the family has
lost faith in the veterans' appeal process.
they’re waiting for him to die so they don’t have to worry about
this case,” says Stephen Wight.
In a statement to CTV News,
Veterans Affairs Canada says they can’t comment on individual
cases, but did confirm that a member must have a permanent
disability and the disability must be related to their service in
order to be eligible for disability benefits.
said that if an applicant has exhausted their appeal options, they
have the right to apply to the Federal Court of Canada for a
The Wight family says the benefit would
help provide Stanley the care he needs to stay at home, and they
are hoping the country that he served won’t forget about him now.
Canadian veterans hit hard by Afghanistan's return to Taliban
'I have friends that are definitely torn up over it, feeling like
it was a waste of time and a waste of life — like friends I've
Tyler Dawson Publishing date:Sep 17, 2021 •
September 17, 2021 VVi 12 Oct 2021
"It is still
upsetting to think about, because you did have a connection
there," Canadian veteran Matt Anderson (shown receiving pin) says
of the collapse of Afghanistan's government to the Taliban. PHOTO
BY MATT ANDERSON
As the world watched Afghanistan fall to
the Taliban, Canadian veterans and their families were dealing
with conflicting emotions about what their sacrifice and hardship
accomplished in the war-torn nation, and reflecting on the support
networks that have sustained them in the years following Canada’s
Matt Anderson, who was part of the
reconstruction team in Kandahar from 2008 to 2009, said the last
month and a half has been a “bit of a rollercoaster” as he watched
Afghanistan’s government collapse amid the final withdrawal of
“It is still upsetting to think about, because
you did have a connection there,” Anderson said. “I go back to
thinking about spending time in villages with kids, giving them
pens and water and muffins and stuff. And, and then wondering, you
know, what they’re doing now. They’re old enough now that they can
While for many Canadians, this country’s role
in Afghanistan ended in 2014, for those who served — and have
family who served — the memories, and the scars, from that time
still linger. Anderson said he tries to think of his mission in
Afghanistan as a job.
“You try and have that disconnect.
It’s just so hard to,” he said. “And then I have friends that are
definitely torn up over it, feeling like it was a waste of time
and a waste of life — like friends I’ve lost.”
Military Family Appreciation Day, an annual day to “raise
awareness of the challenges, to recognize the resiliency and to
thank military families for their sacrifices,” according to the
Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services. It’s held on the
third Friday in September each year since it was created by the
House of Commons in June 2019.
Rick Seymour, the chief
executive officer with the Together We Stand Foundation, said the
work military families do so often goes unnoticed. The TWS
Foundation was created to recognize and support military families.
“The support Canadian military families give their loved ones
in uniform is critical to the unimpeded ability to focus on their
important missions. Deployments, moving, isolation, loss of life …
they make these sacrifices in the name of service to their country
and so that our families don’t have to,” Seymour said.
those in the military, and soldiers who’ve served abroad, the
burdens they bring back home with them are shared, whether with
friends or parents, or spouses.
“When I was over there, I
was 21 at the time, and I was single, no kids…. For me, it was my
parents,” said Anderson, who lost friends in two improvised
explosive device detonations.
After he returned, he was
diagnosed with PTSD.
“I had a suicide attempt in 2009…. I
was in New Brunswick at the time, my dad dropped everything to go
out there and support me,” said Anderson, who is now a volunteer
with TWS. “Even my best friend had a really rough time while I was
over there… And then seeing that I changed.”
Millar’s husband, Tom, served in Afghanistan and has done other
tours, too. She knows intimately the stresses that military
families face when their loved ones are abroad, and recalls the
worry every time he was outside the wire, embedded with the Afghan
“I was happy for him, because he’d call me
being, like, you know, we’re doing good things over here … this
sense of, like, I’m doing something important,” said Miller. “So I
felt kind of, I don’t know, I almost felt guilty, being anxious
about him, you know?”
While he was deployed, she worked
hard to keep any stressful news from home to herself, she said.
Millar now volunteers with TWS.
“And I just kind of, you
know, internalized it and had to find other support systems for
myself when he was away, which is hard, because it’s your
partner,” she said. “You’re used to that person being there to
support you. And then you’re just like, okay, the rules are
reversed. I have to be 100 per cent focused on what’s best for
Millar said the last couple months have been
“triggering,” thinking about the people who helped Canada while we
were in Afghanistan, and the Canadians sent to try and get our
“I found myself very glued to the news all the
day. And quite unexpectedly, you know, getting a little choked up
and teary-eyed, which is very unusual for me,” she said.
Afghanistan veterans fight to see Victoria Cross awarded to
Canadian soldier Global National: Veterans fight for
Victoria Cross to be awarded to Canadian solider
Drolet Global News Posted September 17, 2021 5:00 am, Updated
September 17, 2021 6:49 pm VVi 09 Oct 2021
hospital bed in North Bay, Ont., Pte. Jess Randall LaRochelle
pauses ever so briefly when asked about the day he became a
“I was doing a little bit more than my job,”
A group of Afghanistan veterans, as well as
Canadian former chief of defence staff Gen. Rick Hillier,
respectfully disagree, and have begun lobbying the federal
government to upgrade LaRochelle’s Star of Military Valour to the
Canadian Victoria Cross.
If successful, LaRochelle would be
the first Canadian soldier to be awarded the country’s top
military citation since the Second World War.
“I think if
you looked up Canadian hero in the dictionary, you see a picture
of Jess LaRochelle right next to it,” Gen. Hillier said in an
interview with Global News.
“I really do believe that.”
On Oct. 14, 2006, part of the Royal Canadian Regiment were
providing security for a road construction project in Pashmul,
Afghanistan, an area that would later become known as “ambush
LaRochelle’s 10-man section was shorthanded so he
offered to man a two-person machine gun in an observation post by
The Taliban attack killed two Canadian soldiers
and wounded four others.
As LaRochelle fought back, an RPG
rocket hit his position, knocking him unconscious.
came to he saw Taliban fighters about to overrun his position, but
when he crawled back to his machine gun he found that it had been
damaged. The only weapons nearby were 15 M72 rocket launchers.
He fired them all off one by one, forcing the Taliban to
“From what I understand, his firing with the
rockets was so accurate that he was hitting them directly,” says
Bruce Moncur of the group Valour in the Presence of the Enemy.
“And that may also indicate just how close they were.”
Hillier says LaRochelle prevented an even worse tragedy because
his position was on the flank of the larger Canadian force.
“Most of the platoon would have been very vulnerable to get
hit by those fighters from the flank,” Hillier says. “And we, in
my view, would have lost a lot of Canadians that day that we did
not lose because of Jess LaRochelle’s valour.”
The next day
LaRochelle took part in the ramp ceremony in Kandahar for the two
soldiers who were killed, Sgt. Darcy Tedford and Pte. Blake
Williamson, despite knowing he was injured.
“Yeah, I was
having trouble walking,” LaRochelle says. “And the one officer
told me to go to the hospital and I said, after I carry Blake or
Darcy’s casket and I’ll go right away.”
confirm LaRochelle fought back against the Taliban and then helped
carry the casket of Pte. Williamson, all the while suffering from
a broken back.
Today, LaRochelle is a shadow of his former
self. Complications from his war injuries have seen him lose
enough weight that his father says he’s almost unrecognizable.
Retired veteran Randy LaRochelle says he only learned of the push
to get his son the Canadian Victoria Cross a week ago, and while
he’s supportive of the effort, he’s urging for Jess’ case to be
“Things are not looking good for Jess
(medically),” he says. “If you’re going to do something like this,
just do it, because Jess would be extremely honoured to get it
alive. Don’t ask me how he would feel if once he’s passed.”
Canada awarded the Star of Military Valour, the second-highest
citation, to 16 soldiers who served in Afghanistan. In contrast,
the United States gave out its top honour 18 times. Australia (5),
Britain (3) and New Zealand (1) also found its soldiers to have
earned the highest citation.
So what happened with Canada?
Gen. Hillier was part of the committee that awarded LaRochelle
the Star of Military Valour. He says they were reluctant to hand
out the Canadian Victoria Cross especially early in the conflict
because they didn’t know what feats of bravery they’d witness in
the years to come.
It’s only now, he says, that they’re
able to look back at specific cases and realize they got them
Moncur, who was wounded in a Sept. 4 2006 friendly
fire incident in Afghanistan, says, “I think we’re getting in our
own way. I think the humility and the humble nature of Canadians
that don’t want to brag or be advocates for ourselves, I think
that kind of got in the way.”
A letter has been sent to the
Governor General’s office asking for LaRochelle’s case to be
Canada to accept 20,000 vulnerable refugees from
Afghanistan – Aug 13, 2021 Days before the federal vote on
Monday, Global News reached out to Liberal and Conservative
leaders to ask if they’d ask the Governor General to speed up the
process. While agreeing that LaRochelle is worthy of consideration
for the VC, neither party would commit to making that request.
However, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said he would be
discussing the LaRochelle case with officials.
Veterans Affairs Canada administers certain
disability benefits for current and former members of the Canadian
Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which must be
adjusted annually. The class proceeding seeks damages for alleged
underpayments that occurred because of errors in the calculation of
annual adjustments under section 75 of the Pension Act.
Annual adjustment provisions under Part V of the
Pension Act require that the basic pension amounts listed in
Schedule I be adjusted annually based on the statutory formula in
section 75 of the Pension Act.
Annual adjustments ensure that
basic monthly disability pensions and awards keep pace with the cost
of living and price inflation. The annual adjustments are based on
calculations that take into account: (a) annual increases in the
Canadian Consumer Price Index; and (b) average wages of certain
categories of federal public sector employees minus income tax for a
single person calculated in the province with the lowest combined
provincial and federal income tax rate (“Wage Rate”).
November 2018, Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman announced that his office
had discovered that Veterans Affairs Canada (“VAC”) had failed to
factor the basic provincial tax credit into the Wage Rate used in
indexing calculations under section 75 of the Pension Act, which
resulted in “an accounting indexation error” by VAC and lower annual
adjustment rates than what the rates would have been in the absence
of the error. This error led to reduced payments to eligible
recipients of disability benefits. The Veterans Ombudsman reported
that VAC estimated that this error affected about “270,000 Veterans”
of the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
as well as “survivors and their estates”. The Government of Canada
has publicly acknowledged this error and announced that $165 million
had been secured for correcting the error, which Canada has said it
will pay out without interest.
Based on access to information
requests and other investigations made since the Veterans Ombudsman
discovered the original indexation error, the Plaintiffs have
learned about additional errors in VAC’s annual indexing
calculations under section 75 of the Pension Act, and allege:
* VAC failed, from 2002 to present, to calculate the Wage Rate
using the province or territory with the lowest combined provincial
and federal income tax rate (the Nunavut income tax rate should have
been used instead of the rates applicable in Ontario and British
Columbia); * VAC failed, from 2007 to present, to include the
Canada Employment Amount in its calculation of the Wage Rate; and
* VAC failed, from 2002 to present, to include the Northern Resident
Deduction in its calculation of the Wage Rate.
allege that affected individuals are entitled to interest on the
amounts wrongfully withheld and that they are entitled to equitable
compensation for loss of use of entitlements on the amounts
On 23 December
2020, the Federal Court certified the action as a class proceeding.
The class is defined as:
All members and former members of
the Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and
their spouses, common law partners, dependants, survivors, orphans,
and any other individuals, including eligible estates of all such
persons, who received – at any time between 2002 and the present –
disability pensions, disability awards, and other benefits from
Veterans Affairs Canada that were affected by the annual adjustment
of the basic pension under section 75 of the Pension Act including,
but not limited to, the awards and benefits listed at Schedule “A”
of the certification order:
* Pension Act: pension for
disability; pension for death; attendance allowance; allowance for
wear and tear of clothing or for specially made apparel; and
exceptional incapacity allowance; * Veterans Well-being Act:
disability award; and clothing allowance; * Veterans Well-being
Regulations: remuneration of an escort; * Veterans Health Care
Regulations: remuneration of an escort; and treatment allowance;
* Veterans Review and Appeal Board Act: compassionate award; *
Civilian War-related Benefits Act: war pensions and allowances for
salt water fishers, overseas headquarters staff, and air raid
precautions workers; and injury for remedial treatment of various
persons and voluntary aid detachment (World War II); * Children
of Deceased Veterans Education Assistance Act: monthly allowance for
education; and * Flying Accidents Compensation Regulations:
flying accidents compensation.
A Royal Canadian Air Force CC-177 carrying Afghan nationals at
risk due to their significant and enduring relationship with Canada
arrived today at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
CAF 04 Aug 2021
VVi 04 Aug 2021
Locally engaged personnel were instrumental to the CAF mission
in Afghanistan and provided invaluable translation, labour, and
other services not available within the CAF. Afghans who supported
the CAF did so at great personal risk, and on occasion lost their
lives while serving alongside Canadians.
Operation AEGIS is the Canadian Armed
Forces’ contribution to the evacuation effort, supporting our
Government of Canada partners with planning, coordination, and as
required, airlift support.
Strategic Plan for Commemoration consultations / Consultation sur
Plan stratégique pour Commémoration
VAC 08 Jul 2021
VVi 08 Jul 2021
(Message en français suit)
As you may know, we launched online
consultations on June 18 to obtain the personal perspectives of
Veterans, serving CAF members, RCMP involved in international
policing, their family members and the general public.
We believe it’s time
to explore innovative ways to recognize all Veterans. We want to
know how Canadians would like to pay tribute to Veterans, those
currently serving and those who died for our country. Therefore we
are now exploring how commemoration should evolve.
To guide us, we have
developed a draft 10-year strategic plan. We propose to focus
attention on Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) post-war operations in a
different region of the world each year. The five proposed regions
are Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. For more
information on our proposed expanded approach, please view a short
video outlining the concept and read an overview or the full
consultation draft of the strategic plan.
We want to know what you think of our
approach. How do you think we can best implement the plan? How can
your organization and VAC align our respective commemorative
provide your organization’s input on our Stakeholder survey designed
specifically for Veteran associations and stakeholder groups.
input is valued and appreciated!
Your organization can also submit your
comments directly to the Commemoration Division via our email or
• mail documents to:
Veterans Affairs Canada PO Box 7700
Charlottetown, PE C1A 8M9
Attn: S. Hartigan Sincerely,
Paul Thomson, Director General,
Commemoration Division Veteran Affairs Canada
Comme vous le savez peut-être, nous avons
lancé des consultations en ligne le 18 juin afin d’obtenir les
points de vue personnels des vétérans, des membres actifs des FAC,
des membres de la GRC engagés dans la police internationale, des
membres de leur famille et du grand public.
Nous croyons qu’il est temps d’explorer des
façons novatrices de reconnaître tous les vétérans. Nous voulons
savoir comment les Canadiens et les Canadiennes aimeraient rendre
hommage aux vétérans, à ceux qui servent actuellement et à ceux qui
sont morts pour notre pays. C’est pourquoi nous examinons
actuellement comment la commémoration devrait évoluer.
Pour nous guider,
nous avons élaboré la version préliminaire du Plan stratégique
décennal où nous proposons de mettre l’accent sur les opérations
d’après-guerre des Forces armées canadiennes (FAC) dans une région
du monde différente chaque année. Les cinq régions proposées sont
l’Asie, l’Afrique, les Amériques, l’Europe et le Moyen-Orient. Pour
en savoir plus sur l’approche élargie que nous proposons, veuillez
visionner une courte vidéo décrivant le concept et lire un aperçu ou
l’ébauche intégrale aux fins de consultation du plan stratégique.
Nous voulons savoir ce que vous pensez de
notre approche. Selon vous, quelle est la meilleure façon de mettre
en œuvre le plan? Comment votre organisation et ACC peuvent-ils
harmoniser leurs programmes de commémoration respectifs?
Veuillez nous faire
part de la rétroaction de votre organisation en répondant au sondage
auprès des intervenants conçu précisément pour les associations de
vétérans et les groupes d’intervenants.
La contribution de votre organisation est
précieuse et appréciée! Votre organisation
peut également soumettre ses commentaires directement à la Direction
générale de la commémoration par courriel ou par la poste :
• Courriel :
Adresse postale :
Direction générale de la commémoration
Anciens Combattants Canada C.P. 7700
Charlottetown (Île du Prince Édouard) C1A 8M9
À l’attention de : S. Hartigan Cordialement,
Paul Thomson Directeur général, Direction
générale de la commémoration Anciens
Afghan interpreters face death threats from Taliban after U.S.
Global News June 3 2021 8:32pm
VVi 26 Jun 2021
With U.S. troops about to withdraw from
Afghanistan, interpreters who help these soldiers are losing vital
protection from the Taliban. As Mike Armstrong explains, calls are
growing for Canada to offer help.
with PTSD should have MedicAlert IDs, says Afghanistan vet
Stephen J. Thorne June 22, 2021
VVi 25 Jun 2021
Then-governor general Michaëlle Jean presents Corporal Sean Teal
with the Star of Military Valour at Rideau Hall on Oct. 12, 2007. A
veterans group, Valour in the Presence of the Enemy, is calling on
Ottawa to consider him for the Victoria Cross. CORPORAL BERN
War veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress
disorder (PTSD) should have validated MedicAlert bracelets stating
that they have a combat-related illness, said the decorated survivor
of an RPG attack and subsequent firefight. Sean Teal, a wounded
veteran who served four eventful tours in Afghanistan and earned the
military’s second-highest award for valour, struggled with physical
pain and mental health issues until he was ushered out of the army
in 2014. Then his problems got worse.
“It’s hard to get
sympathy or empathy from people who can’t relate.” He said
civilian doctors unfamiliar with his experience overseas and the
stresses of combat all but ignored his military medical files and
perpetuated a cycle of treatment that eventually rendered him a
“slug,” unable to eat, sleep or function.
immediately because you’re a veteran,” Teal said in an interview
with Legion Magazine. “It’s hard to get sympathy or empathy from
people who can’t relate.”
He said civilian doctors have
continually asked him why the military isn’t handling his case and
are content to prescribe antidepressants and other drugs before
sending him out the door. “I don’t think they get how bad it is. I
mean, when you’re on the floor and you barely have the strength to
dial 911, that’s terrible.”
It was so bad that Teal—who’s
still dealing with head and back injuries from the 2006 blast that
killed his warrant officer, Rick Nolan—said he stopped trusting the
system. The Cole Harbour, N.S., native believes MedicAlert bracelets
could help civilians both in and out of the health-care system
better address the cases confronting them.
released from the military, you should have a MedicAlert bracelet
that says ‘PTSD,’ what conflict and whatever, with a phone number,
because when you’re lying on the ground paralyzed, and you can’t
speak, those people should be able to verify that, yes, this person
did stuff, he is messed up and, if you don’t believe the words
coming out of his mouth, you call this number,” he said.
bracelets are issued by MedicAlert Foundation Canada, which also
provides around-the-clock family notification services and a hotline
through which paramedics, police and other first-responders can get
access to subscribers’ detailed medical profiles, including lists of
The 60-year-old organization provides
subsidized services to veterans, including partial or full financial
assistance for MedicAlert IDs and service plans. The website doesn’t
list PTSD or related medications, but a staffer at the foundation
call centre said there’s nothing stopping PTSD sufferers from
receiving bracelets and other services. The process starts with a
“People have them for diabetes; people have them
for other injuries,” said Teal, who has made multiple trips to the
emergency room due to his condition. “PTSD is as real as any other
injury and we should have a MedicAlert bracelet.”
Canadian military personnel served in Afghanistan for more than 12
years. While no official figures exist, thousands are believed to be
suffering from post-traumatic stress injuries. Dozens of Afghanistan
war vets have committed suicide.
“It’s a shitty go because I
don’t think they were ready for that level of people coming in with
PTSD. And I also don’t think they were equipped. Even with all the
money in the world and all the doctors, they couldn’t come up with a
solution that kept people in [the military] without twisting them
It took Teal years to admit he had mental health issues.
He said others recognized he had a problem long before he did and,
even after he realized it following his third tour, he didn’t want
to deal with it. Like so many other soldiers, he feared
acknowledging the problem would cost him his career.
have to lie to the system to keep your job,” he said, adding that,
while the stigma surrounding mental health issues inside the
military appears to have improved, it’s not cured. “You know when
you’re going in there, you’re giving up.
“Once you go into
Mental Health, it’s like turning yourself into the cops.”
a long time, Afghanistan was the only place he felt he belonged.
Teal and his wife Sarah, herself a veteran of two Afghanistan
tours, live with their three daughters in an isolated home outside
Stewiacke, N.S., 70 kilometres north of Halifax. He figures that, by
telling his story, he might help others.
Sean Teal with wife Sarah and children Olivia, 9, Abigail, 3, and
Caitlin, 1. COURTESY OF SEAN TEAL
Fifteen years after he
fought his way out of a Taliban ambush, saving the lives of his
interpreter and the platoon medic, Teal still can’t get a full
night’s sleep and avoids the public as much as possible.
a long time, Afghanistan was the only place he felt he belonged—the
place where he knew he made a difference, where he was constantly
hyperaware, where death was always just a sniper’s bullet,
rocket-propelled grenade or improvised explosive device away.
Back home, he felt nothing; he could muster no feelings of
happiness or sadness, no enthusiasm for life. People’s mundane
existences and trivial complaints bored and angered him.
was drinking, taking meds by the fistful. His comrades-in-arms, who
had nicknamed him “the Battle Hobbit,” were no longer in touch. The
uniform was no longer on his back. He felt “naked” without a weapon
in his hands.
No one seemed to understand. Crowds agitated
his condition, so he avoided them. “I live a life full of
avoidance,” he said.
He had finished his 12-year military
career as a master corporal, relegated to a menial job that only
exacerbated his depression and diminished his self-worth. He hated
everyone and everything.
“What they don’t tell you is that
when you walk out that door, you’re not going to get the same level
of health care that you had on the inside. You’re starting over
again. They don’t know anything about the military and you can’t
expect them to.
From the start, he said,
both military and, later, civilian doctors were “fishing in the
dark,” experimenting with different dosages and combinations of
drugs to treat his symptoms. His mind fell apart before his body.
PTSD “turns you inside out.”
“It started off good,” said
Teal, “but it ended really, really bad for me.
throwing drugs at you, but they don’t know what’s going to work;
they don’t know what’s going to give you serious side-effects and,
once you go on these things, you can wind up with a whole other set
“They’re setting you up for disaster.”
The drugs—antipsychotics and antidepressants—didn’t help him eat or
sleep, and they failed to stabilize his mental health. So the
doctors boosted his dosages, ultimately turning him into a
“They keep adding more and more because
they’re not getting the result they want—and I’m not getting the
result I want,” he said. “Yet they somehow think that by increasing
your dosages it’s going to somehow make you better.
becoming a slug—and that’s what you become, a slug—you’re not
hurting anyone and you’re not hurting yourself but somehow they
think this is progress. They really believe that, as long as you’re
not hurting yourself, you can push through this, which is complete
Teal was getting barely three hours of sleep a
night. His wife was on a posting in Ottawa. He was on his own,
literally crawling to his bed. He was hallucinating and hearing
voices. His mental state was compounding his physical issues.
“PTSD is a bombshell. And you spend your whole life picking up
the pieces.” He was seeing different clinicians, and they weren’t
talking to one another.
He ended up overdosing. That trauma
and the love of a devoted family got him through. That, along with
music: the weapon that saved his life in this fight, he said, was a
guitar. Now he lives on a disability pension and he’s moving on, one
day at a time.
“PTSD is a bombshell. And you spend your whole
life picking up the pieces,” he said.
Teal said soldiers need
to be given the freedom to say what’s wrong with the military while
they’re still soldiers, without fear of retribution.
see a lot of the same things being said, now at least they know
what’s wrong. And until they have that sort of honesty, without
retribution, they’ll never be able to fix the problem.”
Further thoughts from Sean Teal:
“They teach you to be
something more than yourself and then you begin to believe that’s
who you are 100 per cent of the time. But it’s not true.”
“Being in pain limits you from doing some things; having PTSD limits
you from doing almost everything.”
“If you let a soldier run
himself into the ground, which is exactly what I did, then they [the
military] are as much a catalyst as an RPG.”
[army doctors] what happened…and they’re looking at me like ‘why
didn’t you come in sooner?’ I understand why they ask that question
but the point is, when you’re mentally ill you don’t always know
where the line in the sand is.”
“The therapist doesn’t fix
you. You fix you. People get it in their mind that the military
didn’t do their due diligence and help out these people. OK, but the
member…also has to take accountability for their actions.”
“You can go to work and put your Superman cape on, then you go home
from work and you’re a bloody mess. You can just keep it together
long enough to appease the crowd but you spend half your day in the
bathroom and the other half avoiding people. There are people who
scrape through their whole careers doing that.”
“I was able
to push pain aside to get out of [the doctors’] way but, with PTSD,
I couldn’t get out of my own way. And in a lot of ways, I still
“There is a stigma around PTSD. It’s 100 per cent
real and it will probably never go away. There are still people who
think mental health is hogwash.”
“Remembrance Day is only one
day a year and you only get a moment of silence to think about and
reflect on all the wars. For everybody else like me, it’s every
“Why the hell don’t they just put all the names of all
the people who died in Afghanistan on one side [of a banknote] and a
picture of somebody saluting a flag at half-mast on the other? Maybe
that’s only way to honour the war dead, to actually put their name
on something that people look at every day.”
SPENCER FERNANDOWith Bill
C-36, Trudeau Government Launches Dangerous New Assault On Your
Freedom Of Expression
FERNANDO JUNE 24, 2021
VVi 24 Jun 2021
The trend in all of this legislation is
clear: More government control, less freedom. And C-36 takes that to
a terrible new level.
With Bill C-10
having passed in the House of Commons and going on to the Senate,
the Liberals are wasting little time in launching yet another
assault on your freedom of expression.
The Liberals have introduced Bill C-36,
which they claim is aimed at countering ‘online hate’:
As you can clearly see in this description
of the legislation, they are leaving the definition of ‘hate’
“Bill C-36 would allow a person to appear before a provincial court,
with the Attorney General’s consent, if the person fears that
another will commit an offence “motivated by bias, prejudice or hate
based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour,
religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual
orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other similar
defined in the bill as “the emotion that involves detestation or
vilification and that is stronger than dislike or disdain,” but
hatred is not incited solely because it “discredits, humiliates,
hurts or offends.”
addition, the bill would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to make
it a “discriminatory practice” to communicate hate speech through
the internet where it is “likely to foment detestation or
vilification of an individual or group of individuals on the basis
of a prohibited ground of discrimination.””
Vague & Dangerous
When it comes to government power and authority, vagueness is
consider how vague the idea of “the emotion that involves
detestation or vilification and that is stronger than dislike or
Interestingly, the Merriam-Webster dictionary lists ‘disdain’ as a
word ‘related’ to ‘detest,’ making that distinction nearly
you figure out whether someone ‘detests’ or ‘disdains’?
Could someone give a speech in which they
say they ‘disdain’ people from a certain country, yet not say they
decides what emotion someone is feeling?
Then, the legislation lists ‘Exclusions,’
noting “For greater certainty, the communication of a statement does
not incite or promote hatred, for the purposes of this section,
solely because it discredits, humiliates, hurts or offends.”
But what if someone says something that
humiliates someone in such a way that it invites others to detest
Would that then
be a hate crime?
can see how absurd all of this is.
And it gets even worse.
Under the section “Fear of hate propaganda
offence or hate crime,” C-36 makes it possible for the government to
bring someone before a judge if someone else is worried they could
commit a crime. I’ve included that section below in its entirety,
because it is essential for all Canadians to familiarize ourselves
with how dangerous this legislation is:
Fear of hate propaganda offence or hate
crime 810.012 (1) A person may, with the
Attorney General’s consent, lay an information before a provincial
court judge if the person fears on reasonable grounds that another
person will commit
(a) an offence under section 318 or subsection 319(1) or (2);
(b) an offence under subsection 430(4.1); or
(c) an offence motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race,
national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age,
mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity
or expression, or any other similar factor.
Appearances (2) The
provincial court judge who receives an information under subsection
(1) may cause the parties to appear before a provincial court judge.
Adjudication (3) If
the provincial court judge before whom the parties appear is
satisfied by the evidence adduced that the informant has reasonable
grounds for the fear, the judge may order that the defendant enter
into a recognizance to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a
period of not more than 12 months.
(4) However, if the provincial court judge is also satisfied that
the defendant was convicted previously of any offence referred to in
subsection (1), the judge may order that the defendant enter into
the recognizance for a period of not more than two years.
Refusal to enter into recognizance
(5) The provincial court judge may commit the defendant to prison
for a term of not more than 12 months if the defendant fails or
refuses to enter into the recognizance.
Conditions in recognizance
(6) The provincial court judge may add any reasonable conditions to
the recognizance that the judge considers desirable to secure the
good conduct of the defendant, including conditions that
(a) require the defendant to wear an electronic monitoring device,
if the Attorney General makes that request;
(b) require the defendant to return to and remain at their place of
residence at specified times; (c) require the
defendant to abstain from the consumption of drugs, except in
accordance with a medical prescription, of alcohol or of any other
intoxicating substance; (d) require the
defendant to provide, for the purpose of analysis, a sample of a
bodily substance prescribed by regulation on the demand of a peace
officer, a probation officer or someone designated under paragraph
810.3(2)(a) to make a demand, at the place and time and on the day
specified by the person making the demand, if that person has
reasonable grounds to believe that the defendant has breached a
condition of the recognizance that requires them to abstain from the
consumption of drugs, alcohol or any other intoxicating substance;
(e) require the defendant to provide, for the purpose of analysis, a
sample of a bodily substance prescribed by regulation at regular
intervals that are specified, in a notice in Form 51 served on the
defendant, by a probation officer or a person designated under
paragraph 810.3(2)(b) to specify them, if a condition of the
recognizance requires the defendant to abstain from the consumption
of drugs, alcohol or any other intoxicating substance; or
(f) prohibit the defendant from communicating, directly or
indirectly, with any person identified in the recognizance, or
refrain from going to any place specified in the recognizance,
except in accordance with the conditions specified in the
recognizance that the judge considers necessary.
Conditions — firearms
(7) The provincial court judge shall consider whether it is
desirable, in the interests of the defendant’s safety or that of any
other person, to prohibit the defendant from possessing any firearm,
cross-bow, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device,
ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance, or all of
those things. If the judge decides that it is desirable to do so,
the judge shall add that condition to the recognizance and specify
the period during which it applies.
(8) If the provincial court judge adds a condition described in
subsection (7) to a recognizance, the judge shall specify in the
recognizance how the things referred to in that subsection that are
in the defendant’s possession shall be surrendered, disposed of,
detained, stored or dealt with and how the authorizations, licences
and registration certificates that are held by the defendant shall
Reasons (9) If the provincial court judge
does not add a condition described in subsection
(7) to a recognizance, the judge shall
include in the record a statement of the reasons for not adding it.
Variance of conditions
(10) A provincial court judge may, on application of the informant,
the Attorney General or the defendant, vary the conditions fixed in
the recognizance. That is all incredibly
disturbing, because it means that someone ‘fearing’ that another
person will commit a ‘hate propaganda offence’ or ‘hate crime’ can
initiate a process that would result in someone facing a severe loss
of freedom and/or financial damage, all without that person having
actually committed any crime, not to mention that ‘hate propaganda’
and ‘hate crime’ are incredibly vague in the legislation.
This is the kind of legislation you would
expect to see in an anti-democratic, Communist state that is seeking
to create wide pretexts to arrest or punish whomever the government
feels has ‘stepped out of line’ with the official government
the vagueness of this is – in the eyes of the Trudeau government – a
feature, not a bug.
The more vague the definition of hate in Bill C-36 is, the more the
government can abuse their power and apply that power in a
politically biased way to chill and silence their opponents, while
giving themselves and their ideological allies a free pass.
Free expression under attack
With Bill C-10, and now Bill C-36, there can be zero doubt that the
Trudeau Liberal government is engaged in an attack on your freedom
abhor your rights and your ability to think for yourself, and they
want to control you and impose a chilling effect on speech across
than protecting our rights as a government is supposed to do, the
Liberals are trying to restrict and attack our rights.
Bill C-36 is incredibly dangerous, goes
against Canada’s values, and must be stopped.
LILLEY: As country slumbers, Liberals pass C-10
Contentious bill passes third reading after marathon 14-hour house
the article:Brian Lilley Publishing date:Jun
22, 2021 • June 22, 2021
VVi 24 Jun 2021
While most Canadians were sound asleep, the
Trudeau Liberals — along with their allies in the Bloc and NDP —
were busy passing a bill to regulate your social media feed.
The controversial Bill C-10 passed third
reading shortly after 1:30 Tuesday morning after a 14-hour marathon
sitting of the House.
One thing is certain, the Liberals
desperately want this bill to become law.
It’s a bill that, if ever implemented, will
fundamentally change the way Canadians experience the internet.
Why the rush to regulate which Instagram
stories you see or which YouTube videos you watch?
So far, the Trudeau Liberals have resorted
to shutting down debate at the committee level, a drastic step only
done three times in Canadian Parliamentary history.
They have even passed amendments in secret,
something the House Speaker ruled out of order.
And for the last several months the Liberals
have rejected calls to insert language back into the bill to protect
individual users of social media platforms from being regulated by
language was originally in the bill until the Liberals moved and
passed a motion to remove such protections.
Conservative MP Alain Rayes moved a motion
to restore that very protection for social media users as the bill
was in the final stages of being passed but it was voted down
On one side
were the Liberals, Bloc and NDP — who think the government should
regulate your social media use — and on the other side the
Conservatives and former Liberal MP and justice minister, Jody
Under C-10, anyone with any level of success online will be subject
to the kinds of regulations currently placed on CTV, CBC and Global.
The Liberals also say this bill isn’t about
deciding what you can or will see on social media but then can’t
clearly answer basic questions about what the bill will do should it
Minister Steven Guilbeault has waffled several times when asked if
this bill will give Canada’s broadcast regulator, the CRTC, the
ability to change the algorithms of social media platforms.
The clear answer to anyone who has read the
bill and knows how the CRTC works is yes.
For the average social media user, that
means what you get to see won’t be set by you or even the social
media platform you are using but by an unnamed, unseen, government
with no connection to you, or your social media platform of choice,
will decide if you get to watch a video from your friends or will be
served up the Canadian content they have decided is good for you.
Under the guise of promoting Canadian
content, the Liberals are pushing what they call “discoverability.”
It is this tool that they will use to insert
those government bureaucrats into your Facebook feed, your Instagram
and Twitter timelines, that will decide if you are viewing enough
Canadian videos on TikTok and YouTube.
In reality, you could be watching what is
mostly Canadian content uploaded by the many successful content
creators this country has but if they are not the right content
creators — the government approved ones, those getting grants and
such — then you will have new content inserted into your day.
All so that you can discover Canadian
this bill is unlikely to pass the Senate before the upper house
rises for the summer recess, but the Liberals have made it clear
that they want this passed and will push hard when Parliament
returns in the fall.
Any Canadian concerned about their online freedom, their ability to
watch and post what they choose — rather than a bureaucrat — should
contact as many senators as they can to express their displeasure
with this bill.
hope the Senate gives C-10 the sober second thought it deserves and
stops this madness.
Canadian Soldiers Assistance Team (CSAT) Forum Newsletter - 7 May
VVi 13 May 2021
The trending topics
Budget 2021 and Vets
I like this article.........yes it calls a spade a spade but Blaney
Rights/Compensation I don't
want this to become a debate of whether they are good or bad. My
concerns lately have been. Can we be forced to take it under VAC
direction/policies of continued support? If so, would...
Shoppers Drug Mart Cancelling
Companies I swithched from
MedReleaf to Shoppers a while back. I have been haveing a hard time
finding Avidekel that they stocked after waiting for over a month I
just found out by asking them when it would...
Covid Vaccination Side Effects
Website Came across this info
and thought this might be helpful for everyone to make a decision on
if they want the vaccine or not. NOTE The link referred to in the
story is at the bottom of the...
Canadian Armed Forces members across the globe risk their lives to
support our allies, partners, and friends. They uphold values that
Canadians hold dear – peace, freedom, and respect for the dignity of
all people. But, it is clear we have not lived up to our
responsibility to protect members from harassment and misconduct. It
is why we are taking these important initial steps to ensure that we
have a system that better responds to the needs of those who have
been affected by sexual harassment and violence while holding those
who perpetrate it to account. We are committed to making a lasting
change, one that will see the Canadian Armed Forces and the
Department of National Defence shed the toxic and outdated values,
practices, and policies that have harmed our people. Today’s steps
are the beginning of that,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of
National Defence, in a DND Statement released today.
29, 2021 – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces Statement
Over the past months, Canadians have heard from members of the
Defence Team who have been affected by sexual trauma and sexual
misconduct. On behalf of those who serve their country, the
Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces
(CAF) must live up to our professed values of integrity, inclusion,
and accountability. We also know that the current reporting systems
do not meet the needs of those who have been affected or have
witnessed misconduct. We need to change this.
responsibility for our failings, continue to undertake critical
examination of lessons learned, listen carefully to those we have
failed, and take deliberate action to ensure that we achieve
long-term culture change while providing the needed supports to
those who have been impacted by sexual harassment and violence. We
have been actively engaging with survivors and experts to listen to
their experiences and the devastating impact that harassment and
violence has had on their lives and careers. We are committed to
creating a space where all members of the Defence Team are able to
report misconduct free from any fear of reprisal or retribution so
that members feel safe to come forward and can easily access the
resources and support they need.
Today, the Minister of
National Defence, Harjit S. Sajjan, is announcing that Madame Louise
Arbour will lead an Independent External Comprehensive Review into
harassment and sexual misconduct in the DND/CAF. Over the coming
months, Madame Arbour will provide concrete recommendations on how
the DND/CAF can set up an independent, external reporting system for
Defence Team members that meets the needs of those who have been
affected by misconduct, free from any influence of the Chain of the
In addition, this review will examine the policies,
procedures, programs, practices, and culture within National
Defence, and make recommendations aimed at addressing systemic
issues and creating lasting culture change within the organization.
It will look at the CAF military justice system’s policies,
procedures and practices to see how we can make this system more
responsive to the needs of those who have been impacted by
misconduct while holding perpetrators to account.
we are able to address these important issues as soon as possible
Madame Arbour will provide any interim recommendations to the
DND/CAF, which we commit to acting upon. The final report and the
Departmental response to the report will be made public once
While Madame Arbour undertakes her review, the
Acting Chief of the Defence Staff, Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre,
and the Deputy Minister, Jody Thomas, are also creating a new
internal organization to be led by Lieutenant-General Jennie
Carignan as the Chief, Professional Conduct and Culture. This group
will unify, integrate, and coordinate all associated policies,
programs, and activities that currently address systemic misconduct
and support culture change across National Defence. Their efforts
will closely align with the work being carried out by Madame Arbour.
This will ensure that immediate steps are taken to address and act
upon any interim recommendations made to provide better and more
streamlined support to all those impacted by misconduct.
recognize that those who have military sexual trauma need additional
support, which is why in Budget 2021 the Government committed over
$236 million so that DND/CAF and Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) can
jointly develop a professionally co-facilitated peer support program
to assist CAF members and Veterans who have suffered harm as a
result of experiencing sexual misconduct in connection with their
military service. This program will include online and in-person
group support: mental health professionals and peers with lived
experience will co-facilitate these platforms in line with best
practices. We will also be expanding the reach of the Sexual
Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC) across the country to better
support those who have experienced sexual misconduct.
DND/CAF continues its important work in support of victims and
survivors by following through on its commitment to consult with
victims and survivors of service offences, which will inform the
development of the regulations needed to implement the Declaration
of Victims Rights from Bill C-77. Direct engagement with victims’
groups has been completed and an online questionnaire will be
launched soon to allow for the collection of anonymous feedback from
DND employees and CAF members.
All of these efforts
incorporate recommendations from our people, experts, and
stakeholders, and are part of the Defence Team’s next phase of
institutional evolution. These initiatives are the first steps
towards a renewed commitment to the Defence Team and everyone’s
right to work in an environment of mutual respect, dignity, and
inclusion, where they have the opportunity to thrive and contribute
to achieving mission success.
“Today we are listening to
survivors,” said Anita Vandenbeld, Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister of National Defence. “We know that to truly put an end to
sexual harassment, assault, and abuse of power, we need a reporting
mechanism outside of the Chain of Command. Madame Arbour is the
right person for this job to ensure that we get this right. To all
the survivors who have spoken out with heartbreaking stories – you
are making a difference.”
Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre,
Acting Chief of the Defence Staff, stated: “The lived experience of
many members does not reflect the professed values of the
organization. That has to change and we have to be that change. We
have to listen to our people — present, past, and at all levels — to
learn from and guide our actions, finding solutions and making
decisions reflective of their experiences and suggestions.”
“Culture change targeting attitudes and beliefs cannot be ‘ordered’
” acknowledges Jody Thomas, Deputy Minister of National Defence. “It
is complex work that requires dedicated, deliberate, and sustained
action to make change while preserving the good work that is being
done. This is what we will do.”
The Independent External
Comprehensive Review will also provide the MND interim assessments
and recommendations for immediate actions that can be undertaken
while the review progresses. These assessments and recommendations
will be made public.
The review will be conducted with the
utmost discretion and confidentiality. Names of any participants in
the Independent External Comprehensive Review will remain anonymous
and there will be no findings made in relation to any specific
This neutral, third-party review will be independent
of DND/CAF. It will consider all relevant independent reviews
conducted to date concerning the DND/CAF, along with their findings
Recommendations on establishing
external oversight and/or review mechanisms related to misconduct
will also be included.
The Chief Professional Conduct and
Culture group will have an Assistant Deputy Minister, yet to be
named, in direct support of Lt.-Gen. Carignan. The team will be
inclusive of members of all ranks/classifications and will emulate
the diversity that Canadians expect of it. Budget 2021 provides
strong fiscal support to make sure no one is left behind. This means
$236.2 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, and $33.5
million per year ongoing to the DND and VAC (including $158.5
million over five years and $29.9 million per year ongoing funded
from existing resources) to support this, and other work to
eliminate sexual misconduct and gender-based violence in the
military and support survivors.
The peer support program will
be fully resourced and will leverage existing peer support programs
to accelerate development. Co-designed with the SMRC, the program
will be informed by mental health professionals and engagements with
individuals who have lived experience to ensure that nothing about
people affected by sexual trauma is decided without their input.
It is important to name and acknowledge the harm that results from
experiencing sexual harassment and/or violence during service and
that this harm has distinct aspects. To clearly define sexual trauma
in connection with military service, initial discussions are
underway with stakeholders including survivors, academics, and the
Sexual Misconduct Response Centre.
Work on the Third
Independent Review of the National Defence Act continues by the
Review Authority, the Honourable Morris J. Fish, with the report
expected to be tabled in Parliament this June. The Independent
External Comprehensive Review will be complementary to that of
former Justice Fish.
Senior military commander under investigation after being accused
of sexually assaulting subordinate
Vice-Admiral Haydn Edmundson is now on indefinite leave with pay
Ashley Burke, Kristen Everson
· CBC News · Posted: Mar 31,
2021 5:00 PM ET | Last Updated: April 1
VVi 15 Apr 2021
The military's head of personnel — one of the more prominent leaders
in the Canadian Armed Forces — is on indefinite leave with pay as he
faces a military police investigation over an allegation of rape
that dates back almost three decades.
The Canadian Forces National
Investigation Service opened a file on Vice-Admiral Haydn Edmundson
after CBC News notified the Department of National Defence (DND)
that it was about to release a story featuring on-the-record remarks
by the woman involved.
The allegations against
Edmundson are the most serious to be levelled recently against a
senior leader in the Forces.
Stéphanie Viau named Hayden
Edmundson and detailed the sexual assault allegations against him in
her claim for the CAF-DND sexual misconduct class action settlement.
CBC News reviewed a copy of her claim, which was dated July 22,
Former military member
Stéphanie Viau said she was a 19-year-old steward in the navy when
Edmundson, a superior and lieutenant commander in 1991, started
exposing his genitals to her onboard a navy ship deployed to the
Pacific Ocean for an exercise.
Viau said she yelled at
Edmundson and told him it was unacceptable behaviour. Days later,
she said, the misconduct escalated and Edmundson sexually assaulted
her onboard HMCS Provider in early November, 1991 while the ship was
docked in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii.
"He wouldn't let me go," Viau
told CBC News. "I can't say that it was a violent situation, but he
sort of pushed me to the wall and he started undressing me.
"Then he turned me around and
he raped me. There's no other way to say it ... My body just froze.
I didn't know what to do. I was terrified."
Viau said she didn't report
the assault at the time because she was afraid to speak up against
the third-highest ranking officer on the ship. She described a
pervasive culture of silence surrounding sexual misconduct, a lack
of support from the chain of command and fear of career reprisals.
Stéphanie Viau shares her
story of alleged sexual assault by current military head of HR1
Viau said Vice-Admiral Haydn
Edmundson's inappropriate behaviour escalated to rape onboard HMCS
Provider decades ago.
Edmundson denies the
Viau said she is sharing her
story publicly for the first time in an effort to heal. She said she
now wants an independent investigation and charges laid.
I categorically deny that I
have ever had non-consensual sex with anyone...ever
- Vice-Admiral Haydn Edmundson
DND told CBC News today that
Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre, the acting chief of the defence staff, has
referred the matter to military police.
"The Canadian Armed Forces are
very troubled by these allegations and, above else, are concerned
for the well-being of the victim who has been carrying this burden
for 30 years," wrote the department in a statement.
Edmundson denies the
"I categorically deny that I
have ever had non-consensual sex with anyone ... ever," wrote
Edmundson in a statement sent to CBC News.
CBC News contacted Edmundson
Tuesday afternoon and asked him to reply Wednesday afternoon to a
detailed 12-point list of the allegations, including the location
and timeframe for the claims. Edmundson said he was not provided
with "sufficient particulars" and the "time necessary to respond to
the allegations in any detail whatsoever."
DND said Edmundson "will be on
leave until further notice."
A 'systemic' problem
Viau's allegations add to a
pattern of claims of inappropriate behaviour involving Edmundson
already reported by CBC News earlier this month — a pattern that
does not seem to have affected his career arc.
Naval colleagues gave
Edmundson the nickname "Mulligan man" in the late 1990s because a
military investigation into claims of unwanted sexual comments,
predatory behaviour and inappropriate relationships with
subordinates under his chain of command cleared him of any
Sources described the probe as
flawed since not all witnesses and complainants were interviewed.
Defence Minister Harjit
Sajjan's office said it asked Eyre to look into the claims involving
Edmundson after CBC News' first story.
DND confirmed that Edmundson
took leave after CBC's first story was published but his job status
did not change. Edmundson retained the title of commander of
Military Personnel Command, which gives him authority over career
consequences for sexual misconduct cases.
Military’s human resources
commander was investigated for inappropriate behaviour 2 months ago
CBC News has learned the
commander in charge of human resources for the Armed Forces was
investigated for allegations of inappropriate behaviour in the
1990s. The discovery comes as the Canadian military has two senior
officers facing allegations of sexual misconduct.
Megan MacKenzie, the Simons
Chair in International Law and Human Security at Simon Fraser
University, said Edmundson's case shows the military does not have a
zero tolerance policy when it comes to sexual assault in the ranks.
She said Edmundson should have
been asked to step aside temporarily until the allegations were
"It's just such a sign of the
systemic nature of this problem," said MacKenzie, who is part of an
international project focused on sexual assault in the military.
"I think it's so disappointing
and it weakens the claim that this is being taken seriously."
Sajjan's office said Eyre "has
been handling the matter directly" in cooperation with military
police and military personnel and noted that Edmundson is on leave
"and not currently serving in his role of Military Personnel
In a media statement, the
minister's office said it was made aware of the sexual assault
allegations yesterday and has asked officials to provide Viau
support. That support, said Sajjan's spokesperson Todd Lane,
"includes assisting her to obtain the appropriate police
investigation that she requests."
Edmundson named in
class-action application Last
year, Viau named Edmundson as one of her alleged abusers in her
application to join the military's sexual misconduct class action
settlement, according to documents viewed by CBC News.
Viau claimed she was also
sexually assaulted by two other superiors during her first two years
in the military before the alleged incident involving Edmundson. Her
class-action claim is currently under review.
"How ironic that HE was placed
in such a position," Viau wrote about Edmundson in the claim dated
July 22, 2020. "We will not be able to fix this tolerated sexual
misconduct culture with the same people that nourished it."
Viau wrote in her application
that there was an underlying culture of misogyny onboard HMCS
Provider in the early 1990s. She described male colleagues playing
pornographic videos in the lounge of the ship, men walking in on her
while she was showering, and men frequently making unwanted sexual
comments about her appearance.
She said one of her
responsibilities on board was to quietly wake up officers for duty
without disturbing roommates or turning on bright lights (to avoid
compromising their night vision).
Viau said when the ship was at
sea during an exercise called "NZAUS SOPLOY" from Sept. 4 to Nov.
20, 1991, Edmundson started sleeping naked and exposing more and
more of his body to her. Viau said she also believes he pretended to
be asleep at times so that she'd have to spend longer trying to wake
"The last time he did that, I
went to wake him up and he was on his back completely naked," said
Viau. "And he was waiting for me. I was so angry.
"I just flashed the white
lights and I started yelling, 'I can't take this any longer. I can't
believe this is what I have to do for work. I mean, this is
unacceptable.' And I just burst out.'"
Days later, Viau said, when
the ship was docked in Hawaii, she went looking for another member's
glasses at the front of the ship so they could go to Waikiki Beach.
'I didn't know how to get out
of that situation' Viau said
Edmundson saw her and asked to speak to her in his cabin. Viau said
she assumed he was going to apologize for exposing himself — but
when she entered his room, the lights were off and she immediately
"I was extremely nervous and I
didn't know how to get out of that situation, and I thought to
myself, 'Just apologize and get the hell out,'" Viau said.
Viau alleges she told
Edmundson her friends were waiting and she had to leave, but he
"penetrated me against my will," according to a copy of her
CBC News interviewed an
individual who confirmed that Viau went missing during the time of
the alleged assault.
"I do remember going to look
for her and I remember calling her name," said the woman, who asked
not to be named because she fears it could undermine her career.
Viau said that while Edmundson
was sexually assaulting her, she tried to call back to her friend,
but Edmundson put his hand over her mouth.
Viau said she was later
reprimanded by the chain of command and given a recorded warning in
her file for speaking French aboard ship rather than English.
Viau said she was told to be
on her best behaviour for the subsequent six months and was warned
that she faced dismissal from the Canadian Forces. She said she
wasn't given any prior verbal warning and believes it was an attempt
to keep her quiet.
Two other members who served
with Viau back up claims
Edmundson is just one of the
military members named in Viau's 10-page class-action claim. The
document contains a series of sexual assault allegations ranging
from inappropriate comments to being forced to model bathing suits
on stage to nonconsensual sex with superiors during Viau's career in
the Forces between 1989 and 1997.
Viau alleged that she woke up
to a master corporal sexually assaulting her in her barracks cubicle
in Feb. 1990 during basic training at Saint-Jean Garrison in Quebec.
Viau also alleges her direct supervisor with the military police
raped her at the Connaught military range in Ottawa when she was on
temporary duty there in the summer of 1990.
Veterans Affairs Canada
approved her claim for disability payments for post-traumatic stress
disorder on Nov. 23, 2020, according to government documents viewed
by CBC News. Viau said her trauma is connected to the sexual
WATCH | 'She had nobody':
Woman who served on ship in 1991 said Stéphanie Viau couldn't have
reported alleged sexual assault:
'She had nobody': Woman who
served on ship in 1991 said Stéphanie Viau couldn't have reported
alleged sexual assault1 month ago
A woman who served on HMCS
Provider in 1991 — and who asked to keep her identity secret — said
the chain of command wouldn't have taken Viau's sexual assault
complaint seriously in 1991. 1:25
CBC News also reviewed Viau's employment history, personnel record
and certificate of service, all of which confirmed her timeline of
A copy of a "cruise book" from
NZAUS SOPLOY viewed by CBC News also contains a series of photos
placing Viau and Edmundson on that ship during the relevant period
of time, and verifies the dates and routes Viau detailed in her
CBC News interviewed two
people who served with Viau who corroborated much of her story; CBC
has agreed to keep their names confidential because they fear damage
to their careers. They both said that, based on everything they
know, they believed Viau's version of events.
'She had nobody'
They both also said the
military culture at the time would not have supported Viau reporting
the alleged sexual assault. One said the chain of command would have
brushed it off.
"She had nobody that she could
trust to talk about it, or to make a complaint," said one of the
individuals who served with Viau at sea in 1991. "She had nobody. I
think that was the biggest struggle back then — you couldn't trust
A second person who served
with Viau and was told about the alleged sexual assault last year
said it took "a lot of bravery and courage" for her to go public.
"For her to expose herself and
her family to this, it's huge. Based on that and her integrity,
there's no chance that there's a hole in this."
Both individuals told CBC News
they also were sexually assaulted during their time in the military.
One said she did not report it because of the prevailing culture in
the Canadian Forces at the time. She also said her alleged attacker
spread rumours leading others to publicly mock and humiliate her.
Viau calls on PM to order
independent investigation Viau
said she wants Edmundson charged with sexual assault.
There is no time limitation on
sexual assault reports, said retired colonel and military law expert
Michel Drapeau, adding that a victim can come forward and report the
crime decades after it happened.
I want justice for me. But I
also want justice for others. -
It would be the military's
responsibility to investigate, he said, since the incident is
alleged to have happened aboard a military ship.
But Viau said she wants an
independent investigation because she doesn't trust the military to
properly investigate and prosecute her case. The military has its
own police and usually handles sexual assault charges through its
separate justice system.
CBC News' The Fifth Estate
reported this month that a former military police investigator said
the military's judicial system is "ill-equipped" to handle such
crimes. The former investigator said he dealt with commanding
officers interfering with sexual assault cases, and prosecutors who
were reluctant to move forward with charges.
Statistics from 2014-2017 show
that sexual assault conviction rates in the military were well below
those in the civilian justice system.
Viau said she has no faith in
the military's ability to conduct an investigation in part because
she alleges a military police officer sexually assaulted her in the
She's now calling on Prime
Minister Justin Trudeau for help.
"I'm asking Justin Trudeau to
change that so that it makes it possible for people like me to
disclose and also to seek justice," said Viau.
"I want justice for me. But I
also want justice for others."
Stéphanie Viau wrote in her
class action claim that she was sexually assaulted by three
superiors during her first years in the military from 1989 to 1991.
After the military
investigates, it has the option to lay charges in civilian court if
the victim requests it, said Drapeau.
In a media statement, the
Prime Minister's Office did not comment specifically on the case.
The PMO said that Prime Minister Trudeau has stated that those who
serve in the military must have a "safe work environment and have
the resources and the supports needed to come forward with any
concerns or allegations."
"As the Prime Minister and
Minister Sajjan have said, we will continue to move forward on
measures to ensure that we are not only giving those supports to
people who come forward, but also ensuring that we're putting in
place independent mechanisms to put an end to these deeply troubling
allegations and this behaviour once and for all," wrote Alex
Wellstead, a spokesperson for the PMO.
Give military sexual assault
cases back to civilian courts: Drapeau
Decades ago, the civilian
justice system handled sexual assault cases involving military
members. But in 1998, the Department of National Defence asked for a
change to the National Defence Act to remove sexual assault from the
list of serious crimes that fall outside of the military's
jurisdiction, said Drapeau.
Military’s human resources
commander accused of sexual assault1 month ago
A former member of the
Canadian Armed Forces alleges she was raped by Vice-Admiral Haydn
Edmundson in 1991. Edmundson, the commander in charge of the
military’s human resources, is under investigation because of the
Overnight, he said, military
police and tribunals were put in charge of those cases without any
"I have long argued that
jurisdiction for sexual assaults should be returned to civilian
police and the civilian criminal court," said Drapeau.
Mackenzie agreed the military
is not equipped to deal with sexual assault allegations "well,"
especially when it comes to high-ranking officers. The system is
built on the assumption that high-ranking members won't commit
misconduct, she said — and the current crisis in the military shows
that isn't the case.
Former chief of the defence
staff Gen. Jonathan Vance and his replacement, Admiral Art McDonald,
are both facing military police investigations over sexual
Senior female officer quits
Canadian Forces, says she's 'sickened' by reports of sexual
misconduct Vance spoke with
Global News after the allegations against him first surfaced. He
declined to offer comment to CBC News. McDonald has not responded
publicly to the investigation involving him.
Two parliamentary committees
are conducting their own inquiries into what the Liberal government
knew about the allegations against McDonald and Vance, and when.
Viau said she hopes the
committees will look at Edmundson's case as well.
military has to stop handing sexual misconduct in-house," she said.
"The consequences should be the same for every Canadian."
Our Mission The Veterans Association Food Bank is
dedicated to supporting and enriching the lives of Veterans and
Our Vision As a community of
Veterans helping Veterans, we will be the support base where
together we create healthy and resilient futures.
Serve The Veterans Association Food Bank recognizes any
person who is currently serving or has honourably served in the
Canadian Armed Forces. The Veterans Association Food Bank also
recognizes and offers support to those currently serving, honourably
discharged or honourably released Commonwealth Allies, members of
the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Peacekeepers, Merchant Marines,
or Ferry Command (Coast Guard). Support will be extended to spouses,
widows, widowers, and any dependent children in need. Proof of
military service or affiliation required.
They never had any brochures
or briefing about the possibility of this at the recruiting office.
Just the part about taking
oath to knowingly avow and be willing to lay one's life on the line
for your country.
terrorism up and reared its ugly head, even here in Canada with FLQ
and other international Terrorism Gangs. Cowards, trying to rule,
dominate and mandate their philosophy by fear.
A whole new way of life for
dealing with enemies of freedom and democracy. A new issue for our
Veterans and Troops that were and still are dealing with life in the
Armed Forces and the effects of the past and future effects it would
God Bless our
Veterans and our Troops and their families.
Let's support all our
Veterans' for Recognition and Inclusiveness.
We know that everyday,
thousands of Veterans, First Responders and their family members are
working hard to challenge the effects of trauma exposure and, for
many, the symptoms of operational stress injuries such as PTSD.
FRONTLINE - Ethics through the Lens of Military Reform
Posted on Mar 01, 2021
VVi 02 Mar 2021
attempt to set the record straight on some of the misunderstandings,
skewed agenda of some media commentators, and the reluctance to
forthrightly address the key issues, Tony Battista answers questions
related to how the military handles past, current and future
Our mandate is to try to get a
Canadian Victoria Cross awarded to an Afghanistan veteran. To
achieve this goal we are going to put on a two hour special that
highlights the actions of ten soldiers and then you the viewer
decides who you would award the most prestigious medal to.
We are happy to announce the
2021 Virtual edition of Canada Army Run, Presented by BMO Financial
Group is now live, taking place September 10-19! While we had to
make the difficult decision to not host an in-person event this
year, we have an exciting virtual event experience to bring to you.
Building off of the success of
our 2020 event, we are bringing new ways to train, race and engage
Early bird pricing in effect
until March 31! Register now at armyrun.ca & check out our new
Nous sommes heureux d’annoncer que l’édition virtuelle 2021 de la
Course de l’Armée du Canada, présentée par BMO Groupe financier est
maintenant en ligne, et elle aura lieu du 10 au 19 septembre! Même
si nous avons dû prendre la décision difficile de ne pas tenir
d’événement en personne cette année, nous avons une superbe
expérience virtuelle à vous faire vivre.
Tirant parti de la réussite de
notre course de 2020, nous présentons de nouveaux moyens de vous
entraîner, de courir et de communiquer avec nous.
Les distances de course
- 5 km
- 10 km - demi-marathon
- Défi 5 km + 10 km - Défi du
commandant 5 km + demi-marathon
Les tarifs réduits de la
préinscription sont en vigueur jusqu’au 31 mars! Inscrivez vous
maintenant au site armyrun.ca et voyez notre nouveau site Web!
Veterans Affairs Canada’s
magazine, Salute! is now an e-newsletter and we are proud to present
this first issue. Please share this e-mail with your friends and
networks, and encourage them to register by visiting
letstalkveterans.ca to keep up on issues that matter to Veterans and
Let us know what you think
about the new Salute! by emailing
The Veteran and Family
Well-Being Fund is open for applications
Does your organization support
the well-being of Veterans and their families?
Apply for the Veteran and
Family Well-Being Fund. Funding is available to organizations from
the private, public or academic sectors doing research and realizing
projects and initiative in support of the well-being of Veterans and
their families. Applications will be accepted until 8 February 2021.
Not sure if you qualify? Check
out our funding guidelines.
Interested in applying? Find
the application here.
(The English message precedes)
Le magazine d’Anciens
Combattants Canada Salut! est désormais un bulletin d’information
électronique et nous sommes fiers de vous présenter ce premier
numéro. Veuillez partager ce courriel avec vos amis et vos réseaux
et les encourager à s’inscrire en consultant le site
parlonsveterans.ca pour se tenir au courant des questions qui
comptent pour les vétérans et leur famille.
Faites-nous savoir ce que vous
pensez du nouveau Salut! en nous envoyant un courriel à l’adresse
Les demandes sont acceptées
dans le cadre du Fonds pour le bien-être des vétérans et de leur
Votre organisme soutient-il le
bien-être des vétérans et de leur famille?
Présentez une demande dans le
cadre du Fonds pour le bien-être des vétérans et de leur famille. Du
financement est offert aux organismes des secteurs privé, public et
universitaire qui mènent des recherches et qui mettent en œuvre des
projets et des initiatives à l’appui du bien-être des vétérans et de
leur famille. Les demandes seront acceptées jusqu’au 8 février 2021.
Vous n’êtes pas sûr d’être
admissible? Consultez les lignes directrices pour le financement.
Vous souhaitez présenter une
demande? Vous trouverez le formulaire ici.
OVO Release of Report /Le BOV publie un rapport
VVi20 Jan 2021
Le français suit
Today the Office of the
Veterans Ombudsman (OVO) released its report on Mental Health
Treatment Benefits For Family Members, In Their Own Right, For
Conditions Related To Military Service.
The report examines and makes
recommendations regarding treatment benefits for those family
members of Canadian Armed Forces Veterans who might be experiencing
their own mental health conditions as a result of military service.
The OVO believes that this is an important fairness matter in need
of both attention and action.
We encourage you to read the
full report and appreciate you sharing it through your networks and
on your social media channels.
Veterans’ Ombudsman Office of
the Veterans Ombudsman / Government of Canada
Click here to read the full report: Report on Mental Health
Treatment Benefits For Family Members, In Their Own Right, For
Conditions Related To Military Service.
Aujourd’hui, le Bureau de
l’ombudsman des vétérans (BOV) a publié son Rapport sur les
avantages pour soins de santé mentale destinés aux membres des
familles, de plein droit, pour des problèmes de santé mentale liés
au service militaire.
Le rapport porte sur les
avantages médicaux offerts aux membres de la famille des vétérans
des Forces armées canadiennes qui ont leur propre problème de santé
mentale lié au service militaire et il fait des recommandations à
Le BOV croit qu’il s’agit
d’une question importante en matière d’équité qui doit être portée à
notre attention et pour laquelle il faut prendre des mesures.
Nous vous encourageons à lire
le rapport en entier et nous vous remercions de faire part du
rapport au moyen de vos réseaux et de vos médias sociaux.
Veuillez agréer nos
salutations les plus sincères,
Ombudsman des Vétérans Bureau
de l’ombudsman des vétérans / Gouvernement du Canada
Cliquez sur le lien suivant pour consulter le rapport en entier :
Rapport sur les avantages pour soins de santé mentale destinés aux
membres des familles, de plein droit, pour des problèmes de santé
mentale liés au service militaire.
COVID Coverup: Trudeau gov’t helped China hide origins of COVID-19
Rebel News, Keean Bexte 14 Jan 2021
Jan 2020 db
Read the documents for yourself:
http://www.COVIDcoverup.ca Keean Bexte reveals some explosive information provided to him
by a high-ranking member of the Canadian Armed Forces regarding the
origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.