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Post by Cassey on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 7:10 pm

Posted: March 6, 2019

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Shameful and demoralizing to our Armed Forces


Letter to the Editor

Are you as embarrassed and ashamed of our federal government as I am?

You are probably thinking I’m referring to the SNC-Lavalin affair, but I’m not. That is a very serious event, but is a story for another day.

What I’m referring to is our shameful purchase of used, 30 plus year-old fighter jets from Australia.

This is exactly what third world countries do. They purchase old, obsolete military equipment from modern, developed countries as they have no other option, and now our country has joined that group.

I am so embarrassed and upset by this, it’s difficult to talk about it. Every Canadian should also feel the same way, but I’m afraid that most of my countrymen, especially the social media bunch, just don’t care.

The sad part is how demoralizing this type of thing is to our Armed Forces members.

Neil Matheson,

Cranbrook





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Post by Victor on Thu 14 Mar 2019, 3:24 pm

CANADIAN VETS DESERVE MORE RESPECT FROM THE GOVERNMENT

March 14, 2019 Noah Hollis

Letters / Opinions - Page 2 OpMainPiece9NoahHollis_48_JasmineFoong_WEB

Many Canadians, myself included, had hoped that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s sunny ways would restore dignity to and respect for veterans who felt short-changed by nine years of Conservative mismanagement. Unfortunately, this government continues to dismiss the concerns and needs of our retired service members.

As of March 11, Canada has seen a total of four Veterans Affairs ministers in 2019 alone. Seamus O’Regan was replaced by Jody Wilson-Raybould, who then resigned and was replaced with Harjit Sajjan. Sajjan was then replaced with Lawrence MacAulay, the former agriculture minister.

It’s common for Canadians to not know who runs which federal department, but even the most avid political junkies would have trouble following the leadership of this cabinet portfolio.

When Jody Wilson-Raybould was shuffled out of her role as minister of justice and attorney general by the prime minister, Canadian news outlets almost unanimously described this as a severe demotion and a slap in the face.

While any move from a position as prestigious as the minister of justice could be considered a demotion, the Veterans Affairs portfolio is unfortunately often regarded as a uniquely unimportant burden for successive Canadian governments.

The revolving door at Veterans Affairs implies that veterans’ concerns “aren’t necessarily going to be heard or met,” said retired Major Mark Campbell in an interview with CBC Radio.

It is incredibly difficult to imagine the efficacy of a long-term veteran’s strategy when a new minister has to be integrated into the workings of the department seemingly every few weeks. In fact, the department has seen 18 different ministers in total since former prime minister Jean Chrétien’s government, compared to only six in the finance portfolio.

Instead of returning the pension plan to the pre-2006 system preferred by many veterans, the Liberals opted for a much cheaper plan. The parliamentary budget officer recently found some of our most severely injured veterans will actually receive less under the new system than they currently do.

Many Canadians, myself included, had hoped that Trudeau would restore dignity to our veterans who felt short-changed by nine years of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

In Canada, where military service is optional, veterans are our bravest citizens for choosing to go and fight for our country. I think everyone should recognize that if we intend to send service members into action, we have a fundamental duty to ensure that they are able to thrive upon their return to Canada and receive the support they need.

At an Edmonton town hall last year, in a now infamous response to a veteran who asked why the government continues to fight injured veterans in court, Trudeau said veterans “are asking for more than we are able to give right now.”

Given that the Liberal government was able to scrounge up enough pocket money to purchase a $4.5 billion pipeline just a few months later, it’s not surprising that veterans continue to feel stung and neglected by our leaders.

As the start of a remedy, the government should protect the unique status of the Veterans Affairs ministry and move to assist the severely injured veterans who will be put at risk by the new pension system coming into force in April.

Most of all, we need to stop the politicization of veterans’ issues. The government needs to commit to a strong Veterans Affairs leader and end the revolving door of ministers. We must fight for those who have gone above and beyond for us and once again give our veterans the respect and care they deserve.

tagged with Jean Chrétien, Jody Wilson-Raybould, Lawrence MacAulay, Mark Campbell, Noah Hollis, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Seamus O’Regan, Veterans Affairs






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Post by Falcon on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 1:28 pm

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Once again, the federal budget turns a blind eye to Canada's military needs

Opinion: Were the Liberals ever serious about their big defence plan? They cut defence spending in 2018 and are ignoring it in 2019

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Post by Phantom on Thu 09 May 2019, 8:01 am

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Veteran says thanks
Contributed - May 8, 2019 / 2:51 pm |


I was released from the military in 1992, received a disability pension in 1994.

I am in contact with many veterans via email and have noticed the frustrations by some who have long waiting periods for their claims to be adjudicated.

On the other hand, as was in my situation, the exceptional way Veterans Affairs staff handled my case, especially the staff here in Kelowna, tells a different story.

In less than five months, and initiated by VAC because I have not seen a VAC doctor, which is my right every two years for possible updates, a great deal afforded to me by VAC, was instituted without me asking.

You must believe the wonderful way, kindness, understanding, patience (partly because I am 79 years old) in which the staff treated me. Certainly tells me they are doing everything within their means to help veterans.

During the five-month period, I received calls from staff across Canada, advising me of what was taking place, asking if I needed additional assistance and telling me to call anytime I needed help.

I suggest all veterans download and install your own personal VAC account online. VAC will help you do this, and it is then painless to receive information, track your claims and provides general peace of mind.


Dale Dirks







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Post by Rifleman on Thu 09 May 2019, 9:13 am

I am glad you had a excellent experience with VAC however if all Vac client had that type of service that would be great however that is not the case more often then not many veterans are waiting months and in some cases YEARS AND IT ONLY SEEMS TO BE GETTING WORST

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Post by Garrison on Thu 09 May 2019, 5:42 pm

Vandalism must stop at park dedicated to Durham, Canadian veterans

OPINION May 09, 2019 DurhamRegion.com

Senseless vandalism has reared its ugly head once again at The Park of Reflection in Whitby. And, the resulting damage is especially hurtful and demoralizing to those who’ve put extra effort and care into the pristine park located in the north end of town that pays homage to Durham's and Canada's veterans.

The park is not just any green space within Durham Region. Unveiled in November 2014, The Park of Reflection was built and dedicated by the Wounded Warriors Canada, a charitable organization, to honour Canadian veterans of war. It’s especially meaningful to the veterans across Durham who’ve sacrificed so much for our collective safety.

For those who are unaware, Wounded Warriors Canada is extremely active across Durham Region, helping countless veterans and first responders recover after being injured in the line of duty. Of late, the organization has helped implement mental health programs and supports for first responders, including a partnership with Pickering Fire Services to provide more mental health services to firefighters and their families.

The latest in a string of continuous incidents of vandalism at the park was heartbreaking as a memorial tree donated by the Vimy Oaks Foundation was uprooted and thrown over a fence, while another sapling was broken in half. Vimy oak trees are descendants of oaks from the battle of Vimy Ridge during the First World War.

Carl Burrill, a veteran and volunteer groundskeeper for the park, is taking the latest incidents of vandalism personally and especially hard. Burrill volunteers at the park seven days a week, keeping it clean and laying memorial stones. After the death of his wife earlier this year, the park and its upkeep has become a source of comfort to him. But, he says the vandalism is taking a toll.

“It’s awful to damage something like that, it means so much to us. We need to get it to stop but we don’t know how,” said Burrill.

Burrill and everyone who benefits from the quiet enjoyment of the park is getting some welcome help to stem the tide of vandalism. John Vickery of Vickery Electrics met with Burrill and offered to donate a 30-foot pole with a motion activated light to help deter vandals. The pole would have otherwise cost between $850 to $900. Burrill says the pole should go up soon and he believes the motion-activated light will hopefully deter vandals and allow those who want to enjoy the park to do so.

Vandalism is like a cancer on our communities, with these soulless individuals bent on taking something that’s a source of community pride and destroying it. It simply must be curbed and the perpetrators need to be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law. When vandals go to such great lengths to destroy public property, there must be an equal effort on the part of the community to deter them and their destructive ways.

The new motion sensor to be installed at The Park of Reflection in Whitby will hopefully go a long way toward curbing vandalism. Perhaps installing closed-circuit cameras in the area will go a step further in actually catching and prosecuting these loathsome individuals.










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Post by Delta on Sat 11 May 2019, 9:28 am

Today's letters: How Canada can make it up to Mark Norman

OTTAWA CITIZEN EDITORIAL BOARD May 11, 2019

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Post by Delta on Sat 11 May 2019, 9:31 am

NP View: With Mark Norman, the Liberals again demonstrate their disrespect for justice

OPINION - May 10, 2019

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Post by Xenophon on Mon 13 May 2019, 8:22 am

Letters, May 13:

Calgary Sun

Published:
May 13, 2019

NO NEED FOR JETS

The Canadian military, supported by the Canadian government, is apparently going to bid for some exotic fighter jets. I have to ask why? Why would anyone who can perceive matters objectively even begin to believe that 20 or 30 or even 50 of these jets would make any impact on any potential enemy planning to engage our Canadian military in a conflict. Our Canadian military services are very poorly led. The recent fiasco involving Vice-Admiral Mark Norman is just the latest bit of evidence. Our armed forces are very good at supporting others involved in combat and are particularly good at supporting civilian disaster recovery. They do not need F35s to do what they already excel at. They do need better equipment and would likely benefit with better leadership to do what they are very good at.

ED HENDERSON






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Post by Forcell on Tue 14 May 2019, 10:38 am

Letter to the Editor, May 14, 2019: Wartime Semans veteran still honoured in Europe

The sacrifices of Canada’s young men during the Second World War have not been forgotten in France or England, writes Sudbury, Suffolk resident Anne Grimshaw.

READER LETTERS May 14, 2019

Letters / Opinions - Page 2 Landeville-airmen
A commemoration ceremony for Pilot Officer Lewis Leslie Feindell of Semans, Sask., and his fellow crew members is held annually in the churchyard in Landéville, north of Chaumont, in eastern France. Many people from all over the area attend.



April 27 marked the 75th anniversary (1944) of the death of one of Semans’ sons, Pilot Officer Lewis Leslie Feindell (age 20) of the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was a mid-upper gunner in Lancaster LL919 from 619 Squadron, based at Dunholme Lodge near Lincoln, England.

In the evening of 26 April, 1944, his aircraft was heading for the target of industrial town Schweinfurt in southern Germany.

The Lancaster was thought to have been blown off course over a heavily defended area, and was shot down by a German nightfighter. Six of the seven crew were killed and were buried in the churchyard of the tiny village of Landéville, north of Chaumont, in eastern France. There was only one survivor, the bomb aimer, who was badly hurt but helped by a local woman before he had to be handed over to the Germans for much-needed medical treatment.

Every year since 1944, a commemoration ceremony is held in the churchyard in Landéville, which many people from all over the area attend. Presided over by the mayor, André Massaux, standard bearers from French veterans’ associations, local military officials and politicians, as well as local people and a veteran from 619 Squadron attended the wreath-laying at the graves before a vin d’honneur in the Town Hall.

Leslie Feindell was the son of Lewis Loval and Alice Feindell. They passed away, and he was brought up by an uncle, J.T. Green. He trained in various parts of Canada before embarking for Britain in May, 1943, where he underwent further training before joining Flight Lieutenant Guy Gunzi’s crew in late December 1943. The Schweinfurt raid was his 17th operation.

I have been researching this event since 1992, and have been to the commemoration at Landéville several times. It is very emotional and moving. The navigator, Flying Officer Nickolas Vlassie, was also RCAF; he came from Winnipeg.

I thought you might like to know that the sacrifices of Canada’s young men during the Second World War have not been forgotten in France, and there are also memorials to this crew in England.


Anne Grimshaw, Sudbury, Suffolk, England




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Post by Jeremiah on Tue 14 May 2019, 7:25 pm

POILIEVRE: Justice system became Justin system in Norman case

Published:
May 14, 2019



As the truth comes out about the government’s persecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, a chilling suspicion emerges with it: Justin Trudeau used the legal system to punish somebody he considered a political ‘enemy.’

Norman of course, is no enemy to Canada. He is a distinguished naval officer who has honourably served the country for 30 years.

However, that meant nothing when Trudeau decided Norman must have tipped off Davie Shipbuilding that their supply-ship contract, awarded by the Harper government, might be reallocated to Irving — important Liberal client-friends.

Certainly, there was a leak. Embarrassed, the government left the contract with Davie.

And let’s allow the Liberal government this: Any government wants to know who leaks information. The RCMP have investigated such things before. And the consequences for a public servant accused of breach of trust are beyond uncomfortable as were the RCMP raid on Norman’s home, his removal as second in command of the CAF, and the massive legal bills he quickly accumulated.


What’s unforgivable, and deeply wounds Trudeau’s reputation, is what the evidence suggests: That he pre-judged the matter, and having concluded Norman was responsible, tried to use the justice system and instruments of state to destroy him.

There’s precedent: Ask Jody Wilson-Raybould.

But to protect the interests of a party that puts itself before Canadians and the law, precedent has become pattern.

First, the whisper campaign: Before laying the charge, Trudeau asserted — twice — that Norman would end up in court. In Ottawa, when a prime minister says something like that, people around him listen: It is likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Sure enough, a month later, charges were laid.







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Post by Mojave on Sun 19 May 2019, 10:00 pm

Letters, May 19: Canadian troops excel in combat roles

Calgary Sun

Published:
May 19, 2019

Letters / Opinions - Page 2 All-out
A 2017 training exercise in Wainwright, Alberta. If Alberta forces ever drove east to capture Saskatchewan and neutralize opposition, this is what it would look like.Master Corporal Malcolm Byers



COMBAT-READY

Ed Henderson’s implication that Canadian forces are more suited to support than combat (No need for jets, May 13) flies in the face of fact and results from (Justin) Trudeau’s misguided personal belief that combat must be avoided, as witness his immediate withdrawal of Canada’s valuable contribution to the allied air campaign against ISIS and his long and frantic search for a non-combat UN “peacekeeping” role. In fact, Canada’s military past is based on excellence in combat. In World War 1, from 1916 on, the Canadian Corps was widely recognized as the best and most effective of all Western front formations, and its commander (Arthur) Currie as the top general. In the Second World War, Canadian troops were selected for, and succeeded in the assault landings on Sicily, Italy and Normandy. Originally allotted a secondary role in Sicily, they so succeeded that Bernard Montgomery transferred the main effort to them. In Italy they excelled from Reggio to Ortona and the Hitler Line, broke the Gothic Line, capturing Coriano and led to the Romagna, paving the way to final victory. In northwest Europe on D-Day, they penetrated the deepest inland of all Allied divisions, were first to reach their final objectives, spearheaded the advance from Caen to join U.S. forces in closing the Falaise gap. Thereafter they captured the channel ports and Scheldt, helped clear the Rhineland, liberated Holland and advanced to Bremen and the Jade. In the air they fought in the Battle of Britain and contributed many squadrons to the bombing campaign against Germany, the air defence of Great Britain, the Tactical Air Forces and Coastal Command. At sea they played a major role in keeping the sea lanes free and supporting assault landings. In Hong Kong, the Japanese only experienced setbacks against Canadians whose commander, unique among generals anywhere when all was lost, was killed when he elected to go outside and fight rather than surrender. Canadians continued to excel in subsequent battles in Korea and Afghanistan.

A.D. McKAY

(A proud fighting force.)




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Post by Hammercore on Fri 24 May 2019, 8:28 am

Letters to the Editor (6): Friday, May 24, 2019

Liberals caused the mess with military

Dear Editor:


Patrick MacDonald (Courier, Letters, May 15) feeds the public bafflegab with his false allegation attacking the Conservatives saying they eliminated the life-long pensions for wounded warriors.

The Liberals were the creators of this disastrous plan.

Conservatives were forced to finalize this Liberal deal when they were elected or face defeat as a minority government.

After Harper’s second (majority) government, he got things moving for retired injured and wounded veterans.

The long list of benefits you list in your letter would be wonderful if Veterans Affairs didn’t operate on an automatic denial system.

Automatic denials compounded by lost sick reports/documents result in most veterans fading away.

Civil servants are experts in the paper chase. Veterans are action-oriented people; not paper chasers and unable to cope with constant denials.

Only when the Conservatives received a majority was action taken to re-address the standard denial of veteran injuries by Veteran Affairs.

Unresolved claims go back many years across this country. One case in point: A paratrooper in an artillery regiment jumped in a night time paratroop operation; broke his back.

Today he is confined to a wheelchair plus is almost deaf from the noise of artillery shells. He was denied his claim and he was one of the veterans that faded away and is living in penury today.

The Liberals love to hate the military and they have proved it with their handling of the Veterans Affairs file over many years. (Not to mention Liberal unification of the Canadian Armed Forces in 1968)

There are 40,000 Afghan veterans suffering various stages of PTSD and they are not getting the treatment they deserve. Australia and the U.S. have recognized and helped these veterans’ needs. Yet the Liberals continue to stumble when it comes to keeping up to the responsibilities of modern warfare.

MacDonald’s letter does incredible damage to honourably retired veterans that served their country in times of war and peace. It is inconceivable that anyone would throw veterans under the bus all in the pursuit of a Liberal victory in the next election.

Shame on you, Patrick MacDonald. Your list of benefits is wonderful. Too bad you didn’t tell the real story.


Ernie Slump

Penticton





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Post by Thunder95 on Fri 24 May 2019, 8:32 pm



Feds botch another attempt to honour veterans of war in Afghanistan

The folks in Ottawa don't seem to want to properly honour the sacrifices of these veterans, writes Jacques De Winter


May 24, 2019

Letters / Opinions - Page 2 Jdw%202012%20002_Super_Portrait
Jacques De Winter - Photo supplied



It is beyond atrocious and abhorrent the way the Afghanistan memorial event was unveiled on May 13.

It is embarrassingly clear how out-of-touch the elected officials in Ottawa are with us, the voters.

To not even include the very families of the soldiers who gave their lives, who the memorial commemorates, defines the government's ignominious behaviour. Not even the public knew about this event, or were invited.

There are 190 plaques on the memorial with the names and faces of those being honoured, and the families were not invited?! The press was not invited?!

Perhaps it would have been thoughtful to invite at least one Silver Cross mother, but no, the event was almost secret.

As for the public, it was those who cared enough, and took the time to line the Highway of Heroes and overpasses over Highway 401 on the return of 'the fallen' in rain or shine or snow or freezing cold, who showed the nation that there were those who cared.

When the Afghanistan combat mission was stood down in Kandahar, the memorial was carefully packed and returned to Ottawa. Parts of it was displayed across Canada by my dear friend MWO Renay Groves and her Afghanistan memorial group. She also had it on display at McCrae House, and at legion branch 234 one Canada Day.

In my daughter's hometown of Hearst in northern Ontario, a family friend by the name of Jack Bouthillier was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2009. Jack's father Raynald said, "They were willing to die for their country, so why can't the public go see their faces, and remember those guys? You know, for me, Remembrance Day is not once a year!"

Raynald, who owns a trucking company, drives a truck all over Ontario and Quebec emblazoned with Afghanistan memorabilia, and all the names of 'the fallen' in paint all over his truck. In 2010, I helped Raynald get permission to display his truck at Parliament Hill, right by the Centennial Flame, while veterans were participating in a rendezvous.

Erroll Cushley, who lost his son in 2006 said, "it seems like we're an embarrassment to them."

To run a country, a government needs integrity, honour, ethics, honesty, justice, and altruistic statesmanship.

How can democracy and the majority rule or govern a nation, when these requirements are buried or appear not to exist?

To deny or withhold facts and details, or redact information in order to humiliate, slander, and ruin the life of another person is disgusting, and it happened with a captain in the RCAF when his personal files were shared with others, and this was unlawful.

And it appears that most recently with a vice admiral, where again the malfeasance of the government was unlawful and inappropriate in that it tried to charge an innocent Canadian and withheld details and documents or redacted information that proved him innocent.

Then, when the people, we the voters, do something lawful by appropriately petitioning successive governments to the tune of tens of thousands of signatories, and the petition being presented in the House of Commons by numerous MPs more than 30 times, the pleas of the people are ignored. This is not a democracy!

When veterans ask to be recognized for serving their country, and thousands upon thousands sign a petition asking Parliament to do so, why has this request constantly hit a brick wall?

At legion branch 234 we mean it when we say, "WE WILL REMEMBER THEM."

I truly believe that when some of the folks in Ottawa utter those same four words, they don't mean what they say. So when all the parties are gearing up for an election, and the promises made are but wasted words and hot air, there may be a tsunami of change coming.

If a government can and will do this to veterans, what makes John Q. Public so confident they won't do it to them.

We need true democracy back, run by those elected to serve the people, and not themselves and their hidden agenda.


Jacques De Winter is a Rockwood resident and a veteran of a Canadian Forces peacekeeping deployment to Cyprus. He is also active in the local Legion.





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Post by Terrarium on Sat 25 May 2019, 1:48 pm

Saturday's letters: Afghan war heroes deserved better

EDMONTON JOURNAL May 25, 2019

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