Sean Bruyea

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Post by vet1 on Sat 21 Jul 2018, 11:56 am

Finally, some good news. Go Sean go!

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Post by Trooper on Sat 21 Jul 2018, 6:35 pm

Terminator wrote:
Vets minister sued for defamation in fight over pensions

Murray Brewster · CBC News · Posted: Jul 21, 2018

Sean Bruyea - Page 2 Seamus-o-regan-in-fredericton


I think this is a smart move by Sean simply because Sean knows there's no law in place for Veterans to sue for injustice so his going after the Minister for defamation. I don't think it matters much if he wins or not as long as the suit is given the go - ahead. This would show the Country the true colours of it's government towards it's disabled Veterans.

Also we will all see come April 2019 that Sean is 100% correct in his article and Seamus is off. For example Sean says the so called 2019 pension is only 40% of the pension act pension, well the numbers are there and Sean is 100% correct. The IRB is a joke, after 65 only those with no CF Pension will see some, but even at that, very little. Seamus keeps talking about all the funds they spent on Veterans, if only half of that would reach the pockets of disabled Veterans. You can spend all the funds you want but if it's not going directly in the pockets of Veterans it's only spin statements.

Veterans post 2019 are even going to be in worse shape than pre 2019 simply because of the benefits that are going to be taken away.

"The Justice Department has filed a motion to dismiss the case, suggesting a lawsuit against a minister of the Crown would put a chill on public debate."

"If this proceeding is permitted to continue, then its effect will not only stifle the defendant's free speech but also potentially deter others from expressing their views on this issue," government lawyers wrote."


The justice department is pissed because with defamation they can't play the no legislated social contract between the government and Veterans card.

I thank Sean, and wish him the best with all my support.
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Post by pinger on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 10:38 pm

The CBC link is here . . .

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/oregan-bruyea-lawsuit-1.4755735

. . . and has the pdf"s of said Seamus / Sean articles in question.

He does not go off half cocked folks .
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Post by Lincoln on Thu 16 Aug 2018, 7:40 pm

PENSION FOR LIFE?

April 18, 2018

By Sean Bruyea & Robert Smol

Sean Bruyea - Page 2 Veterans+-+exercise+removing+injured+to+helicopter

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Post by vet1 on Thu 16 Aug 2018, 7:55 pm

click on the 'like' at the end of the article (if you wish)

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Post by Bailler on Sat 25 Aug 2018, 9:28 am

Government lawyers ask for defamation case against veterans minister to be tossed

Murray Brewster · CBC News · Posted: Aug 24, 2018

Sean Bruyea - Page 2 Oreagan-bruyea

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Post by Kizzer on Thu 06 Sep 2018, 5:13 pm

Judge to rule on throwing out advocate’s defamation case against veterans minister

By EMILY HAWS AUG. 29, 2018 The Hill Times

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Post by Lincoln on Wed 12 Sep 2018, 10:00 am

Judge tosses defamation case against veterans minister

By EMILY HAWS SEP. 12, 2018

The veterans advocate who filed the lawsuit, Sean Bruyea, says he'll appeal the ruling.

Sean Bruyea - Page 2 8374b8f489574099b31851d76da3c7f2-1-750x375
Veterans advocate Sean Bruyea walks toward the Ottawa courthouse on Aug. 24. His defamation case heard that day against Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan was dismissed Aug. 28, but he says he has retained a lawyer to appeal.


An Ontario judge has dismissed a defamation case against Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan, saying the need to protect the freedom of expression is more important than any harm alleged to have been suffered by an outspoken veterans advocate. Sean Bruyea, who represented himself in Ontario Superior Court, says he plans to appeal the ruling. He filed the $25,000 defamation lawsuit against Mr. O’Regan (St. John's South-Mount Pearl, N.L.), on May 11 in small claims court.




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Post by Mullberry on Tue 23 Oct 2018, 11:09 am

How to razzle dazzle veterans and do nothing

by Sean Bruyea OCT. 22, 2018 THE HILL TIMES

The upcoming Veterans Stakeholder Summit on Oct. 29 is the summit of bureaucratic insensitivity when it comes to accessibility. Our disabled veterans and their families deserve more. More voice, more consequential input, and more dignified treatment.

Sean Bruyea - Page 2 VimyAndrewMeadephoto6.t58ec2997.m800.xaa1286f5-750x375

OTTAWA—One thing consistently flies over the heads of Veterans Affairs Canada’s senior mandarins: the concept of accessibility for disabled veterans and their families.

The upcoming Veterans’ Stakeholder Summit on Oct. 29 is the summit of bureaucratic insensitivity when it comes to accessibility. Disabled veterans and their families will once again be denied accessibility to having a meaningful and substantive say in how their government treats and mistreats them.

The news cycle over the past decade has seen a constant stream of stories about veterans suffering VAC’s odd notion of accessibility. Whether it is arbitrary decisions, arbitrary dates and years of service to qualify for benefits, wait-times to receive decisions and benefits, closing and opening of offices, or the reduction and then the lacklustre increase in numbers of frontline and adjudicating employees while protecting positions in the head office.

The bogus claims of consultation culminate in next Monday’s feel-good and consequence-free Veterans’ Stakeholder Summit.

The problem: who or what is a stakeholder? According to Veterans Affairs, “Stakeholders are individuals, groups or organizations: who are affected by changes to VAC programs, benefits and services; and/or have an interest in Veterans [sic] issues.”

Every veteran is affected by VAC services. Commemorating military service is one of the department’s responsibilities. All Canadians should have an interest in veterans’ issues. Military service and sacrifice, after all, is in the name of Canada and all Canadians. The definition needs work.

For most of the past six decades, Veterans Affairs interpreted policy change as sacrosanct, like speaking to a deity: communication with the divine department about program changes had to pass through a handful of priestly veterans’ organizations.

That is why VAC ordained that representatives of just six veterans’ organizations, sworn to confidentiality by bureaucrats, would endorse the replacement of lifelong pensions with one-time lump sums in 2005. Organizations principally composed of World War II and Korean War veterans supported less for Canadian Forces veterans than war veterans received or were receiving.

Much has changed in the past 13 years but the goal of controlling the message has not. Agnostic veterans like me, Luc Levesque and Louise Richard began speaking out in the late 1990s. After 2005, the irreverent veterans who dared criticize VAC mismanagement and insensitivity increased.

In fact, the only movement in the lethargic bureaucratic beast at Veterans Affairs has been sparked by public outcry. The source of the outcry: the unaffiliated veteran or those willing to break ranks with their veterans’ organizations, tragically many of whom have been too timid and loyal to openly criticize government.

In February 2012, a minor miracle occurred. VAC was forced to invite some of those impertinent veterans to one of the first broader stakeholder meetings at a public venue, promising two such meetings per year thereafter. The result: the vast majority of participants signed a clearly-worded resolution to implement all recommendations from three advisory groups. The next summit was held behind the high security gates of the Citadel in Québec City. Impudent veterans were not invited.

Not until, “Uncle Walt” Natynczyck became VAC deputy minister in late 2014, did we see some of the more vocal veterans invited. Keeping tradition, the summit in 2015 saw veterans’ cellphones “voluntarily” confiscated. Attending were organizations that had no veterans or family members in their ranks.

Yet the summit was principally about caring for the most disabled veterans and their families. Many organizations invited do not publicly divulge their membership numbers let alone if they actually represent any disabled veterans. A photo-op with a minister and a free trip can mean the world to veterans who have long been neglected by government.

Kudos to the Royal Canadian Legion as it has been, up until 2017, the most transparent in making publicly available their membership composition. VeteransCanada.ca also publishes its numbers and has repeatedly surveyed its members as to their disabilities, benefits from, and concerns about VAC. Most organizations should not attend until they can prove they represent the views of disabled veterans and their families, the focus of all summits thus far. VAC has refused to provide me with the invite list thus far but it will likely include the same well-meaning organizations. VAC can then dilute the views of those disabled veterans and their families most dependent upon VAC’s programs.

The last summit was in October 2016. Approximately 120 participants were surveyed, but only after many civilians had left. Even then, only 74 per cent were veterans, 44 per cent had never deployed outside of Canada, and a mere 47 per cent were receiving benefits from VAC.

We also saw some repugnant displays of intimidation. Some of the most disabled grappled with their anxiety in such a large setting. They were keenly aware that most participants did not understand the struggles of the disabled, especially in dealing with VAC. It was overwhelming to be subjected to two days of a bureaucratic shut-up-and-listen agenda. Nevertheless, these brave veterans spoke up in an understandable manner given their disabilities: with frustration and hurt.

Sadly, they were silenced by insensitive bureaucrats or worse. Audience members including medical practitioners and ombudspersons watched as some Ministerial Advisory Group participants stepped in to do the bureaucrats’ bidding by rudely dismissing other disabled veterans’ concerns.

The bottom line to VAC’s message control: not one clear and substantive resolution or commitment has emerged from six years of stakeholder meetings. As one internal document from an earlier summit instructs bureaucratic organizers, “participants are thanked for their contribution. They feel their input and presence is valued.” Government follow-up not necessary.

Our disabled veterans and their families deserve more. More voice, more consequential input, and more dignified treatment. If they are to make their lives whole again, disabled veterans and their families need accessibility to fulsomely deciding their future. Perhaps government will remember that instead of holding yet another “Summit for Bureaucrats” to tell veterans what a wonderful job Veterans Affairs is doing.

Sean Bruyea, vice-president of Anti-Corruption and Accountability Canada and author, has a graduate degree in public ethics, is a retired Air Force intelligence officer, and frequent commentator on government, military, and veterans’ issues. Mr. Bruyea filed a $25,000 defamation lawsuit against Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan on May 11, claiming the minister had defamed in a column published in The Hill Times on Feb. 26, which was a rebuttal to Mr. Bruyea’s Feb. 12 column also in The Hill Times. But an Ontario judge dismissed the case, saying the need to protect the freedom of expression is more important than any harm alleged to have been suffered by the outspoken veterans’ advocate, who represented himself in Ontario Superior Court. Mr. Bruyea is appealing the ruling.

The Hill Times



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Post by Trooper on Tue 23 Oct 2018, 6:42 pm

Mullberry wrote:
How to razzle dazzle veterans and do nothing

by Sean Bruyea OCT. 22, 2018 THE HILL TIMES

The upcoming Veterans Stakeholder Summit on Oct. 29 is the summit of bureaucratic insensitivity when it comes to accessibility. Our disabled veterans and their families deserve more. More voice, more consequential input, and more dignified treatment.

Sean Bruyea - Page 2 VimyAndrewMeadephoto6.t58ec2997.m800.xaa1286f5-750x375

OTTAWA—One thing consistently flies over the heads of Veterans Affairs Canada’s senior mandarins: the concept of accessibility for disabled veterans and their families.

The upcoming Veterans’ Stakeholder Summit on Oct. 29 is the summit of bureaucratic insensitivity when it comes to accessibility. Disabled veterans and their families will once again be denied accessibility to having a meaningful and substantive say in how their government treats and mistreats them.

The news cycle over the past decade has seen a constant stream of stories about veterans suffering VAC’s odd notion of accessibility. Whether it is arbitrary decisions, arbitrary dates and years of service to qualify for benefits, wait-times to receive decisions and benefits, closing and opening of offices, or the reduction and then the lacklustre increase in numbers of frontline and adjudicating employees while protecting positions in the head office.

The bogus claims of consultation culminate in next Monday’s feel-good and consequence-free Veterans’ Stakeholder Summit.

The problem: who or what is a stakeholder? According to Veterans Affairs, “Stakeholders are individuals, groups or organizations: who are affected by changes to VAC programs, benefits and services; and/or have an interest in Veterans [sic] issues.”

Every veteran is affected by VAC services. Commemorating military service is one of the department’s responsibilities. All Canadians should have an interest in veterans’ issues. Military service and sacrifice, after all, is in the name of Canada and all Canadians. The definition needs work.

For most of the past six decades, Veterans Affairs interpreted policy change as sacrosanct, like speaking to a deity: communication with the divine department about program changes had to pass through a handful of priestly veterans’ organizations.

That is why VAC ordained that representatives of just six veterans’ organizations, sworn to confidentiality by bureaucrats, would endorse the replacement of lifelong pensions with one-time lump sums in 2005. Organizations principally composed of World War II and Korean War veterans supported less for Canadian Forces veterans than war veterans received or were receiving.

Much has changed in the past 13 years but the goal of controlling the message has not. Agnostic veterans like me, Luc Levesque and Louise Richard began speaking out in the late 1990s. After 2005, the irreverent veterans who dared criticize VAC mismanagement and insensitivity increased.

In fact, the only movement in the lethargic bureaucratic beast at Veterans Affairs has been sparked by public outcry. The source of the outcry: the unaffiliated veteran or those willing to break ranks with their veterans’ organizations, tragically many of whom have been too timid and loyal to openly criticize government.

In February 2012, a minor miracle occurred. VAC was forced to invite some of those impertinent veterans to one of the first broader stakeholder meetings at a public venue, promising two such meetings per year thereafter. The result: the vast majority of participants signed a clearly-worded resolution to implement all recommendations from three advisory groups. The next summit was held behind the high security gates of the Citadel in Québec City. Impudent veterans were not invited.

Not until, “Uncle Walt” Natynczyck became VAC deputy minister in late 2014, did we see some of the more vocal veterans invited. Keeping tradition, the summit in 2015 saw veterans’ cellphones “voluntarily” confiscated. Attending were organizations that had no veterans or family members in their ranks.

Yet the summit was principally about caring for the most disabled veterans and their families. Many organizations invited do not publicly divulge their membership numbers let alone if they actually represent any disabled veterans. A photo-op with a minister and a free trip can mean the world to veterans who have long been neglected by government.

Kudos to the Royal Canadian Legion as it has been, up until 2017, the most transparent in making publicly available their membership composition. VeteransCanada.ca also publishes its numbers and has repeatedly surveyed its members as to their disabilities, benefits from, and concerns about VAC. Most organizations should not attend until they can prove they represent the views of disabled veterans and their families, the focus of all summits thus far. VAC has refused to provide me with the invite list thus far but it will likely include the same well-meaning organizations. VAC can then dilute the views of those disabled veterans and their families most dependent upon VAC’s programs.

The last summit was in October 2016. Approximately 120 participants were surveyed, but only after many civilians had left. Even then, only 74 per cent were veterans, 44 per cent had never deployed outside of Canada, and a mere 47 per cent were receiving benefits from VAC.

We also saw some repugnant displays of intimidation. Some of the most disabled grappled with their anxiety in such a large setting. They were keenly aware that most participants did not understand the struggles of the disabled, especially in dealing with VAC. It was overwhelming to be subjected to two days of a bureaucratic shut-up-and-listen agenda. Nevertheless, these brave veterans spoke up in an understandable manner given their disabilities: with frustration and hurt.

Sadly, they were silenced by insensitive bureaucrats or worse. Audience members including medical practitioners and ombudspersons watched as some Ministerial Advisory Group participants stepped in to do the bureaucrats’ bidding by rudely dismissing other disabled veterans’ concerns.

The bottom line to VAC’s message control: not one clear and substantive resolution or commitment has emerged from six years of stakeholder meetings. As one internal document from an earlier summit instructs bureaucratic organizers, “participants are thanked for their contribution. They feel their input and presence is valued.” Government follow-up not necessary.

Our disabled veterans and their families deserve more. More voice, more consequential input, and more dignified treatment. If they are to make their lives whole again, disabled veterans and their families need accessibility to fulsomely deciding their future. Perhaps government will remember that instead of holding yet another “Summit for Bureaucrats” to tell veterans what a wonderful job Veterans Affairs is doing.

Sean Bruyea, vice-president of Anti-Corruption and Accountability Canada and author, has a graduate degree in public ethics, is a retired Air Force intelligence officer, and frequent commentator on government, military, and veterans’ issues. Mr. Bruyea filed a $25,000 defamation lawsuit against Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan on May 11, claiming the minister had defamed in a column published in The Hill Times on Feb. 26, which was a rebuttal to Mr. Bruyea’s Feb. 12 column also in The Hill Times. But an Ontario judge dismissed the case, saying the need to protect the freedom of expression is more important than any harm alleged to have been suffered by the outspoken veterans’ advocate, who represented himself in Ontario Superior Court. Mr. Bruyea is appealing the ruling.

The Hill Times




Once again the government secretly is going to hold a stakeholder summit. This is a staged gathering by VAC to give a false impression of what they are doing to better Veterans & families. This is pure propaganda by VAC plain, and simple. It's a waste of tax payer dollars, and those who attend regardless of reason are feeding the governments public relation tactic. They are not doing the disabled Veterans any favor by taking this paid trip to attend this bullshit event.

The same old after summit response of waste of time will be reported, and Walt, and Seamus will walk away with their heads held high thinking they done well, and they cannot please everyone.

One final word on advocacy, listen if the only way disabled Veterans can get inline with our fight against VAC is at the polls, don't you think with the election coming next year all of our resources should go towards ousting the current government?
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Post by Trooper on Tue 23 Oct 2018, 6:45 pm

Trooper wrote:
Mullberry wrote:
How to razzle dazzle veterans and do nothing

by Sean Bruyea OCT. 22, 2018 THE HILL TIMES

The upcoming Veterans Stakeholder Summit on Oct. 29 is the summit of bureaucratic insensitivity when it comes to accessibility. Our disabled veterans and their families deserve more. More voice, more consequential input, and more dignified treatment.

Sean Bruyea - Page 2 VimyAndrewMeadephoto6.t58ec2997.m800.xaa1286f5-750x375

OTTAWA—One thing consistently flies over the heads of Veterans Affairs Canada’s senior mandarins: the concept of accessibility for disabled veterans and their families.

The upcoming Veterans’ Stakeholder Summit on Oct. 29 is the summit of bureaucratic insensitivity when it comes to accessibility. Disabled veterans and their families will once again be denied accessibility to having a meaningful and substantive say in how their government treats and mistreats them.

The news cycle over the past decade has seen a constant stream of stories about veterans suffering VAC’s odd notion of accessibility. Whether it is arbitrary decisions, arbitrary dates and years of service to qualify for benefits, wait-times to receive decisions and benefits, closing and opening of offices, or the reduction and then the lacklustre increase in numbers of frontline and adjudicating employees while protecting positions in the head office.

The bogus claims of consultation culminate in next Monday’s feel-good and consequence-free Veterans’ Stakeholder Summit.

The problem: who or what is a stakeholder? According to Veterans Affairs, “Stakeholders are individuals, groups or organizations: who are affected by changes to VAC programs, benefits and services; and/or have an interest in Veterans [sic] issues.”

Every veteran is affected by VAC services. Commemorating military service is one of the department’s responsibilities. All Canadians should have an interest in veterans’ issues. Military service and sacrifice, after all, is in the name of Canada and all Canadians. The definition needs work.

For most of the past six decades, Veterans Affairs interpreted policy change as sacrosanct, like speaking to a deity: communication with the divine department about program changes had to pass through a handful of priestly veterans’ organizations.

That is why VAC ordained that representatives of just six veterans’ organizations, sworn to confidentiality by bureaucrats, would endorse the replacement of lifelong pensions with one-time lump sums in 2005. Organizations principally composed of World War II and Korean War veterans supported less for Canadian Forces veterans than war veterans received or were receiving.

Much has changed in the past 13 years but the goal of controlling the message has not. Agnostic veterans like me, Luc Levesque and Louise Richard began speaking out in the late 1990s. After 2005, the irreverent veterans who dared criticize VAC mismanagement and insensitivity increased.

In fact, the only movement in the lethargic bureaucratic beast at Veterans Affairs has been sparked by public outcry. The source of the outcry: the unaffiliated veteran or those willing to break ranks with their veterans’ organizations, tragically many of whom have been too timid and loyal to openly criticize government.

In February 2012, a minor miracle occurred. VAC was forced to invite some of those impertinent veterans to one of the first broader stakeholder meetings at a public venue, promising two such meetings per year thereafter. The result: the vast majority of participants signed a clearly-worded resolution to implement all recommendations from three advisory groups. The next summit was held behind the high security gates of the Citadel in Québec City. Impudent veterans were not invited.

Not until, “Uncle Walt” Natynczyck became VAC deputy minister in late 2014, did we see some of the more vocal veterans invited. Keeping tradition, the summit in 2015 saw veterans’ cellphones “voluntarily” confiscated. Attending were organizations that had no veterans or family members in their ranks.

Yet the summit was principally about caring for the most disabled veterans and their families. Many organizations invited do not publicly divulge their membership numbers let alone if they actually represent any disabled veterans. A photo-op with a minister and a free trip can mean the world to veterans who have long been neglected by government.

Kudos to the Royal Canadian Legion as it has been, up until 2017, the most transparent in making publicly available their membership composition. VeteransCanada.ca also publishes its numbers and has repeatedly surveyed its members as to their disabilities, benefits from, and concerns about VAC. Most organizations should not attend until they can prove they represent the views of disabled veterans and their families, the focus of all summits thus far. VAC has refused to provide me with the invite list thus far but it will likely include the same well-meaning organizations. VAC can then dilute the views of those disabled veterans and their families most dependent upon VAC’s programs.

The last summit was in October 2016. Approximately 120 participants were surveyed, but only after many civilians had left. Even then, only 74 per cent were veterans, 44 per cent had never deployed outside of Canada, and a mere 47 per cent were receiving benefits from VAC.

We also saw some repugnant displays of intimidation. Some of the most disabled grappled with their anxiety in such a large setting. They were keenly aware that most participants did not understand the struggles of the disabled, especially in dealing with VAC. It was overwhelming to be subjected to two days of a bureaucratic shut-up-and-listen agenda. Nevertheless, these brave veterans spoke up in an understandable manner given their disabilities: with frustration and hurt.

Sadly, they were silenced by insensitive bureaucrats or worse. Audience members including medical practitioners and ombudspersons watched as some Ministerial Advisory Group participants stepped in to do the bureaucrats’ bidding by rudely dismissing other disabled veterans’ concerns.

The bottom line to VAC’s message control: not one clear and substantive resolution or commitment has emerged from six years of stakeholder meetings. As one internal document from an earlier summit instructs bureaucratic organizers, “participants are thanked for their contribution. They feel their input and presence is valued.” Government follow-up not necessary.

Our disabled veterans and their families deserve more. More voice, more consequential input, and more dignified treatment. If they are to make their lives whole again, disabled veterans and their families need accessibility to fulsomely deciding their future. Perhaps government will remember that instead of holding yet another “Summit for Bureaucrats” to tell veterans what a wonderful job Veterans Affairs is doing.

Sean Bruyea, vice-president of Anti-Corruption and Accountability Canada and author, has a graduate degree in public ethics, is a retired Air Force intelligence officer, and frequent commentator on government, military, and veterans’ issues. Mr. Bruyea filed a $25,000 defamation lawsuit against Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan on May 11, claiming the minister had defamed in a column published in The Hill Times on Feb. 26, which was a rebuttal to Mr. Bruyea’s Feb. 12 column also in The Hill Times. But an Ontario judge dismissed the case, saying the need to protect the freedom of expression is more important than any harm alleged to have been suffered by the outspoken veterans’ advocate, who represented himself in Ontario Superior Court. Mr. Bruyea is appealing the ruling.

The Hill Times




Once again the government secretly is going to hold a stakeholder summit. This is a staged gathering by VAC to give a false impression of what they are doing to better Veterans & families. This is pure propaganda by VAC plain, and simple. It's a waste of tax payer dollars, and those who attend regardless of reason are feeding the governments public relation tactic. They are not doing the disabled Veterans any favor by taking this paid trip to attend this bullshit event.

The same old after summit response of waste of time will be reported, and Walt, and Seamus will walk away with their heads held high thinking they done well, and they cannot please everyone.

One final word on this summit, and advocacy as a whole, listen if the only way disabled Veterans can get inline with our fight against VAC is at the polls, don't you think with the election coming next year all of our resources should go towards ousting the current government?
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Post by Lincoln on Mon 29 Oct 2018, 7:36 am

Yet another dog and pony show for veterans unfolds, says advocate

DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN October 28, 2018

Sean Bruyea - Page 2 After-seven-months-of-repair-and-restoration-the-national-w4

Opinion Piece

By Sean Bruyea

Defence Watch Guest Writer

One thing consistently flies over the heads of Veterans Affairs Canada’s senior mandarins: the concept of accessibility for disabled veterans and their families.

The Veterans’ Stakeholder Summit on Monday is the summit of bureaucratic insensitivity when it comes to accessibility. Disabled veterans and their families will once again be denied accessibility to having a meaningful and substantive say in how their government treats and mistreats them.

The news cycle over the past decade has seen a constant stream of stories about veterans suffering Veterans Affairs Canada’s odd notion of accessibility. Whether it is arbitrary decisions, arbitrary dates and years of service to qualify for benefits, wait-times to receive decisions and benefits, closing and opening of offices, or the reduction and then the lacklustre increase in numbers of frontline and adjudicating employees while protecting positions in the head office.

The bogus claims of consultation culminate in Monday’s feel-good and consequence-free Veterans’ Stakeholder Summit.

The problem: who or what is a stakeholder? According to Veterans Affairs, “Stakeholders are individuals, groups or organizations: who are affected by changes to VAC programs, benefits and services; and/or have an interest in Veterans [sic] issues.”

Every veteran is affected by VAC services. Commemorating military service is one of the department’s responsibilities. All Canadians should have an interest in veterans’ issues. Military service and sacrifice, after all, is in the name of Canada and all Canadians. The definition needs work.

For most of the past six decades, Veterans Affairs interpreted policy change as sacrosanct, like speaking to a deity: communication with the divine department about program changes had to pass through a handful of priestly veterans’ organizations.

That is why VAC ordained that representatives of just six veterans’ organizations, sworn to confidentiality by bureaucrats, would endorse the replacement of lifelong pensions with one-time lump sums in 2005. Organizations principally composed of Second World War and Korean War veterans supported less for Canadian Forces veterans than war veterans received or were receiving.

Much has changed in the past 13 years but the goal of controlling the message has not. Agnostic veterans like myself, Luc Levesque and Louise Richard began speaking out in the late 1990s. After 2005, the irreverent veterans who dared criticize VAC mismanagement and insensitivity increased.

In fact, the only movement in the lethargic bureaucratic beast at Veterans Affairs has been sparked by public outcry. The source of the outcry: the unaffiliated veteran or those willing to break ranks with their veterans’ organizations, tragically many of whom have been too timid and loyal to openly criticize government.

In February 2012, a minor miracle occurred. VAC was forced to invite some of those impertinent veterans to one of the first broader stakeholder meetings at a public venue, promising two such meetings per year thereafter. The result: the vast majority of participants signed a clearly-worded resolution to implement all recommendations from three advisory groups.

The next summit was held behind the high security gates of the Citadel in Québec City. Impudent veterans were not invited.

Not until retired Gen. Walt Natynczyk became VAC deputy minister in late 2014, did we see some of the more vocal veterans invited. Keeping tradition, the summit in 2015 saw veterans’ cellphones “voluntarily” confiscated. Attending were organizations that had no veterans or family members in their ranks.

Yet the summit was principally about caring for the most disabled veterans and their families. Many organizations invited do not publicly divulge their membership numbers let alone if they actually represent any disabled veterans. A photo-op with a minister and a free trip can mean the world to veterans who have long been neglected by government.

Kudos to the Royal Canadian Legion as it has been, up until 2017, the most transparent in making publicly available their membership composition. VeteransCanada.ca also publishes its numbers and has repeatedly surveyed its members as to their disabilities, benefits from, and concerns about VAC.

Most organizations should not attend until they can prove they represent the views of disabled veterans and their families, the focus of all summits thus far. VAC has refused to provide me with the invite list but it will likely include the same well-meaning organizations. VAC can then dilute the views of those disabled veterans and their families most dependent upon VAC’s programs.

The last summit was in October 2016. Approximately 120 participants were surveyed, but only after many civilians had left. Even then, only 74 per cent were veterans, 44 per cent had never deployed outside of Canada, and a mere 47 per cent were receiving benefits from VAC.

We also saw some repugnant displays of intimidation. Some of the most disabled grappled with their anxiety in such a large setting. They were keenly aware that most participants did not understand the struggles of the disabled, especially in dealing with VAC. It was overwhelming to be subjected to two days of a bureaucratic shut-up-and-listen agenda. Nevertheless, these veterans spoke up in an understandable manner given their disabilities: with frustration and hurt.

Sadly, they were silenced by insensitive bureaucrats or worse. Audience members including medical practitioners and ombudspersons watched as some participants stepped in to do the bureaucrats’ bidding by rudely dismissing other disabled veterans’ concerns.

The bottom line to VAC’s message control: not one clear and substantive resolution or commitment has emerged from six years of stakeholder meetings. As one internal document from an earlier summit instructs bureaucratic organizers, “participants are thanked for their contribution. They feel their input and presence is valued.” Government follow-up not necessary.

Our disabled veterans and their families deserve more. More voice, more consequential input, and more dignified treatment. If they are to make their lives whole again, disabled veterans and their families need accessibility to fulsomely deciding their future. Perhaps government will remember that instead of holding yet another “Summit for Bureaucrats” to tell veterans what a wonderful job Veterans Affairs is doing.


(Sean Bruyea, vice-president of Anti-Corruption and Accountability Canada and author, has a graduate degree in public ethics, is a retired Canadian Air Force intelligence officer, and frequent commentator on government, military, and veterans’ issues.)

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Sean Bruyea - Page 2 Empty Yet another dog and pony show for veterans unfolds, says advocate

Post by Bruce72 on Wed 31 Oct 2018, 8:22 pm

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Yet another dog and pony show for veterans unfolds, says advocate

DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN Updated: October 28, 2018

Sean Bruyea - Page 2 After-seven-months-of-repair-and-restoration-the-national-w4
File photo showing the National War Memorial. BRUCE DEACHMAN / POSTMEDIA

Opinion Piece

By Sean Bruyea

Defence Watch Guest Writer

One thing consistently flies over the heads of Veterans Affairs Canada’s senior mandarins: the concept of accessibility for disabled veterans and their families.

The Veterans’ Stakeholder Summit on Monday is the summit of bureaucratic insensitivity when it comes to accessibility. Disabled veterans and their families will once again be denied accessibility to having a meaningful and substantive say in how their government treats and mistreats them.


The news cycle over the past decade has seen a constant stream of stories about veterans suffering Veterans Affairs Canada’s odd notion of accessibility. Whether it is arbitrary decisions, arbitrary dates and years of service to qualify for benefits, wait-times to receive decisions and benefits, closing and opening of offices, or the reduction and then the lacklustre increase in numbers of frontline and adjudicating employees while protecting positions in the head office.

The bogus claims of consultation culminate in Monday’s feel-good and consequence-free Veterans’ Stakeholder Summit.

The problem: who or what is a stakeholder? According to Veterans Affairs, “Stakeholders are individuals, groups or organizations: who are affected by changes to VAC programs, benefits and services; and/or have an interest in Veterans [sic] issues.”

Every veteran is affected by VAC services. Commemorating military service is one of the department’s responsibilities. All Canadians should have an interest in veterans’ issues. Military service and sacrifice, after all, is in the name of Canada and all Canadians. The definition needs work.

For most of the past six decades, Veterans Affairs interpreted policy change as sacrosanct, like speaking to a deity: communication with the divine department about program changes had to pass through a handful of priestly veterans’ organizations.

That is why VAC ordained that representatives of just six veterans’ organizations, sworn to confidentiality by bureaucrats, would endorse the replacement of lifelong pensions with one-time lump sums in 2005. Organizations principally composed of Second World War and Korean War veterans supported less for Canadian Forces veterans than war veterans received or were receiving.

Much has changed in the past 13 years but the goal of controlling the message has not. Agnostic veterans like myself, Luc Levesque and Louise Richard began speaking out in the late 1990s. After 2005, the irreverent veterans who dared criticize VAC mismanagement and insensitivity increased.

In fact, the only movement in the lethargic bureaucratic beast at Veterans Affairs has been sparked by public outcry. The source of the outcry: the unaffiliated veteran or those willing to break ranks with their veterans’ organizations, tragically many of whom have been too timid and loyal to openly criticize government.

In February 2012, a minor miracle occurred. VAC was forced to invite some of those impertinent veterans to one of the first broader stakeholder meetings at a public venue, promising two such meetings per year thereafter. The result: the vast majority of participants signed a clearly-worded resolution to implement all recommendations from three advisory groups.

The next summit was held behind the high security gates of the Citadel in Québec City. Impudent veterans were not invited.

Not until retired Gen. Walt Natynczyk became VAC deputy minister in late 2014, did we see some of the more vocal veterans invited. Keeping tradition, the summit in 2015 saw veterans’ cellphones “voluntarily” confiscated. Attending were organizations that had no veterans or family members in their ranks.

Yet the summit was principally about caring for the most disabled veterans and their families. Many organizations invited do not publicly divulge their membership numbers let alone if they actually represent any disabled veterans. A photo-op with a minister and a free trip can mean the world to veterans who have long been neglected by government.

Kudos to the Royal Canadian Legion as it has been, up until 2017, the most transparent in making publicly available their membership composition. VeteransCanada.ca also publishes its numbers and has repeatedly surveyed its members as to their disabilities, benefits from, and concerns about VAC.

Most organizations should not attend until they can prove they represent the views of disabled veterans and their families, the focus of all summits thus far. VAC has refused to provide me with the invite list but it will likely include the same well-meaning organizations. VAC can then dilute the views of those disabled veterans and their families most dependent upon VAC’s programs.

The last summit was in October 2016. Approximately 120 participants were surveyed, but only after many civilians had left. Even then, only 74 per cent were veterans, 44 per cent had never deployed outside of Canada, and a mere 47 per cent were receiving benefits from VAC.

We also saw some repugnant displays of intimidation. Some of the most disabled grappled with their anxiety in such a large setting. They were keenly aware that most participants did not understand the struggles of the disabled, especially in dealing with VAC. It was overwhelming to be subjected to two days of a bureaucratic shut-up-and-listen agenda. Nevertheless, these veterans spoke up in an understandable manner given their disabilities: with frustration and hurt.

Sadly, they were silenced by insensitive bureaucrats or worse. Audience members including medical practitioners and ombudspersons watched as some participants stepped in to do the bureaucrats’ bidding by rudely dismissing other disabled veterans’ concerns.

The bottom line to VAC’s message control: not one clear and substantive resolution or commitment has emerged from six years of stakeholder meetings. As one internal document from an earlier summit instructs bureaucratic organizers, “participants are thanked for their contribution. They feel their input and presence is valued.” Government follow-up not necessary.

Our disabled veterans and their families deserve more. More voice, more consequential input, and more dignified treatment. If they are to make their lives whole again, disabled veterans and their families need accessibility to fulsomely deciding their future. Perhaps government will remember that instead of holding yet another “Summit for Bureaucrats” to tell veterans what a wonderful job Veterans Affairs is doing.

(Sean Bruyea, vice-president of Anti-Corruption and Accountability Canada and author, has a graduate degree in public ethics, is a retired Canadian Air Force intelligence officer, and frequent commentator on government, military, and veterans’ issues.)


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Post by Spider on Tue 06 Nov 2018, 8:26 am

The Legion should no longer hold a monopoly on the poppy

Sean Bruyea · for CBC News · Posted: Nov 06, 2018

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Post by Leopard on Thu 08 Nov 2018, 4:44 pm

Veterans fought for our democracy. Now, they face fights against their own government

The federal government is failing to truly deliver on its promises to veterans, and it’s doing so with less and less transparency

by Sean Bruyea Nov 8, 2018

Sean Bruyea - Page 2 VETERANS-REMEMBRANCE-DAY_NOV08-810x445

Sean Bruyea is a frequent commentator and author on veterans and military culture. He is also a retired Air Force Intelligence Officer. Disclosure: He is currently suing Veterans Affairs minister Seamus O’Regan for defamation.

Every Remembrance Day is a brief opportunity to consider the reality that just one segment of our population is obligated to fight—putting their lives on the line—to defend our democratic values. It’s just one day, but it is so widely recognized by Canadians across the country, drawing our politicians to solemn ceremonies to honour the fallen, that it might seem scandalous to suggest that Canada’s military members have returned home only to need to fight again for our national values—with their foe, this time, being their own government.

Sadly, it is hardly seen as a scandal. In fact, it’s been an ongoing narrative more than a decade old, kept secret by a number of successive governments.

It began in 2005 under the Liberal government of Paul Martin. Returning from Victory in Europe celebrations, Martin and his veterans affairs minister, Albina Guarnieri, stick-handled the three opposition leaders—the Conservatives’ Stephen Harper, the Bloc Québécois’ Gilles Duceppe and the NDP’s Jack Layton during the plane trip home. The four agreed to alter the government’s injured-soldier compensation plan that had been in place since the War of 1812—which is when Canada began paying lifelong tax-free pensions for lifetime military injuries—and replace it with the so-called “new veterans charter” that would institute a one-time lump sum payment instead, and to ram this legislation quickly through Parliament with virtually no debate.

Leaders of six veterans’ organizations were sworn to confidentiality and agreed to support the legislation without seeing or knowing the details until 48 hours before legislation was tabled in Parliament. The overwhelming majority of these groups’ veteran members were World War and Korean War veterans, who would continue to receive lifelong pensions; the new veterans program, which would provide less for future generations, did not affect them.

Despite last-minute interventions by a handful of veterans, led by me, the charter passed. But veterans began to take notice.

Over the next 10 years, the lump-sum program became a lightning rod for growing veteran disaffection. In 2010, it sparked the explosive exit of the first veterans’ ombudsman. A national scandal erupted when my private medical and financial information would be distorted and then widely shared by bureaucrats and politicians, resulting in a rare government apology. And the veteran outcry that year would result in the first nationwide veterans’ protest since the First World War.

By the 2015 election, Canadians were aware of Canada’s mistreatment of our veterans and most political parties had platform planks geared to veterans. And there were hopes that Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, which swept to power with a platform that included a number of promises to veterans, would change things for the better.

That hasn’t happened—and if anything, things have gotten even less transparent.

A 2016 bill boosted the lump-sum amount, among other measures, but it was quickly wrapped up in a budget omnibus bill with no debate or committee hearings in the House of Commons. A Senate subcommittee did hold two hearings, albeit short ones—but the Senate passed the legislation unchanged.

The following year, the Trudeau government rolled out its delivery of another campaign promise: post-secondary education for any veteran who wanted it, the first meaningful universal veteran program since the Second World War. But it had many flaws: a plan excluding 99 per cent of veterans including the most disabled and destitute is hardly universal. And it was wrapped up in another budget omnibus bill, meaning it did not receive debate or hearings in the House of Commons. The Senate took a cursory glance, but passed it unchanged.

Trudeau has since debuted his cornerstone election promise: reinstating those lifelong pensions for injured veterans. But when legislation was introduced, it too was hidden in a budget omnibus bill with—you guessed it—no debate or committee hearings in the House of Commons. And the single Senate hearing (which included just one veteran) noted widespread discontent with the proposed “Pension for Life”: it was nothing more than the lump sum, annuitized over time. It passed the upper chamber unchanged.

While new laws require regulations that flesh them out, and Ottawa requires the public have an opportunity to scrutinize proposed regulations, the public was not permitted to make public comments around the post-secondary education benefit and the Pension for Life. We don’t know why, either, because Trudeau invoked Cabinet confidence, which privileges and classifies that information for 20 years: “Cabinet may exempt regulatory proposals from pre-publication on a case-by-case basis, and the specific rationale for exempting pre-publication is protected under Cabinet confidence,” Veterans Affairs media relations said in a statement about both the benefit and the pension. And for the first time, bureaucrats hid all the numbers, even as Minister of Veterans Affairs Seamus O’Regan claims that the Liberals are committing $10 billion to new veterans’ programs—a number we can’t fact-check because his department refused this summer to provide details in the proposed regulations as to how much money will be spent and how many veterans will be affected under the new programs.

Remembrance Day should be about honouring the sacrifice involved in preparing for and fighting battles in faraway places against regimes that deny the democratic rights you and I take for granted. Unfortunately, on the other days, it’s too easy to ignore that veterans are forced to fight even once they’ve returned—but this time, against their own government, who should be upholding that same democracy they defended.


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