Demand Change to the New Veterans Charter

The Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada is supporting the Royal Canadian Legion’s letter campaign concerning with the response tabled by Government on 1 October 2014 to the 14 recommendations listed in the Third Report of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs (ACVA). We have all been advocating for improvements since the inception of the New Veterans Charter to improve care and benefits for our injured Veterans and their families, however the Government has made diminutive improvements and we need them to act NOW.

CANADA’S VETERANS NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

ANAVETS is asking on all of our members, their families, friends and all Canadians who care about our Veterans, to send a letter prepared by ANAVETS to their Member of Parliament demanding the Government to act now to improve the New Veterans Charter.

Join ANAVETS Letter Writing Campaign and email or mail the letter below to your Member of Parliament.

Please share and encourage others to join Veterans Associations’ in this campaign. Together, we will stand for Veterans and demand they get the care they deserve.

Instructions for Letter Writing Campaign

Thank you for supporting ANAVETS, as we join the Royal Canadian Legion’s Letter Writing Campaign to express our concerns about the Government’s response to recommendations for improving the New Veterans Charter. Our members, and all Canadians who care about our Veterans and their families, can send a letter prepared by ANAVETS to their Member of Parliament calling on the Government to take immediate action to make the priority improvements to the New Veterans Charter. The lives of our Veterans and their families need to be a priority issue for the Government of Canada.  Please share this request widely with your friends and family, together we can make a difference.

 

You can send the letter using THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS:

 

  1. Select your Member of Parliament using your postal code, visit
    http://www.parl.gc.ca/ParlInfo/Compilations/HouseOfCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx
    (this search will also provide the email address of your MP)
  2. Open your email program and fill in the email address of your Member of Parliament. Also copy and paste into CC: ( stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca; julian.fantino@parl.gc.ca; rob.nicholson@parl.gc.ca; Joe.Oliver@parl.gc.ca; tony.clement@parl.gc.ca )
  3. Copy and paste the text ‘ Call to Action to Improve the New Veterans Charter ‘ into the Subject Line of your email.
  4. Copy and paste the text of the letter below into the body of the email.
  5. Fill in the Name of your MP in the address block at the top of the letter, the date, and your name and address at the bottom of the letter.
  6. Send.

[ Name of Member of Parliament ]
House of Commons Parliament Buildings
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A6


Dear Ministers:

The Army, Navy & Air Force Veterans in Canada (ANAVETS) is seriously concerned with the Government’s response to the recommendations of the Third Report of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs (ACVA).

ANAVETS, alongside the Royal Canadian Legion and other Veterans Organizations as well as the Veterans Ombudsman have long advocated that the New Veterans Charter requires some major priority adjustments.  Upon its implementation in 2005, Veterans Organizations were promised that the New Veterans Charter would be a “living charter”, easily adjusted as we found the shortfalls in both legislation and interpretation.  Unfortunately Veterans waited five long years until the first changes were made under Bill C55.  The Government’s response to the committee report on 1 October however is without clear definition on their proposed actions or timelines.  Furthermore, with statements such as, “The more complex recommendations require further interdepartmental work, budgetary analysis, and coordination with a wide range of federal departments, as well as with the Veterans Ombudsman and Veterans’ groups.” The Government is clearly delaying the implementation of recommendations that have the greatest financial impact on Veterans and their families.  The Veterans Ombudsman, Veterans Groups and previous Veterans Affairs Advisory Groups have advocated these priority issues for years.  No further study, nor are delays required.  What is required is immediate action by the Government to address the most serious shortcomings of the New Veterans Charter.

ANAVETS is very disappointed that our three priority issues, as well as further recommendations have been relegated to Phase Two of the announcement, to which no clear timeline has been indicated.  The Government of Canada continues to delay these items with the repeated phrase, “further due diligence is required.”  As each day passes Veterans and their families in need of assistance will continue to be adversely affected by this Government’s inaction.

As a signatory member of the Veterans Consultation Assembly, ANAVETS made representation to the Minister of Veterans Affairs outlining the collective sense of what is needed to be done immediately to assist Veterans and their families.  Letters outlining the collective top three priority issues of this group were sent to the Minister of Veterans Affairs on 8 May 2013, 15 Nov. 2013 and again on 20 Aug 2014.

Those priorities were:

  1. The Earning Loss Benefit (ELB) must be improved to provide 100% of pre-release income, continue for life and include increases for projected career earnings for a Canadian Armed Forces member;
  2. The maximum disability award must be increased consistent with what is provided to injured civilian workers who received general damages in law court; and
  3. The current inequity with regards to ELB for Class A and Class B (less than 180 days) Reservists for service attributed injuries must cease.

The latest letter of 20 Aug 2014 called upon the government to review the following issues in addition to the above:

  1. The unduly restrictive application of the Permanent Impairment Allowance (PIA) provisions of the New Veterans Charter,  unreasonably constrains the number of disabled veterans who are able to qualify for appropriate levels of entitlement for this important allowance;
  2. The Exceptional Incapacity Allowance (EIA) concept founded under the Pension Act should be incorporated in the New Veterans Charter. This allowance has traditionally addressed the impact of the disabilities suffered by 100% veteran pensioners with reference to their difficulty to cope with their overall capacity. The introduction of EIA to the New Veterans Charter would augment the limitations of the Permanent Impairment Allowance, particularly in the circumstance where a seriously disabled veteran confronts the ravages of age;
  3. In order to recognize the care giving requirements that many disabled Veterans confront to cope with their incapacities, the Attendance Allowance provisions of the Pension Act should be added to the New Veterans Charter in recognition of the financial costs faced by many families in this context; and
  4. The New Veterans Charter should acknowledge that Veterans with dependents should receive a higher level of compensation either through the augmentation of the Lump Sum Disability Award or an increase in Earnings Loss Benefit for such veterans and their families.

 

Our concerns remain valid, yet unanswered. The Government continues to say that these recommendations require further study and analysis.  I ask, what has the Government and the department been doing for the past eight years if they haven’t already been analyzing these serious concerns from the Veterans community, their own Advisory Committees’ and the Veterans Ombudsman?  The time for action is now.  These recommendations need to be incorporated into the 2015 budget, passed and the recommendations implemented prior an election writ being dropped.  Our Veterans and their families cannot wait, they need support now.

As per our motto, ANAVETS will continue to work “Shoulder to Shoulder” with all Veterans Organizations and groups to bring these issues to our members and the general public.

Yours truly,

Were you once an Army Cadet?

A call to all past Army Cadets,

Can you attribute your personal or professional success to what you learned from the program?

The Army Cadet League of Canada is interested in compiling accounts from individuals from across the country who have spent time in the Army Cadet program and have gone on to serve their community in the arts and sciences, business, military, politics, volunteerism, medical and teaching professions, sports etc.

We are not looking to receive only the names of people in the public spotlight such as an astronaut, a rock star, or a general in the military.  We would also like to include are stories from those who are successful and involved within their community, such as bank managers, thriving business owners, school principals and teachers, leaders of youth organizations, municipal, provincial or federal politicians and those who give their time as volunteers to community based organizations.  Your stories can inspire today’s cadets by providing them examples of teenagers who came before them and persevered in the cadet program and have since, become successful, understanding it’s not how far you get but how far you go from when you started.

Submit your stories using this online form:

http://fs2.formsite.com/aclc/pastcadetstories/index.html

or visit

http://www.armycadetleague.ca/news-events/success-stories/

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Avez-vous déjà fait partie des cadets de l’Armée ?

Une demande à tous les anciens cadets de l’Armée,

Pouvez-vous attribuer votre succès personnel ou professionnel à ce que vous avez appris du programme ?

La Ligue de cadets de l’Armée désire assembler des histoires de personnes de partout au pays qui ont participé au programme des cadets de l’Armée et qui plus tard ont servi leur communauté dans le domaine militaire, des arts, des sciences, des affaires, de la politique, du bénévolat, de la médecine, de l’enseignement ou des sports.

Nous ne voulons pas seulement recevoir les noms de personnes qui sont connues du public ou qui sont devenues célèbres, tel un astronaute, une étoile de la chanson, un haut gradé militaire.  Nous recherchons aussi des histoires de gens qui ont une carrière réussie et qui s’impliquent dans leur collectivité, comme des directeurs de banque, des propriétaires d’entreprises florissantes, des directeurs d’école et des enseignants, des leaders d’organisations de jeunes, des politiciens aux niveaux municipal, provincial et fédéral ainsi que des personnes qui donnent de leur temps comme bénévoles dans des organismes communautaires.  Vos histoires peuvent influencer le cadets d’aujourd’hui en leur donnant des exemples d’adolescents qui les ont précédés dans le programme des cadets et qui ont atteint leur succès.  C’est important de leur démontré que ce n’est pas simplement ou on se rend dans la vie mais où on se rend en considérant d’où on a commencé.

Envoyez-nous vos histoires en utilisant le formulaire électronique suivant :

http://fs2.formsite.com/aclc/pastcadetstories/index.html

ou visitez

http://www.armycadetleague.ca/news-events/success-stories/

ANAVETS 51st Dominion Convention

Members from coast to coast gathered in Winnipeg, Manitoba September 23-26, 2012 for the 51st Biennial Dominion Convention of The Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada (ANAVETS). The three day event was widely attended with delegates making policy decisions and determining the focus of their lobbying efforts on behalf of veterans and their families over the next two years.

Delegates heard from many guest speakers on benefits, programs and services available to veterans, serving personnel and their families. The Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs, The Chief of Defence Staff and the Veterans Ombudsman were some of the many speakers invited to inform our members to the programs and concepts currently being addressed. You can listen to all of the speakers by clicking on the audio links below.

The culmination of the convention came with Deputy Minister Anne Marie Smart presenting 56 members in attendance with their Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medals and the convention floor electing Comrade George Beaulieu of Sherbrooke, Quebec as their Dominion President for 2012-2014.

It is our hope that all the delegates and guests enjoyed the camaraderie, speaker topics and other events they took part in and went back to their home units and shared the knowledge gained with all of the other members in their Units.

Large scale events such as a Dominion Convention are never easy to execute flawlessly and we would like to thank Keith Flight, President; Syd Stamper, Convention Chair, and the Convention Committee Members of Manitoba & NW Ontario Command for an exceptional job. We would also like to thank the executive and members of Assiniboia Unit #283, Rockwood Unit #303, Fort Garry Unit #60 and John Osborn VC Unit #1 for the wonderful hospitality.

We look forward to seeing many of you again in Penticton in 2014 as well as new delegates who have yet to experience a national convention.

Delegates attending ANAVETS 51st Biennial Dominion Convention

Delegates attending ANAVETS 51st Biennial Dominion Convention

Photos from the Convention:

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Speeches from our Guest Speakers:

Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada -Mary Chaput

Chief of Defense Staff – General Walter Natynczyk

ANAVICUS President – Jake Comer

American Legion National Commander – James Koutz

Presentation – CF Support Agency – Commodore Mark Watson

Presentation – Last Post Fund – Major General (Ret;d)  Edward Fitch

Presentation – Veterans Ombudsman - Guy Parent

Presentation – Commonwealth War Graves Commission-  Dominique Boulais

Presentation – Military Families Services and Royal Ottawa Hospital Foundation –  Lisa Vaters and Andree Steel

Minutes from the Convention:

CLICK HERE

Support for Helmets to Hardhats in Canada

Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney Reaffirms Harper Government’s Support for Helmets to Hardhats in Canada

WOODBRIDGE, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – May 24, 2012)

The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, and the Honourable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence, attended a Gala tonight in support of the Helmets to Hardhats program. The Helmets to Hardhats program, led by Canada’s Building Trade Unions, will help connect Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members and reservists to a range of careers within the construction industry, including apprenticeships in various building trades.

“Our Government is ensuring our Veterans successfully transition from military to civilian life, said Minister Blaney. “That’s why we recently announced that our Government is contributing $150,000 to support Helmets to Hardhats in Canada to help facilitate jobs and training opportunities for our Veterans and Canadian Armed Forces members who are interested in a career in the construction industry.”

“Our Government is committed to providing our brave men and women in uniform with the tools they need to do the jobs we ask of them,” said Associate Minister Fantino. “I am pleased to support initiatives such as Helmets to Hardhats that help ensure our Veterans have the tools to continue to build a strong and prosperous Canada.”

Over the course of their careers, members of the Canadian Armed Forces develop highly transferable skills. Helmets to Hardhats will, through its Web site, help Veterans match the skills they acquired in the military with employment opportunities in the construction industry. The Web site will also provide employers and local unions with access to a talented labour pool to fill positions from engineering posts to trade employment contracts and apprenticeship opportunities. Helmets to Hardhats will be a fully bilingual service that can be accessed by telephone or online.

“This program is already extremely successful in the United States. We have every reason to believe that it will be extremely successful here in Canada,” said Minister Blaney. “Our Government acknowledges the Interior Systems Contractors Association, the Canadian Boilermakers Union, the Carpenters Union and Canada’s Building Trades Unions, which helped organize this evening’s event. These organizations have demonstrated their commitment to this initiative and their commitment to our Veterans.”

For more information on Veterans Affairs Canada’s programs and services, please visit www.veterans.gc.ca.

50th Biennial Convention

Our 50th Biennial convention went off like clockwork, and from all reports, everyone had a good time. Stratford, of course will never be the same. In the photo above is shown our proud Comrades passing the reviewing stand. On the left, our special guest, actor, producer and now comedian Paul Gross being escorted by our Honorary President Comrade Gerry Wharton. Below, recipients of the American Legion Friendship Award proudly showing their wares.

 

End of an Era

On February 18, 2010, John “Jack” Babcock, Canada’s last WWI Veteran passed away. This event marks the “end of an era” in Canada’s history. Jack did not wish a state funeral, so it was decided to hold a national commemorative event honouring all of our WWI service men and woman and to pay tribute to their achievements. The ceremony was held on “Vimy Day” Friday, April 9, 2010 at Ottawa’s National War Memorial.

Honourary Life Membership – Mary McLeod

Mary McLeod is shown receiving an Honourary Life Membership, on her retirement during their convention in April. Mary has been the BC Provincial Secretary for over 30 years. Shown are the newly elected members of the BC Command executive:
From right to left: Immediate Past President: Bill Calvert, President: Shirley Aldridge,1st Vice President: Bruce Wight, 2nd Vice President: Lou Mazur, Mary McLeod, and 3rd Vice President: John Beugeling.