Greetings from Niagara Falls, Ontario ! My name is Michael L Blais CD, I am a disabled veteran of the Canadian Forces, serving 17 years, a majority with the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the Royal Canadian Regiment. I am a staunch supporter of our troops and most recently, the founder of the Canadian Veterans Advocacy, an organization created to maintain the national infrastructure established through the organization of the Canadian Veterans National Day of Protest on November 6, 2010. You may recall thousands of Canadians veterans across the nation responded to the patriot’s call on this day and perhaps for the first time in Canada’s history, united from Newfoundland to British Columbia to express our profound disappointment with the consequences our wounded troops have endured by the Canadian government since 2006 when the New Veterans Charter was implemented.
I am also the creator of Facebook orientated Red Friday's Canada network, a multi-city/region/province network designed to facilitate ongoing support for the troops. Through these efforts I became Facebook acquainted with Dave Murphy and have appreciated the remarkable success he has with the Thank a Soldier initiative. When Dave contacted earlier this month and inquired whether I would be interested in participating with a proposed editorial for the Thank a Soldier newsletter and link the Canadian Veterans Advocacy with the Thank a Soldier website, I was quite grateful and excited. I am certainly aware of Dave’s excellent Support the Troops accomplishments in Canada and Thank a Soldiers’ international connections, to have his endorsement on this vitally important quest is a benefit to all Canadian veterans.
"Without substantive and enduring cultural changes to the system that mistreats our veterans, however, to any promises of improvement are as shallow as Brian Dyck's final breaths." – Canada’s 1st Veterans Ombudsman, Col. Patrick Stogran, Oct. 26, 2010.
The Canadian Veterans Advocacy has been created and fully committed to ensuring any system that mistreats our veterans is abolished through parliamentary legislation and bureaucratic reform. There is only one acceptable standard, the standard that defined this nation’s life time obligation to Canada’s valiant sons and daughters who fought at Vimy Ridge, Ortona, Juno Beach, Kapyong, dozens of peacekeeping missions throughout the world, Gulf War 1, Africa, former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan until 2006. At this time, our government shamefully abrogated responsibility to proved this life time comprehensive support in favour of a one time, Lump Sum award that does not equal that of what a civilian worker would receive from a WSIB program were he to sustain serious injuries such as the loss of limbs, multiple internal injuries, vicious lacerations, blindness, deafness …
Is it not our duty as Canadians who support our troops, as veterans who have passed the torch to the next generation, to ensure that those that serve today who have/are wounded/injured in Afghanistan are accorded the same life time obligation on behalf of our government that those who served prior to 2006?
The Canadian Veterans Advocacy is dedicated to the One Veteran, One Standard credo. This is applicable in many instances other then the Lump Sum Award. We champion the abolishment of the standards reservists confront when they are injured compared to that of the regular forces. On the RCMP/ Police Service Officer veterans front, we advocate to ensure all veterans be provided comprehensive VAC care and support, particularly the 60-70 percent of officers who volunteered to serve their nation abroad on behalf of non-federal law enforcement services. Veterans such a Mel Pitman, disabled and abandoned by the federal government and provincial WISB because he was attached to the RCMP in former Yugoslavia at the time of the incident and was not injured in Nova Scotia. As a consequence, this proud veteran is experiencing great financial hardships and very little support from the nation that sent him to one of the worst hellholes on earth.
Our soldiers today bleed the same as those who fought before 2006.
Our soldiers today suffer the same, violently horrific consequences of war as those who fought prior to 2006.
Do not Canada’s seriously injured sons and daughters not deserve the same level of care, respect and financial security as those who have established this nation through blood, toil, valour and extraordinary hardship as those who fought prior to 2006?
The time has come. We must stand up for our veterans as they have stood up for us!
Michael L Blais CD
Founder, Canadian Veterans Advocacy
More information about the Canadians Veterans Advocacy and ongoing operations are available at these links.