Tag Archives: Veterans

20 Years of Resistance to US Wars / 20 ans de résistance aux guerres étatsuniennes

An inspiring people’s history in images from across Canada and around the world starting from 9/11 2001 accompanied by a beautiful musical score. (32 minutes)

Created by Jeunes pour le Renouveau Démocratique (Youth for Democratic Renewal in Quebec, Canada). In tribute to the memory of Mikis Theodorakis (29 July 1925 – 2 September 2021)

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US veterans condemn deployment of troops

In addition to the 200,000 troops already deployed across the world, U.S cities are being occupied by military force. Thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and police have been deployed to cities across the nation as Trump calls on the military to “dominate the streets” and that he’d override any local control if governors refuse to deploy the national guard. Threats and intimidation are tactics of terror by this administration. Trump’s statements, as well as past statements, are incendiary and effectively declare war on our communities. Continue reading

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Never Again – Theme of Windsor commemorations

Never Again

The Windsor Peace Coalition convened a meeting on September 27 of all those interested in ensuring that the anti-war conscience of the working people of Windsor-Essex is affirmed in commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Attending the meeting were long-time activists from the Peace Coalition, Women in Black and the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, veterans of the Canadian and U.S. Armed Forces, a local member of the Royal Canadian Legion, a number of active and retired teachers, artists and others. Continue reading

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Afghanistan: a general admission of abject failure – again

By TONY SEED

U.S. General Scott Miller, who took over command of the U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan on September 2, admitted in an exclusive interview with NBC News on Tuesday, October 30, that the war in Afghanistan “is not going to be won militarily.”

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An Iraqi historian, US veterans, the Iraq War and a US classroom

This is what happens when an historian from Iraq teaches American veterans of the Iraq War in a US classroom. I Continue reading

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Sighting. Prime Minister’s Office & Parliament Hill, October 18

Veteran’s signs condemning Harper government outside Prime Minister’s Office, October 18, day before the federal election

Veteran’s signs condemning Harper government outside Prime Minister’s Office, October 18, day before the federal election

Election Eve Protest on Parliament Hill – “Harperman” Farewell Sing-Along

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One last protest against Harper took place on Parliament Hill at 2:30 pm today, the day before the election. Tony Turner, a scientist with the federal public service who was fired for his political opinion, led a sing-along of his song “Harperman” followed by speakers and other songs. Debi Daviau, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service Canada (PIPSC), spoke along with Elder Albert Dumont. Other musicians also participated. Further updates as they become available.

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Activities to celebrate 70th anniversary of the defeat of fascism

The Brest Fortress, 1941

The Brest Fortress, 1941

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Stephen Harper loves the smell of napalm in the morning

By MICHAEL HARRIS*
Harper-ApocalypseNow

GOING after the Ukrainian vote in Canada is one thing. But sending troops, even as trainers, into Ukraine’s “fratricidal” civil war and confronting Russia is quite another. If this thing goes sideways, he may wish he had sent diplomats instead of military advisors.

Has anyone told the PM that these are not toy soldiers he is dispatching — by the hundreds no less — but flesh and blood human beings?

This is an old story. From his opposition days, this leader has exhibited a fatal instinct to take it to the parking lot. The itchy trigger finger initially showed up in the second Iraq War. Cooler heads in the Chretien government scuppered his ill-informed bellicosity. Canada refused to join President George W. Bush’s coalition of the misguided.

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Can veterans trust the Harper government?

Some 3,000 veterans and their allies showed up in Sydney to rally against the Veterans Affairs office slated closure.

Some 3,000 veterans and their allies showed up in Sydney to rally against the Veterans Affairs office slated closure.

There is yet more news and questions about the Harper government’s recent announcement that it was going to spend $200 million on veterans. DAVID PUGLIESE has the following article in his daily column, Defence Notes, in the Ottawa Citizen: Continue reading

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Every 65 minutes a US veteran dies from suicide

boots_siriWhile many Americans and Canadian spent Veterans’ or Remembrance Day remembering loved ones lost, from the perspective of a veteran, the holiday felt largely superficial. Cities across the US are draped in yellow, thousands marched down the streets in parades, and people talked a lot about a vague notion of “honour.” Putting yellow ribbons on our wounds does not change the fact that every 65 minutes a veteran dies from suicide. 

By Iraq Veterans Against the War

That’s 22 per day, and in the past two months, two of those have been members of IVAW – my friends. It is impossible to ignore.

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Has Canada left its wounded veterans in the lurch?

Protest against closure of Veterans Affairs offices, Sydney, January 31, 2014 (PSAC)

Protest against closure of Veterans Affairs offices, Sydney, January 31, 2014 (PSAC)

From National Association of Federal Retirees Magazine 

Long before Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino went missing in action in January at a scheduled meeting with veterans who were hoping to save a crucial element of their benefits, a controversy had been raging in the courts over what Canada owes the wounded men and women who have served in its military. Continue reading

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Canadian veterans denounce Harper government for using Remembrance Day for shameful self-promotion

Sign at veteran’s action in Windsor, ON, January 31, 2014.

Sign at veteran’s action in Windsor, ON, January 31, 2014.

By LOUIS LANG

In the past few weeks the Harper government has spent millions of dollars on television ads depicting Canada’s participation in the two world wars as well as other wars in which the Canadian Armed Forces were involved. Without providing any context or providing any educational value for the important historical events, the ads’ only purpose seem to be win public support for the troops who are shown making enormous sacrifices fighting foreign foes to “defend our freedom” and “the Canadian way of life.” Continue reading

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Remembrance Day: The Canadian people say ‘Never again!’ Harper says ‘Again and again!’

Each year from November 9-11, the Harper dictatorship steps up its rhetoric promoting aggressive war. This will again be the case when the government makes its annual statement on November 11. The disinformation begins with euphoric reference to the fall of the Berlin Wall in order to hide the fact it continued the resurrection of a re-armed Germany with the Nazi-supporting corporate monopolies restored to power, and then ramps up from there, culminating in ceremonies on Remembrance Day, November 11. Conspicuous by its absence is any reference to November 9 as the anniversary of Crystal Night when the Nazis announced to the world their intention to exterminate the Jews. The aim of the pro-war rhetoric is diametrically opposed to the collective call of “Never Again!” by the world’s peoples after World War I and reiterated after World War II. It is not to honour the war dead with a commitment to assiduously oppose aggression and war as a means to resolving conflicts so that no more lives are lost, but to provide a rationale for the Harper government’s continuing commitment to aggressive war in the service of the monopolies and U.S. imperialism. Continue reading

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Harper’s cynical celebration (II)

When it comes to military personnel and their families, the Canadian government is like an abusive boyfriend

TS note: This message was sent to David Pugliese, Defence Watch, from an individual who is involved in the Canadian military system and whose spouse is also in the Canadian Forces. Mr Pugliese writes, “they have asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from government and senior leadership.”

THE Canadian government is like the abusive boyfriend who brings flowers to his girlfriend at her workplace after a fight.

Her friends think he’s awesome. They see his nice clothes and his friendly smile. They think he is hardworking and smart. They see his friends treat him with respect. But they have never been alone with him. They don’t know what is really going on behind the façade. Continue reading

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Harper’s cynical celebration (1)

Harper dictatorship erases memory of the victory over fascism in Europe and instead uses May 9th to pay tribute to the destruction of Afghanistan in a triumphalist ceremony on Parliament Hill. Reject all attempts to memorialize Canada’s criminal role in Afghanistan!

By TONY SEED

The Soviet Victory Banner is raised over the German Reichstag in Berlin by two Red Army soldiers, April 30, 1945, shortly before the surrender of German forces in the city and the decisive victory over the fascists on May 9, 1945. (RIA Novosti)

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Peter MacKay’s Afghanistan wishes; Rewriting history one wish at a time

By David Pugliese, Defence Watch

mediaculpaheader.stretched(Apr 11) – Former Defence Minister Peter MacKay was recently speaking to CBC Radio’s The House about the Afghanistan mission, outlining some of his wishes and some of his regrets.

MacKay told CBC he wished, in some ways, that the Canadian government had “provided more equipment, helicopters, mine-clearing equipment in the early days.”

“I don’t think the ferocity of the mission perhaps dawned on even military leaders, let alone political leaders of two different governments,” he said. “In retrospect, we could have perhaps prepared our soldiers better through both equipment and training,” he added.

Also on his list of “wishes” were better services for those who are now suffering from PTSD/mental health issues from overseas operations.

“I wish we could have, perhaps, been able to reach out into our country’s mental health providers to enlist their support that’s needed now,” MacKay said.

How interesting. Continue reading

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US veterans demand justice from Agent Orange spraying at CFB Gagetown (II)

Agent Orange Association of Canada supports US action, demands end to impunity. Part II in a series; for Part I, visit here

CFB Gagetown locator map.3(Mike Staples, Daily Gleaner NB) – THE co-president of the Agent Orange Association of Canada Inc. is applauding an announcement last week by the State of Maine to have the U.S. federal government recognize environment hazards associated with military training at Gagetown.

Carol Brown Parker said it’s encouraging to see Maine Gov. Paul LePage involved. Continue reading

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Spirited actions of veterans and their supporters across the country

The Harper government’s three “Ds” for the military are now “Deny, Delay, Die” rather than “Defence, Diplomacy and Development,” says a young veteran of the war in Afghanistan. “The Prime Minister claims the opposition to the closures is trouble-making stirred up by ‘unions.’ However, the emcee pointed out that it is the Harper government which is being self-serving. Had it not been for the action of PSAC, veterans and others would have been in the dark and the government would have simply slipped the closures through Parliament without anyone knowing until after the fact.”

TML Daily (Feb. 3) – ON JANUARY 31, thousands of Canadian military veterans, many in their 80s and 90s, from World War II to the present, along with people from all walks of life including many representatives of trade unions, participated in actions at the Veterans Affairs Canada district offices slated for closure that day in eight cities across the country – Kelowna, Saskatoon, Brandon, Thunder Bay, Windsor, Sydney, Charlottetown and Corner Brook. A common demand at the actions was for the immediate resignation of Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino and Prime Minister Harper because of their despicable treatment of veterans. Continue reading

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Attacks on veterans and Veterans Affairs: Harper government’s despicable anti-human agenda

Signs at action in Sydney, Cape Breton, January 31, 2014.

Sign at action in Sydney, Cape Breton, January 31, 2014.

TML Daily (Feb. 3) – JANUARY 31 saw veterans and their supporters in action across the country to denounce the Harper government’s closure of eight district Veterans Affairs offices that day, plus the closure of another office in Prince George, BC that had already taken place. These offices provide crucial services to veterans, many of whom suffer from mental or physical injuries as result of their deployments. In some cases, these services are required on a day-to-day basis to allow the veterans to heal, recuperate and re-enter civilian life. In the case of permanent injuries, the veterans may require the services their entire lives. Continue reading

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How the Canadian government is betraying veterans

An informative backgrounder from the Public Service Alliance of Canada, October 2, 2013 

THE federal government is betraying Canada’s veterans. After putting their lives on the line on behalf of all Canadians, many veterans – especially those living with serious injuries, disabilities and mental health challenges like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – rely on Veterans Affairs for support. The Canadian government promised to take care of them from the day they enlisted until the day they die. But drastic cuts to Veterans Affairs staff and services in the 2012 budget mean that veterans are not getting the care they need and deserve. Continue reading

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Veterans protest again

Another view of the large rally in Sydney, Cape Breton on Nov. 9, 2013 demanding that government provide public service.

Another view of the large rally in Sydney, Cape Breton on Nov. 9, 2013 demanding that government provide public service.

On the opening of the parliament, veterans across the country are continuing to mobilize to stop the closure of the nine Veterans Affairs offices by the Harper government that they rely on for face-to-face services. One veteran, who said he was a longtime Conservative, promised that he and thousands of other veterans will mobilize politically across Canada to hold the Harper dictatorship to account. Continue reading

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U.S. veterans demand justice from Agent Orange spraying at CFB Gagetown (I)

Part I in a series. For Part II visit here.

Maine Army National Guard helicopter flies over CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick | 2001 Portland Press Herald

Maine Army National Guard helicopter flies over CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick | 2001 Portland Press Herald

ONE of the most significant chemical warfare experiments in Canada was the 1966-67 testing of Agent Orange, a dioxin-containing defoliant made by U.S. and German chemical monopolies such as Monsanto, Dow Chemical and Bayer. It was sprayed on trees at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick, in preparation for its lethal use in Viet Nam. [1] The government now admits to testing in 1966-67, however the Agent Orange Association of Canada Inc. has obtained two different DND documents that show evidence of other spray periods of Agent Orange and/or 27 other dioxins sprayed at the CFB Gagetown excluding 1966 and 1967. These documents indicate active spray programs from 1956 to 1984.

Now a Maine newspaper, the Portland Press Herald, reports that two state senators, Susan Collins and Angus King, have proposed legislation that would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to investigate whether some American veteran’s health problems are linked to the U.S. chemical warfare tests in Gagetown. The U.S. has completely denied any responsibility, even though the U.S. military carried out spraying in 1966 and 1967 at the base. Continue reading

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CFB Suffield: Britain to train thousands of troops in Canada

The CFB Suffield announcement was made as “business as usual” to keep Canadians unaware of the extent to which the territory of Canada is being consistently used by the NATO powers – the USA in the first place, which considers Canada to be its front yard – to prepare war and even as a launch pad for intervention against other nations and peoples.

By TONY SEED

110625-StJohnsMarineRescueCentre-02WHERE does the British Army send its troops to train for war when it has been kicked out of a North African country asserting its independence and sovereignty?

Which country then allows the British Army to use its territory to wage war against an independent and sovereign country in Latin America?

And which country recently changed all the names of its armed forces units to re-incorporate the word “Royal”? Started to share its embassies? Grovels before its queen?

The Right answer is Canada and for all the wrong reasons. Continue reading

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Government’s decision to cut Veterans Affairs offices putting mentally injured war veterans and their families at risk

Chris Cobb of the Citizen has this article:

OTTAWA (Nov. 11) — Decorated Canadian general Sen. Romeo Dallaire says “ruthless” federal government cuts to Veterans Affairs and National Defence are putting mentally injured war veterans and their families at risk.

“We invested tens of millions of dollars for them to do the job overseas so we’d better be prepared to do what’s needed to take care of them and their families,” said Dallaire, Canada’s first public face of post-traumatic stress disorder. “Veterans Affairs should have been exempt and funded according to the increasing demand, but it didn’t get that pass.” Continue reading

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Lest we forget: an anti-social, warmongering agenda

By TONY SEED

THE Harper dictatorship has been running two ads dealing with Veterans and Remembrance Day. What is clear is how a war government is attempting to use the sacrifice of Canadians to promote its self-serving agenda of war abroad and fascism at home. Canadians must be very sceptical in viewing messages from those for whom lying is as natural as eating or drinking.

Veterans Affairs newspaper ad in the Cape Breton Post promotes the government’s support for veterans. Image provided by PSAC.

Veterans Affairs newspaper ad in the Cape Breton Post promotes the government’s support for veterans. Image provided by PSAC.

Veterans Affairs Canada inserted large print ads into such newspapers as the Cape Breton Post, the Western Star in Corner Brook, NF and the Guardian in P.E.I. – three communities in Atlantic Canada where it is closing district offices, leaving thousands of veterans to depend on a website and an 800 number. It is attempting to counter the campaign of the veterans and the Public Service Alliance of Canada, which openly says the government is “betraying veterans” in its plan to close nine district offices, including Windsor, Thunder Bay, Brandon, Saskatoon, Kelowna and Prince George, by the end of February 2014. According to the union, the Prince George district office has already closed. Continue reading

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3,000 protest Harper’s closure of Veteran’s office in Cape Breton

And why in 2009 did Veterans Affairs destroy 27,381 boxes of veterans’ medical records?

Some 3,000 veterans and their allies showed up in Sydney to rally against the Veterans Affairs office slated closure.

Some 3,000 veterans and their allies showed up in Sydney to rally against the Veterans Affairs office slated closure.

VETERANS in Sydney, Cape Breton and across the country are mobilizing to stop the closure of the nine Veterans Affairs offices they rely on for face-to-face services. Supporting them in Sydney is a chorus of community members, local organizations, Veterans Affairs workers, unions, and every level of local government, all of whom were out in force this past Saturday – two days before Remembrance Day – at the Veterans March of Concern. As part of the March 2012 budget, the Harper dictatorships plans to close the Sydney Veterans Affairs office, which will have a widespread negative effect on over 4200 veterans who rely on their services, as part of its fraudulent austerity agenda to pay the rich. Thirteen case workers will be replaced by a 1-866 telephone number and a Service Canada website. It is also closing other eight offices in Corner Brook, Charlottetown, Windsor, Thunder Bay, Brandon, Saskatoon, Kelowna and Prince George. Continue reading

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‘I submit that the whole system is now slanted against the Veteran’

Sent to Canadian Veterans Ombudsman, August 22, 2013

Dear Mr. Guy Parent,

I was somewhat upset when you first stated that you and your office were not going to take on individual Veterans issues, but were going to instead try to look for and deal with Systemic issues within the system where Veterans are concerned.

Although you are delegated to Veterans issues as the Veteran’s Ombudsman, I believe that many of the issues Veterans face today begin long before they become Veterans, either in Parliament or DND and although magnified and accentuated when a soldier become a Veteran, they actually are only a continuation when they get into the hands VAC and VRAB. Continue reading

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“Canadian values”: Harper puts it to disabled veterans

OTTAWA (CP) — SOME of the country’s most severely disabled soldiers will take a major financial hit once they arrive at old age and risk living out their final years in near-poverty, Canada’s veterans ombudsman has concluded.

A report and a painstaking actuarial analysis by Guy Parent’s office are due to be released on Tuesday, but copies were obtained by The Canadian Press.

The study compares the old system of compensating veterans under the Pension Act with the New Veterans Charter, marquee legislation championed by the Harper government since it was enacted in 2006.

It shows that roughly 406 severely disabled veterans, mostly from Afghanistan and recent peacekeeping missions, will be left out in the cold because they don’t receive certain allowances — or a Canadian Forces pension.

“It is simply not acceptable to let veterans who have sacrificed the most for their country — those who are totally and permanently incapacitated — live their lives with unmet financial needs,” said a leaked copy of the report.

Almost a full one-third of the nearly 1,500 soldiers, who have thus far been declared permanently disabled, could also be at risk, depending upon their circumstances. Many of them receive only small allowances and pension entitlements.

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Sidestepping the issue: Harper’s polka and veterans

Audrey White takes on Veterans Affairs

TO JUSTIFY Harper’s sweeping Omnibus bill, one of the false impressions created by the government to secure support was that it was finally responding to the concerns of veterans at their post-service exploitation. One of the myriad measures – Division 50 of Part 4 – amended the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act to provide for the payment or reimbursement of fees for career transition services for job-challenged veterans or their survivors. Continue reading

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The national protest of veterans

CANADIAN VETERAN’S ADVOCACY (CVA) has called for a National Day of Protest against cuts to support for veterans. In a September 13 press release, the CVA points out that the Harper government’s proposed cuts of five to ten per cent to Veterans Affairs’ operating budget will exacerbate a situation where major cuts to veterans’ pensions and other supports have already been made since 2006 when the Canadian Forces Members and Veterans Re-establishment and Compensation Act (or New Veteran’s Charter (NVC)) came into force to replace the existing arrangements. Continue reading

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