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03 Apr 2021


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Commandos MC: United We Conquer

Laurice Alexander
December 21, 2020

VVi 02 Apr 2021

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Veterans Foodbank Association

VVi 02 Apr 2021  no

Our Mission
The Veterans Association Food Bank is dedicated to supporting and enriching the lives of Veterans and their families.

Our Vision
As a community of Veterans helping Veterans, we will be the support base where together we create healthy and resilient futures.

Who We Serve
The Veterans Association Food Bank recognizes any person who is currently serving or has honourably served in the Canadian Armed Forces. The Veterans Association Food Bank also recognizes and offers support to those currently serving, honourably discharged or honourably released Commonwealth Allies, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Peacekeepers, Merchant Marines, or Ferry Command (Coast Guard). Support will be extended to spouses, widows, widowers, and any dependent children in need. Proof of military service or affiliation required.

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VVi 30 Mar 2021

They never had any brochures or briefing about the possibility of this at the recruiting office.

Just the part about taking oath to knowingly avow and be willing to lay one's life on the line for your country.

Then terrorism up and reared its ugly head, even here in Canada with FLQ and other international Terrorism Gangs. Cowards, trying to rule, dominate and mandate their philosophy by fear.

A whole new way of life for dealing with enemies of freedom and democracy. A new issue for our Veterans and Troops that were and still are dealing with life in the Armed Forces and the effects of the past and future effects it would bring.

God Bless our Veterans and our Troops and their families.

Let's support all our Veterans' for Recognition and Inclusiveness.

Be well, stay well, Godspeed,
Dave W. Palmer
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Wounded Warriors - Ride for Mental Health

VVi 28 Mar 2021 no

Challenging Mental Health

We know that everyday, thousands of Veterans, First Responders and their family members are working hard to challenge the effects of trauma exposure and, for many, the symptoms of operational stress injuries such as PTSD.

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FRONTLINE - Ethics through the Lens of Military Reform

Posted on Mar 01, 2021

VVi 02 Mar 2021

In an attempt to set the record straight on some of the misunderstandings, skewed agenda of some media commentators, and the reluctance to forthrightly address the key issues, Tony Battista answers questions related to how the military handles past, current and future indiscretions...

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Valour in the Presence of the Enemy

VVi 22 Feb 2021

Our mandate is to try to get a Canadian Victoria Cross awarded to an Afghanistan veteran. To achieve this goal we are going to put on a two hour special that highlights the actions of ten soldiers and then you the viewer decides who you would award the most prestigious medal to.

Facebook site: 
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Commandos MC: United We Conquer - December 21, 2020 - Laurice Alexander

VVi 22 Feb 2021

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Canada Army Run

VVi 22 Feb 2021

We are happy to announce the 2021 Virtual edition of Canada Army Run, Presented by BMO Financial Group is now live, taking place September 10-19! While we had to make the difficult decision to not host an in-person event this year, we have an exciting virtual event experience to bring to you.

Building off of the success of our 2020 event, we are bringing new ways to train, race and engage with us.

Featured Race Distances:

- 5K
- 10K
- Half Marathon
- 5K + 10K Challenge
- 5K + Half Marathon Commander's Challenge

Early bird pricing in effect until March 31! Register now at & check out our new website!!!!
Nous sommes heureux d’annoncer que l’édition virtuelle 2021 de la Course de l’Armée du Canada, présentée par BMO Groupe financier est maintenant en ligne, et elle aura lieu du 10 au 19 septembre! Même si nous avons dû prendre la décision difficile de ne pas tenir d’événement en personne cette année, nous avons une superbe expérience virtuelle à vous faire vivre.

Tirant parti de la réussite de notre course de 2020, nous présentons de nouveaux moyens de vous entraîner, de courir et de communiquer avec nous.

Les distances de course offertes :

- 5 km
- 10 km
- demi-marathon
- Défi 5 km + 10 km
- Défi du commandant 5 km + demi-marathon

Les tarifs réduits de la préinscription sont en vigueur jusqu’au 31 mars! Inscrivez vous maintenant au site et voyez notre nouveau site Web!

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Salute! January 2021/ Salut! Janvier 2021


VVi 22 Jan 2021

(Le message français suit)

Veterans Affairs Canada’s magazine, Salute! is now an e-newsletter and we are proud to present this first issue. Please share this e-mail with your friends and networks, and encourage them to register by visiting to keep up on issues that matter to Veterans and their families.

Let us know what you think about the new Salute! by emailing .

The Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund is open for applications

Does your organization support the well-being of Veterans and their families?
Apply for the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund. Funding is available to organizations from the private, public or academic sectors doing research and realizing projects and initiative in support of the well-being of Veterans and their families. Applications will be accepted until 8 February 2021.

Not sure if you qualify? Check out our funding guidelines.

Interested in applying? Find the application here.
(The English message precedes)

Le magazine d’Anciens Combattants Canada Salut! est désormais un bulletin d’information électronique et nous sommes fiers de vous présenter ce premier numéro. Veuillez partager ce courriel avec vos amis et vos réseaux et les encourager à s’inscrire en consultant le site pour se tenir au courant des questions qui comptent pour les vétérans et leur famille.

Faites-nous savoir ce que vous pensez du nouveau Salut! en nous envoyant un courriel à l’adresse

Les demandes sont acceptées dans le cadre du Fonds pour le bien-être des vétérans et de leur famille

Votre organisme soutient-il le bien-être des vétérans et de leur famille?
Présentez une demande dans le cadre du Fonds pour le bien-être des vétérans et de leur famille. Du financement est offert aux organismes des secteurs privé, public et universitaire qui mènent des recherches et qui mettent en œuvre des projets et des initiatives à l’appui du bien-être des vétérans et de leur famille. Les demandes seront acceptées jusqu’au 8 février 2021.

Vous n’êtes pas sûr d’être admissible? Consultez les lignes directrices pour le financement.

Vous souhaitez présenter une demande? Vous trouverez le formulaire ici.
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OVO Release of Report /Le BOV publie un rapport


VVi20 Jan 2021

Le français suit

Today the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman (OVO) released its report on Mental Health Treatment Benefits For Family Members, In Their Own Right, For Conditions Related To Military Service.

The report examines and makes recommendations regarding treatment benefits for those family members of Canadian Armed Forces Veterans who might be experiencing their own mental health conditions as a result of military service. The OVO believes that this is an important fairness matter in need of both attention and action.

We encourage you to read the full report and appreciate you sharing it through your networks and on your social media channels.


Nishika Jardine
Veterans’ Ombudsman
Office of the Veterans Ombudsman / Government of Canada
Click here to read the full report: Report on Mental Health Treatment Benefits For Family Members, In Their Own Right, For Conditions Related To Military Service.
Facebook: @VeteransOmbudsman
Instagram: @Veteransombudsmancanada
Twitter: @VetsOmbudsman

Aujourd’hui, le Bureau de l’ombudsman des vétérans (BOV) a publié son Rapport sur les avantages pour soins de santé mentale destinés aux membres des familles, de plein droit, pour des problèmes de santé mentale liés au service militaire.

Le rapport porte sur les avantages médicaux offerts aux membres de la famille des vétérans des Forces armées canadiennes qui ont leur propre problème de santé mentale lié au service militaire et il fait des recommandations à cet égard.

Le BOV croit qu’il s’agit d’une question importante en matière d’équité qui doit être portée à notre attention et pour laquelle il faut prendre des mesures.

Nous vous encourageons à lire le rapport en entier et nous vous remercions de faire part du rapport au moyen de vos réseaux et de vos médias sociaux.

Veuillez agréer nos salutations les plus sincères,

Nishika Jardine
Ombudsman des Vétérans
Bureau de l’ombudsman des vétérans / Gouvernement du Canada
Cliquez sur le lien suivant pour consulter le rapport en entier : Rapport sur les avantages pour soins de santé mentale destinés aux membres des familles, de plein droit, pour des problèmes de santé mentale liés au service militaire.
Facebook: @OmbudsmanVeterans
Instagram: @Ombudsmanveteranscanada
Twitter: @OmbudVeterans
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Canada Announces Sweeping New Travel Restrictions in Attempt to Contain COVID-19

Last Updated: January 30, 2021

VVi 01 Feb 2021

On January 29, 2021, Prime Minister Trudeau announced sweeping new measures for travellers that will come into effect in the coming days and weeks.

The measures are intended to further protect Canadians from the new variants of the COVID virus that are circulating.

While Trudeau acknowledged that travel is only responsible for about 2% of cases, he pointed out that just one travel case infected a Barrie, Ont. nursing home with the new British variant that resulted in multiple deaths and many cases.

All flights suspended between Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico
Effective Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021, all four of Canada’s major airlines – Air Canada, West Jet, Air Transat and Sunwing – have agreed to cancel all flights between Canada and Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean and Canada and Costa Rica until April 30, 2021.

These airlines will organize ways for their existing customers in affected destinations to get home, either on repatriation flights or through other carriers. Snowbirds in these destinations should contact their travel agent or airline for further information.

So far, flights between Canada and other destinations, including the United States, will continue to operate, but it is possible this may change in the future.

All International flights must land at one of Canada’s 4 largest airports
For the foreseeable future, all international flights arriving in Canada will only be able to land at Canada’s four largest airports: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.

COVID testing will be mandatory for all arriving air passengers
All arriving international air passengers will be required to take a PCR COVID test at the airport.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced today that this testing requirement will come into effect at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Monday, February 1st, ahead of when Federal testing requirements begin at other airports, which is expected to begin soon.

Mandatory hotel quarantines
All international air travellers will be required to stay in a supervised government approved quarantine hotel, at their own expense, until their test results come back, which is expected to take approximately 3 days.

The cost to travellers for the mandatory hotel stay and COVID testing will be approximately $2,000.

If you test negative, you may go to your home and complete the remainder of your 14-day quarantine there, under what the Prime Minister has described as “significantly increased surveillance”. This increased surveillance will be conducted by private security firms who have been hired by the Federal government to monitor travellers who are quarantining at home.

Travellers will also be required to be tested again on Day 10 of their quarantine, regardless of their initial test result, according to Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

If your test is positive, you will be required to go to a government run quarantine centre.

These requirements have not yet come into effect, as the government is still in the process of making arrangements for quarantine hotels and setting up quarantine centers for those who test positive. It is expected that these requirements will come into effect soon.

For updates and more information, keep checking the government website at

Pre-flight COVID tests still required
The new measures do not replace the requirement introduced at the end of December for a negative COVID test to be completed within 72 hours prior to flying to Canada.

COVID testing at the land border is coming soon
Trudeau made it clear that COVID testing upon arrival in Canada will also be required at the land border soon. No set date was given for when this requirement would come into effect.

It was not clear if COVID tests at land borders will be PCR tests or rapid tests. It was also not clear if mandatory hotel quarantines will be enforced at the land border once this new testing requirement begins.

More details on land border testing will be announced soon.

What if I’ve been vaccinated?
At this time, travellers who have already been vaccinated are NOT exempt from any testing or quarantine rules. You will be subject to the same pre-arrival and post-arrival COVID testing requirements and all quarantine requirements upon arriving in Canada as other travellers.

What if I’ve had COVID?
If you have had COVID-19, you can test positive for up to 6 months. This scenario has not yet been addressed by the Canadian government.

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  COVID Coverup: Trudeau gov’t helped China hide origins of COVID-19

Rebel News, Keean Bexte
14 Jan 2021
VVi 16 Jan 2020 db

Read the documents for yourself:
Keean Bexte reveals some explosive information provided to him by a high-ranking member of the Canadian Armed Forces regarding the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

FULL REPORT from Keean Bexte:

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Rapid Housing Initiative / Initiative rapide pour le logement

VVi 02 Dec 2020

(Le français suit)

Good day,

Recently, the Government of Canada launched the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) through the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The program includes $1 billion to address urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians through the rapid construction of affordable housing. The CMHC is accepting applications for capital funding related to the construction of modular housing, the acquisition of land, and/or the rehabilitation of affordable housing units until December 31, 2020. Provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous governing bodies and organizations, as well as non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for funding.

Check out the Rapid Housing Initiative website to learn more.


Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach Team
Veterans Affairs Canada

Bonne journée,

Récemment, le gouvernement du Canada a lancé l'Initiative pour la création rapide de logement (ICRL) par l'intermédiaire de la Société canadienne d'hypothèques et de logement (SCHL). Ce programme comprend un milliard de dollars pour répondre aux besoins urgents de logement des Canadiens vulnérables grâce à la construction rapide de logements abordables. La SCHL accepte les demandes de financement d'immobilisations liées à la construction de logements modulaires, à l'acquisition de terrains et/ou à la remise en état d'unités de logement abordables jusqu'au 31 décembre 2020. Les provinces, les territoires, les municipalités, les organismes de gouvernance et les organisations autochtones, ainsi que les organismes sans but lucratif peuvent présenter une demande de financement.

Pour en savoir plus, consultez le site web de l'Initiative rapide pour le logement.

Sincères salutations,

Équipe de mobilisation et de sensibilisation des intervenants
Anciens Combattants Canada
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Business Insider What Vets Miss Most Is What Most Civilians Fear: A Regimented, Cohesive Network That Always Checks On You

Mike Stajura , New America's Weekly Wonk
Nov 26, 2013, 9:39 AM

VVi 30 Nov 2020

soldiers 173rd Airborne Brigade
soldiers 173rd Airborne Brigade
Johannes Simon/Getty Images

When I joined the Army as a 17-year-old, I expected to face many challenges and hardships as an individual — whether that meant getting yelled at or shot at or made to jump out of airplanes. What I didn’t yet understand was how much I’d put aside my individual concerns and focus on my fellow service members — or how much they’d do the same for me.
The truth is that I had never been in such a supportive social environment in my life.

That might sound odd to people who’ve never been in the military. Getting chewed out for not having your shoes shined hardly seems “supportive” to most people. But that’s just one part of the military experience.

In the Army, it mattered to someone else whether or not my boots fit properly. It mattered to someone else whether I had been to the dentist recently. It mattered to someone else if I wasn’t where I was supposed to be at the right time. (Believe me, I’d hear about it if I wasn’t.)

To be sure, all of this attention paid to my performance was in the interest of team performance, but it also meant someone was always there for me. Checking on me. Making sure I was good to go. All of us were doing this for one another. If I was on a road march and a member of my squad was struggling, I would help share his load. If I was on crutches and couldn’t carry my tray in the dining hall, a fellow soldier would be right there to help me. That’s just how it was. We learned to think of others first.

And then you exit the service.

No more intrusive surprise health and welfare inspections. No more grueling runs and setting your speed to the slowest member of your group. No more morning formations. No more of the countless bureaucratic irritations of military life. Paradise, right?

Actually, for many of us, no.

Gone, suddenly, is the cohesive structure that existed to take care of you. Gone is that strong sense of social security. Gone is the sense that, wherever you go, you know where you fit. Gone are the familiar cultural norms. Gone are your friends from your ready-made peer group, who are just as invested in your success as you are in theirs.

News reports carry a lot of disheartening statistics about U.S. Veterans. (Like the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, I capitalize the word “Veterans” to be respectful.) Nearly a fifth of Veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 are jobless. Veterans suffer a 33 percent higher rate of narcotics overdoses than the rest of the population, and their suicide rate is slightly higher, too. People often react to this with pity, assuming that the cause is tied to trauma suffered while in the service.

But I suspect that the main contributor to troubled adjustment to civilian life is something else entirely, and rarely is it because of battle trauma. Rather, when Veterans leave military service, many of them, like me, are leaving the most cohesive and helpful social network they’ve ever experienced. And that hurts. Most recent Veterans aren’t suffering because they remember what was bad. They’re suffering because they miss what was good.

Of course, many Veterans just power through and do fine. Veterans on average have better health and earn more money than the average American. But others fall short of their potential, simply because they’re missing something, and they can’t tell what it is.

One friend of mine went from being a combat medic in the Army to a transfer student in the health field at a major university. He got perfectly good grades, but none of his efforts to connect with his new peers and replace the social cohesion that he was missing worked. He nearly wound up dropping out of school. Simply put, he felt isolated and adrift.

For this reason, I think that the social prescription for most Veterans facing challenges in civilian life — whether those challenges are PTSD or a lost limb or simply an inability to maintain steady employment — should be the same: find them a social network to replace the one they lost.

This helped another friend of mine, a smart, capable Marine who was discharged from the service right around the time of her divorce. At first, she floundered, and for a short stretch she was even homeless. What rescued her was a stint with AmeriCorps, the federal community service organization, which gave her a job that led to full-time employment with a national nonprofit.

AmeriCorps offered my friend three crucial things: a new mission, a new purpose, and a strong, supportive social network in which people were actually invested in one another’s well-being and success. That allowed her to get back on her feet. (That — and perhaps the fact that Marines are stubborn and tenacious. Not all stereotypes are bad.)

I am inspired to see that other Veteran service organizations have recognized the importance of a sense of community and renewed purpose. Look at The Mission Continues, a nonprofit that focuses on community service work for Veterans. They get it. They know that those who have served in the military are resilient and capable leaders. All that most Veterans need is a new mission, a new purpose, and a supportive community of peers.

Veterans aren’t looking for a handout, and they certainly don’t want to be pitied. If civilian life could offer Veterans more of the virtues of military life — accountability, cohesion, and a sense of purpose — I suspect you’d hear much less about the “problems” Veterans face and much more about the achievements that come from harnessing such vast energy, discipline, and public spirit.

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Ex-soldiers say it's time for a Canadian to receive a Victoria Cross for Afghanistan
Canada spent 13 years in combat in Afghanistan without once awarding the nation's highest military honour

Murray Brewster · CBC News ·
Posted: Nov 10, 2020 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: November 10

VVi 12 Nov 2020

A Canadian soldier with 1st RCR Battle Group climbs over a wall as he patrols with his unit in the Panjwayi district, south west of Kandahar, Afghanistan on June 6, 2010. (Anja Niedringhaus/The Associated Press)

One of the country's former top military commanders is helping to lead a push to honour some veterans of combat in the Afghanistan war with Canada's highest military honour — the Victoria Cross.

Former chief of the defence staff general Rick Hillier is among those behind a grassroots campaign and an upcoming documentary that will tell the stories of 10 recipients of the Military Star of Valour, the nation's second-highest military decoration.

Canada exited the Afghan war in 2014 after 13 years on the ground — many of them in combat — without awarding a single Victoria Cross.

The award for "extraordinary valour and devotion to duty while facing a hostile force" was created as a singularly Canadian honour in 1993, after more than a century of being a British Commonwealth-administered citation.

"We had decided to celebrate our own, except we've never done it," Hillier said in a Remembrance Day message posted online on Tuesday — pointing out that Canada itself has never given a Victoria Cross to a Canadian soldier.

Lieut.-Gen. Rick Hillier speaks to the troops following Remembrance Day ceremonies at Camp Julien Tuesday Nov. 11, 2003, in Kabul, Afghanistan. The now-former chief of the defence staff wants Canadians to nominate veterans of the Afghanistan war for Canada's highest combat honour, the Victoria Cross. (Canadian Press/Terry Pedwell)
He's asking the public to join a campaign to award the Victoria Cross "to a soldier or soldiers whom you judge deserving."

A group of five former soldiers, all of whom served overseas, have researched the cases and are planning to assemble a documentary, tentatively titled "Valour in the Presence of the Enemy," said retired corporal Bruce Moncur.

Moncur said he would not identify the 10 soldiers — all recipients of the Star of Military Valour — since neither they nor any surviving family members have been notified.

Hillier said their stories will be presented to the public — it's not clear when or how — and pledged that the campaign will offer its recommendations by Remembrance Day of next year.

A memorial to fallen Canadian and U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan at DND Headquarters in Ottawa. (Murray Brewster/Canadian Press)

The British, the Australians and the New Zealanders have each given out a handful of VCs for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, while the United States has awarded several Medals of Honour — the American equivalent — in both wars.

A spokesperson for the military said "no recommendations for a Victoria Cross were put forward (to the governor general) by the Canadian Armed forces prior to 2012."

Canadian troops ended their combat mission in Kandahar in 2011 and Canadian forces were withdrawn from Afghanistan three years later.

Since then, two of Canada's chiefs of the defence staff — retired general Walt Natynczyk and the current top commander Gen. Jonathan Vance — have launched reviews to make sure that each soldier received the proper citation.

Too late for new medals?
"A review committee reported to Chief of the Defence Staff General Natynczyk that the process had been fair and consistent, and that all awards respected the intent and criteria of the decoration," said Lt. Stéphany Lura.

The review requested by Vance concluded that "all honours for the Afghanistan mission had been processed and the time limits for such nominations (two years between the action and the nomination for Military Valour and Bravery Decorations) had elapsed."

Previously, the military has said it follows a stringent process, and a nomination for a bravery award must pass through no less than three committees of senior officers.

The last of Canada's 94 Victoria Cross medals were handed out during the Second World War — before Canada took over the award. The country's last living recipient, Private Ernest "Smokey" Smith, died in 2005.

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Nishika Jardine is named as new Veterans Ombudsperson / Nishika Jardine est le nouvel ombudsman des vétérans

VVi 12 Nov 2020

(Le français suit)

Dear Stakeholders and Advisory Group members,

Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach would like to share with you the following news release - The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, welcomed the appointment of Nishika Jardine as the new Veterans Ombudsperson.

This has been posted to the Veterans Affairs Canada website. We encourage you to pass this along to anyone who may be interested.

Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach Team
Veterans Affairs Canada

Cher(e)s intervenant(e)s et membres des groupes consultatif,

L’Équipe de Mobilisation et sensibilisation des intervenants aimeraient partager avec vous le communiqué de presse suivant – L’honorable Lawrence MacAulay, ministre des Anciens Combattants et ministre associé de la Défense nationale, a salué la nomination de Nishika Jardine à titre de nouvel ombudsman des vétérans.

Ce communiqué de presse a été affiché sur le site Web d'anciens combattants Canada. Nous vous encourageons à le transmettre à tous ceux qui pourraient être intéressés.

L’Équipe de Mobilisation et sensibilisation des intervenants
Anciens Combattants Canada
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Canadian Soldiers Assistance Team (CSAT) Forum  Newsletter - This is a VVi forum.
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Wounded Warriors Canada

VVi 30 Oct 2020

COVD-19 is having a significant effect on our Veterans, First Responders and their family members. It has presented access challenges to mental health and wellness support, enhanced risk of personal exposure for those on the frontline, and has placed significant stressors on family relationships.

I am pleased to report that we are engaged in our COVID Restart Plan and are back in our group programs. Just last week we facilitated our Couples Overcoming PTSD Everyday (COPE) program, Couples Equine Therapy program, Trauma Resiliency Program (Phase II), and delivered a virtual Before Operational Stress program. Prior to that, 20 kids participated in our Warrior Kids Camp in Alberta over Thanksgiving weekend. Taken together, it’s been an incredible few weeks of healing made possible thanks to your support.

I hope you and your family are staying safe and keeping well. We will be back in touch on Remembrance Day.

Scott Maxwell
Executive Director
Wounded Warriors Canada
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CANADIAN VETERANS VAC Backlog and Veteran lawsuits

Charles Scott
27 Oct 2020

VVi 29 Oct 2020

Thank you for raising the issue(s) in the House Rachel.

Not surprising was Darrell's response- same old regurgitated speech with no action. It's easy to state "Privacy" when it's before the courts, however, this government, this VAC Minister had EVERY opportunity to prevent a lawsuit as we engaged with his office numerous occasions- with no response.

Rachel Blaney MP for North Island - Powell River

"Yet again, I asked about the backlog at Veterans Affairs Canada. Yet again, I received hollow responses in reply. I'll be pushing the issue again tomorrow in the Veterans Affairs Committee. I will not stop until Canadian veterans gets the supports they need and rightly deserve."

See FB video...
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Lawsuit accuses Veterans Affairs of failing to tell eligible veterans about benefits
Veterans advocate Sean Bruyea says the department is keeping veterans in the dark

Murray Brewster · CBC News ·
Posted: Oct 20, 2020 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: October 20

VVi 19 Oct 2020

Centre Block on Parliament Hill is lit up in advance of Remembrance Day on October 28, 2016. A new class action lawsuit against Veterans Affairs accused the department of failing to inform ex-service members about available benefits. (Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press)

A proposed new class action lawsuit has been filed against Veteran Affairs Canada accusing it of failing to inform former soldiers, sailors and aircrew about the federal benefits to which they are entitled.

A statement of claim was filed in Federal Court last month by veterans advocate Sean Bruyea. The claim is being spearheaded by lawyer Peter Driscoll, who successfully sued the Department of National Defence over military pension clawbacks and secured a $887 million settlement.

The new case focuses on the handling of the former Supplementary Retirement Benefit. Bruyea — who recently won a separate small claims court settlement in a defamation case against former veterans minister Seamus O'Regan — had been eligible for the benefit before it was terminated by the Liberal government as part of its reform of veterans benefits, which came into effect in April 2019.

According to the court filing, Bruyea could have received a lump sum payout — equal to 69 months of the Supplementary Retirement Benefit — "had he been properly advised by the Department of the eligibility requirements" of the program.

Veterans advocate Sean Bruyea says the degree to which Veterans Affairs keeps ex-service members in the loop on benefits is "an important barometer of how veterans are being treated." (CBC)

Bruyea acknowledged the program was "small" but said it was important because it provided a small lump sum payment to qualified retiring veterans. He said he's almost certain he's not the only one who ended up being shortchanged.

The proposed lawsuit touches on one of the most common complaints of disabled veterans — that it can be almost impossible for them to determine which benefits they're entitled to when the rules have changed so often over the past 15 years.

Baffling benefits

There have been three major overhauls of the veterans benefits system since 2005 — changes that have brought with them some confusing eligibility criteria and programs that run for several years only to be replaced, changed into something else or cancelled outright.

In 2015, the Liberal government promised to fix the system — and asserted as a statement of principle that no veteran should have to fight the federal government in court for their benefits.

It also pledged to spend more money on programs and communicate clearly with former military members about their options.

While the department has poured over $10 billion into additional veterans' benefits and supports over the last five years, Bruyea said it's still failing veterans if they don't know what they're entitled to receive.

"It is an important barometer of how veterans are being treated and the obligation the government has towards its veterans," he said.

Bruyea said he learned when going through his files that the Supplementary Retirement Benefit should have been offered to him more than six years ago.

"There are probably more veterans like me that had not been given the option to sign up for this program," he added.

A spokesperson for Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay said he was aware of the case but was unable to comment on it directly.

"Our government is committed to supporting Canada's veterans and their families and ensuring they are aware of all the benefits they are entitled to," said John Embury, the minister's director of communications. "It would not be appropriate to comment on this specific case as it is currently before the court."

The proposed class action is the second legal case this year to test the extent of the federal government's obligation to keep veterans informed about programs.

Earlier this year, former master corporal Charles Scott sued the federal government after his case file allegedly fell between the cracks at Veterans Affairs not once, but twice.

Scott claimed he wasn't told he was at risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder — even though the department noted it in his medical file — and was never given the option to seek treatment in 2008 when he left the military.

The second alleged lapse on his file took place in 2019, when Scott's case management file was lost temporarily and he missed his chance to lock in a supplementary career replacement benefit. That benefit was phased out with the introduction of the current Liberal government's revised veterans' benefit system.

The Liberal government last year introduced a veterans benefit navigator, an online tool meant to distil the federal government's array of benefit programs for veterans into an individually tailored readout that suggests options.

It took Veterans Affairs almost a decade to deliver the interactive tool. It was first recommended by the country's veterans ombudsman in 2010.

See more...
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Mefloquine Lawsuit Mefloquine Lawsuit Lawyers in Canada

VVi 19 Oct 2020

Introduction to Mefloquine and its Effects

Mefloquine is an anti-malarial medication, which was often prescribed for members of the Canadian Armed Forces who were deployed to malaria-prevalent areas such as Somalia, Rwanda and Afghanistan.

However, there are many serious side effects associated with the use of Mefloquine, some of which are especially problematic for circumstances experienced by military personnel. These side effects include, but are not limited to: anxiety, paranoia, psychotic behaviour, depression, thoughts of suicide, and hallucinations.

The warning labels for Mefloquine by Health Canada were revised in 2016 to include the above side effects, emphasizing the severity and duration of these effects. Despite allegedly finding that Mefloquine does not have long-term effects, the Canadian Armed Forces now only prescribes Mefloquine as the last line of prevention or treatment for malaria.

Legal History and Action

In 2001, a class action was commenced for veterans who served in Somalia and who were ordered to take Mefloquine. This action was commenced in Ontario against the Canadian government, among others. However, in 2018 this class action was dismissed for delay.

In late 2018, Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP partnered with Waddell Phillips PC to represent individual mass tort claims for all veterans who were required to take Mefloquine from 1992 onwards.

For more information on the difference between a class action and mass tort actions, please see our article here.

The Mefloquine Issue

Canadian veterans who were deployed to various locations including Somalia, Rwanda and Afghanistan in the 1990’s and 2000’s, and who were required to take Mefloquine, have come forward claiming they are now suffering from serious and long-term side effects from the anti-malarial drug.

Many veterans claim they suffered one or more of these significant side effects after they were ordered to take the anti-malaria drug, which was initially prescribed as part of a clinical trial in Somalia, and then afterwards adopted by the military as their anti-malarial drug of choice. One of the main issues is that the clinical trial did not follow proper procedure. Among its failings, the veterans were not asked to provide their consent and potential side effects were not disclosed to them prior to the trial. Later on, for missions such as those in Rwanda and Afghanistan, the government continued to fail to disclose to its troops the potentially permanent side effects.

As a result, they claim the federal government did not meet its duty of care. Veterans are now seeking compensation for the harm and injuries they have suffered as a result of that negligence on the part of their government.

Mefloquine is rarely used today in the Canadian military. It was announced in June 2017 by the Department of National Defence that Mefloquine would only be used if someone in the Canadian Armed Forces specifically asked for it, or if there are particular issues with the other anti-malarials (i.e., allergy, interaction or contraindications with other drugs, etc.).

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VVi 10 Oct 20220

The Airborne Social Club (Edmonton) has confirmed they will host a Paratroopers Reunion in Edmonton during the above period.

This reunion is open to all former members of the Canadian Airborne Regiment; current and former members - Regular and Reserve Force Parachute Units/Elements; former members of the Canadian Airborne Centre; former members Canadian Forces Parachute Maintenance Depot; 1 Canadian Parachute Association; current and former paratroopers members of Search and Rescue Squadrons/Elements; Allied Paratroopers; and all other paratroopers, whether or not they have served in an active parachute role or not.

In addition to the above members themselves, a grateful welcome is extended to all Honorary Club members, wives, spouses and partners of members no longer with us.

While no specific theme has been established, members of the Club are at the initial planning stages and will provide specific details on a periodic basis.

Although we are endeavouring to reach as many as possible via all means possible, it is requested that you pass on this information to those you are in contact with and who we may not have contacted.

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FRONTLINE IN THE NEWS Job opportunities for military spouses

SEP 18, 2020

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The Department of National Defence is making it easier for military spouses and common-law partners to find secure and meaningful jobs. Today, the Military Spouse Employment Initiative will open up opportunities for them across the entire federal public service.

The average military family relocates three times more often than the average Canadian family. This means uprooting their lives, changing their routines, and encountering new challenges on a regular basis. As a result, it can be very challenging for partners of serving members to secure continuous and meaningful employment. To help address this challenge, in 2018, the Department created the Military Spousal Employment Initiative to identify job opportunities at DND. Today’s announcement expands upon the initiative offering the entire Public Service access to a talented workforce.

The initiative has already proven to ease some of the stress felt by many military families, including Justine Walker’s. “I’m very grateful for my job, and I definitely wouldn’t have it if it wasn’t for the Military Spouse Employment Initiative,” said Justine Walker, who works as a compensation assistant at National Defence. A military spouse, Justine says her full-time position gives her security, both now and in the future. “When we get posted again, I’ll have options for transferring my job, finding a new job, or putting my job on hold while on a temporary posting. My employer is across Canada, and there are many opportunities to grow within the Department of National Defence community. I feel extremely secure in my career, and I’m proud to be contributing to my own pension and making a career for myself.” Opening up the employment inventory to the entire federal public service will ensure there are more stories like Justine’s.

Military partners can now be considered as a hiring option ahead of other candidates at the Department of National Defence (with the exception of those with priority entitlements or preference) if they meet all of the essential qualifications for the job.

“Military partners – mostly women – face a high degree of career instability as a result of the frequent relocations,” notes Deputy Minister Jody Thomas. “This initiative creates better options for military spouses to find good jobs and benefits within the federal public service, and is exactly the kind of tangible support that helps improve the overall wellbeing of the military families who contribute so much to our country. Employing a Canadian military spouse is a wise strategic decision for any employer. Military life teaches our Canadian Armed Forces families to organize, adapt, manage, and work within a team, and any military spouse will arrive at their new job with those essential skills well-developed. By hiring a military spouse, employers are strengthening Canada and Canadian business lines.”

The inventory is open exclusively to spouses and common-law partners of serving Canadian Armed Forces members, who either live at the military member’s place of duty or live separately for military reasons. The Canadian Armed Forces member must belong to the Regular Force or to the Reserve Force on Class C service or Class B reserve service of more than 180 consecutive days. Those who meet the above criteria are eligible to apply online to the inventory.

The pool of talent includes many streams such as information management and information technology (IM/IT), procurement, materiel management, language teaching, health services, administration, and general services, as well as general trades and labour.

The Military Spouse Employment Initiative has won the Most Effective Recruitment Strategy silver award at the Canadian HR Awards 2020. The initiative supports several objectives outlined in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secured, Engaged. Those objectives seek to support military families by addressing and alleviating the employment challenges that they face when relocating across Canada.

The Military Spousal Employment Initiative is a complement to a wide range of services available to military spouses through Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services and local Military Family Resource Centres. These services include the flagship Military Spousal Employment Network, launched in 2018. The Military Spousal Employment Network boasts over 3,200 military spouse participants and showcases national and virtual employers interested in hiring military spouses through an online platform and virtual and in-person. Last year, just over 25 percent of military spouses who participated were hired through the Military Spousal Employment Initiative.

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The Advocate-Equalizer A veteran of Somalia who has suffered from quinism for more than 25 years, Dave Bona shares his insights on the the disease and the importance of nutrition.

14 Sep 2020

VVi 18 Sep 2020

The term “quinism” may seem new, but the symptoms of poisoning by mefloquine (previously marketed as Lariam®), tafenoquine (marketed as Krintafel® and Arakoda™), and related quinoline drugs are all too familiar: Tinnitus. Dizziness. Vertigo. Paresthesias. Visual disturbances. Gastroesophageal and intestinal problems. Nightmares. Insomnia. Sleep apnea. Anxiety. Agoraphobia. Paranoia. Cognitive dysfunction. Depression. Personality change. Suicidal thoughts.

These symptoms are not “side effects”. They are symptoms of poisoning by a class of drug that is neurotoxic and that injures the brain and brainstem. This poisoning causes a disease, and this disease has a name: Chronic quinoline encephalopathy — also known as quinism.

hen I initially began my investigation of mefloquine and the role it had to play in the “Somalia Affair”, the very first person I had a conversation with was Dave Bona. It was during that phone conversation that I would hear first hand of the destruction this drug was inflicting upon the lives of our veterans.

I had taken the time to find out what I could about Dave before I spoke with him, and consulted the vast number of articles and interviews that he is featured in online. I discovered a man who had been living in a nightmare for over a quarter of a century, the result of the neurotoxic drug he was ordered to take in 1992/93 while part of Operation Deliverance.

I had an idea about what I might expect to hear during our conversation, but hearing these things first hand was still shocking to me. He was giving me a perspective that nothing I had read to that point could ever truly give justice to. I was now speaking with someone who was living through a nightmare, and as I listened to him tell me about what his life has been like for all this time, a range of emotions began to build up inside of me.

The first thing that hits me as I talk with Dave is a sense of shock/horror/disbelief at 1) the symptoms that I am hearing this man describe to me and, 2) anger mixed with rage at the thought that this man and many others like him were poisoned at the behest of their government. This quickly added to my motivation as I set out to do something for these veterans who have paid a very high price for serving their country, a country whose government continues to deny them at every turn.

Canada’s Godfather of Mefloquine Advocacy

The former paratrooper has been actively involved in mefloquine awareness and advocacy for three years now. Although mefloquine awareness efforts in Canada had started several years before his involvement, his contributions have been enormous. Because of his efforts, a large and ever growing number of veterans has been made aware of quinism, resulting in an untold number of lives that will have been saved for receiving his message.

He’s also among the group of Canadians who have suffered its debilitating symptoms the longest, symptoms that have now lasted for the past 26 years. In that time he’s racked up a lifetime’s worth of experience in living with the disease and he shares his insights and knowledge with everyone in videos he posts on Facebook.

The importance of nutrition.
For Dave, nutrition is a critical weapon in his battle with quinism. Through his own research and by trial and error, Dave is learning the important role nutrition plays in recovering from traumatic brain injuries. Unlike PTSD, quinism is another form of TBI, though it is one that has been caused by a drug as opposed to kinetic force.

It isn’t only through videos that Dave gets his point across, as he also provides his analysis of mefloquine related issues in posts such as this one:

Dave is a very central figure when it comes to quinism in Canada, and his Facebook page is a repository of information on mefloquine and a gathering place for others who are advocating for mefloquine veterans.

Dave has also been the subject of many stories in the media over the years. Some tell of the ways that mefloquine has destroyed his life, but a great many others tell of how he is now fighting back, not just for himself but for the thousands of others just like him.

What Dave Bona is experiencing isn’t just a Canadian phenomenon. Thousands of veterans from across the globe have had the same symptoms, the same thoughts, the very same feelings that Dave has had. They are the feelings shared by battle-hardened American veterans of Afghanistan and Swedish tourists alike.

He has come to be a beacon in the darkness, helping to guide others away from peril and showing them to a safe harbour. If you or someone you know is suffering from the symptoms of quinism, and aren’t sure about what to do, Dave would be a great resource for you.

You should also visit The Quinism Foundation at www, for the most accurate and up to date information by the leading figure in quinism research, Dr. Remington Nevin. The foundation’s mission is laid out in the “About Us” section of their web page.

The foundation has an enormous job ahead. We must prepare healthcare organizations to identify those exposed to quinolines and to screen for symptomatic quinoline exposure. We must educate clinicians to diagnose chronic quinoline encephalopathy and other medical conditions caused by quinoline poisoning. We must train researchers to distinguish the effects of quinism from those of other disorders, including Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). We must assist government agencies to recognize those suffering disability from quinism. We must identify risk factors for the disease. We must attempt to count all those affected. And, we must support a search for effective treatments.

… The foundation is proud to be listed as a registered charity in the PayPal Giving Fund, on Amazon Smile, and in the Network for Good’s donor-advised fund. You can also read more about the foundation’s charitable activities by reviewing our listing on Guidestar.

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2nd Battalion Princess Patricas Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group - Battle of Medac Pocket

Alex Brennan
September 7 at 1:08 PM

09 Sep 2020

27 years ago Canadian soldiers in the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricas Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group found themselves in between two opposing sides. 50% were army reservist from across our nation. When push came to shove the Canadians forced a cease fire after other UN forces left without making a stand. The Canadian Government did not recognize this until 10 years later. Many of our peers didn't believe what we had been through. For the next two weeks I will be thinking of those men and women who served with me and endured, artillery, mortar and small arms fire. Not all injuries are physical. Peace to everyone, hoping your lot in life is better today. Special shout out to Sheldon Dean Maerz for his photos.

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  A 'deafening silence': Canada still struggles with the Second World War's legacy, says historian

Murray Brewster · CBC News ·
Posted: Sep 02, 2020 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: September 2

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Tim Cook argues Canadians have a blind spot when it comes to their role in a war that changed the world

Col. Lawrence Cosgrave (right), the Canadian defence attache in Australia during the Second World War, accepted the surrender of Japanese forces on the Government of Canada's behalf on Sept. 2, 1945. (Canadian War Museum/Contributed)

Seventy-five years ago today, a little-known Canadian colonel — a half-blind veteran of the First World War — sat pen in hand before a dark cloth-covered table on the quarterdeck of the American battleship U.S.S. Missouri.

Allied warships had assembled in a long, grey line in the stifling heat of Tokyo Bay — a mute audience for the moment the victors met the vanquished.

Along with a host of military glitterati that included U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Col. Lawrence Cosgrave accepted the surrender of the Japanese empire on Canada's behalf. He signed on the wrong line, causing a minor kerfuffle that was soon rectified by MacArthur's chief of staff with a stroke of his own pen.

The Second World War ended at that moment.

A copy of the Sept. 2, 1945 Japanese surrender document, displayed aboard the USS Missouri historical site at Pearl Harbor, Oahu. ( Murray Brewster/CBC News)

The most deadly and destructive conflict in human history — a war that killed at least 75 million people worldwide, claimed 45,000 Canadian lives and left another 55,000 Canadians physically and mentally scarred — was finally over.

Once the shooting stopped, said historian Tim Cook, war-weary Canadians were eager to forget the war — or at least to move on from it. Few people know, and even fewer appreciate, the somewhat droll role Cosgrove played in that great moment three-quarters of a century ago.

That act of collective forgetting bothers Cook. It's reflected in the title of his latest book: The Fight for History: 75 Years of Forgetting, Remembering and Remaking Canada's Second World War.

One of the book's working titles was "The Deafening Silence."

"It's not easy to talk about our history," Cook told CBC News. "History often divides us."

Cook — one of the country's leading military historians and authors — said he's baffled by Canadians' apparent reluctance to come to grips with the war's legacy.

Historian Tim Cook: "History often divides us." (CBC News)

Following the First World War, Canadians built monuments from coast to coast. Canadian soldiers who served in that war — Cosgrave among them — wrote sometimes eloquent and moving accounts of their experiences under fire.

That didn't happen in Canada following the Japanese and German surrenders in 1945, said Cook.

"We didn't write the same history books. We didn't produce films or television series," he said. "We allowed the Americans and the British and even the Germans to write about the war and to present it on film."

Some Canadian war correspondents wrote books in the immediate aftermath of the victory, hoping to speak to history — but senior military commanders and leaders subsequently shied away.

Unlike the American and British generals who wrote Second World War memoirs (Dwight Eisenhower, George Patton and Bernard Montgomery), Canadian commanders Harry Crerar, Andrew McNaughton, George Pearkes and Guy Simmonds all chose to remain silent and allowed biographers to tell their stories — sometimes decades after the fact.

Cook said the reluctance of many returning Canadian soldiers to discuss the war beyond the tight circles of Royal Canadian Legion halls — a silence that persisted for decades — also contributed to Canadians' lack of engagement with the country's experiences in the Second World War.

The 'comfortable' image of Canada the peacekeeper

The advent of peacekeeping has also tainted Canada's view of the conflict, he said.

While some critics have argued successive governments have exploited the peacekeeping mythology, Cook said he's very proud of Canada's peacekeeping legacy. But peacekeeping "became a very comfortable symbol for us," he said. "I argue in the book that it too has contributed to the silencing of the Second World War."

In the 1960s, Cook said, Remembrance Day ceremonies in Canada suffered from dwindling attendance. It was only in the 1980s and 1990s — when the war was being re-examined through American popular culture properties like the hit movie Saving Private Ryan — that a deeper appreciation began to take root, he said.

Cook argues that revival of interest happened almost too late — at a time when many veterans had already passed away and few living Canadians remembered the war as a personal experience.

"We shouldn't expect the Americans or the British and the Germans and the Japanese to talk about the war" in the same way Canadians experienced it, he said.

"If you don't tell your own story, no one else will."

History can be "dangerous" for politicians, Cook argues, because of the divisions it leaves behind (the conscription crisis of 1944 damaged English-French relations in Canada) and the effect of its darker chapters — such as the internment of Japanese-Canadians — when they come to light.

Many of the international institutions that were born out of the Second World War are under attack today. That's just one reason why remembering the war is so important, said Cook.

"I'm not suggesting we should write heroic history and that we need to chest-thump and stand behind the flag. But I do think we need to tell our stories."

The American battleship USS Missouri hosted the Japanese surrender ceremony on Sept. 2, 1945. It is now a museum in Oahu, Hawaii. ( Murray Brewster/CBC News)

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ABC Far North Ex-soldiers say potential COVID-19 drug triggered depression, memory loss

ABC Far North / By Marian Faa
Posted ThuThursday 13 AugAugust 2020 at 2:28pm, updated ThuThursday 13 AugAugust 2020 at 9:07pm

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Close up of middle-aged man looking concerned, wearing red t-shirt.
Glen Norton blames the anti-malaria drug he was given in the military for his health issues.(ABC Far North: Marian Faa)

Australian Army veterans given a controversial drug while deployed in East Timor have raised concerns about its safety, saying the medicine should not be used as a treatment for COVID-19.

Key points:
An anti-malaria drug has shown early signs as a potential treatment for COVID-19 in laboratory studies
Army veterans given the drug 20 years ago say it caused them long-term psychiatric side effects
A Senate inquiry found there was no compelling evidence of lasting health problems but experts recommend more research

The anti-malarial tafenoquine is being explored as a treatment for coronavirus with laboratory studies conducted in Melbourne claiming tafenoquine was four times more potent against SARS-CoV-2 cells than hydroxychloroquine.

The study has not yet been peer-reviewed but drug company 60 Degrees Pharmaceuticals (60P) is planning to conduct clinical research to determine its effectiveness in humans.

Chief executive Geoff Dow said the company was optimistic about the initiative.

Young smiling solider surrounded by group of local children in East Timor, looking happy.
Glen Norton says he was a "happy and keen" young soldier before taking a controversial anti-malaria drug.(ABC: Supplied)

"Like many companies, 60P and its partners are trying to do our part to provide solutions for treating and preventing COVID 19," he said.

But some doctors and veterans have raised serious concerns about tafenoquine's safety.

Glen Norton is one of almost 700 soldiers who took the anti-malarial during trials conducted by the Defence Force between 1998 and 2002.

Two decades later, Mr Norton continues to suffer chronic depression, anxiety, nightmares, hallucinations, memory loss and extreme mood swings.

He has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder but believes his symptoms are long-term side effects from taking tafenoquine.

"One minute I would be happy, and the next minute I would be curled up in the corner somewhere crying," he said.

"This drug has totally destroyed my personal life."

'We were having nightmares'

Mr Norton said he first began noticing changes when he took tafenoquine while deployed in East Timor in 2000.

"We used to call Sunday nights psycho night because of the side effects," he said.

"All of us that were on those drugs were having nightmares and things like that — we had people literally screaming in their sleep like they're being murdered."

Two young men with faces painted in camoflage in the bush.

Two young men with faces painted in camoflage in the bush.
Glen Norton says he began having nightmares while taking the anti-malarial on a peace keeping mission in East Timor.(ABC: Supplied)

Mr Norton is no longer in the Army and owns businesses in Cairns and Darwin.

He said he was horrified to hear tafenoquine was being considered as a treatment for coronavirus.

"I would prefer to catch COVID-19 and take the risk than to let anyone go through the pain and suffering myself and other soldiers have experienced."

Doctors debate drug's safety

Tafenoquine was approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use as a malaria prevention drug in 2018.

Side effects listed in the product information include sleep disturbances, depression and anxiety in up to 1 per cent of cases.

Dr Dow said clinical studies of tafenoquine had been reviewed by independent medical experts, who concluded the drug was safe.

But some doctors have warned the drug's long-term risks may not be fully understood.

American epidemiologist Remington Nevin said tafenoquine belonged to a class of anti-malaria medications shown to be neurotoxic.

"I am afraid we're seeing the same thing potentially playing out with tafenoquine," Dr Nevin said.

"Our group's concern is that there is simply incomplete study data on these drugs."

Hydroxychloroquine tablets are displayed on a dark surface
Hydroxychloroquine tablets are displayed on a dark surface
Tafenoquine belongs to the same family of drugs as hydroxychloroquine, also developed to treat malaria.(AP: John Locher)

Dr Nevin believes there were critical flaws in the study conducted on Australian soldiers, who were deployed on peacekeeping missions at the time.

"When symptoms develop in this environment, it's very tempting to attribute these — and possibly misattribute these — simply to the stresses of deployment and not to the drugs," he said.

"I'm also concerned about the ethics of the trials that have been conducted and the quality of clinical data that have been collected from these studies."

Others have argued the drug is safe.

University of Queensland anti-malaria expert James McCarthy gave evidence to a Senate inquiry into the use of tafenoquine in the Defence Force in 2018.

Professor McCarthy told the inquiry tafenoquine had never been associated with neuropsychiatric side effects at normal doses for preventing malaria.

"Comprehensive reviews of multiple clinical trials suggest that the incidence of neurological side effects was no higher in those receiving tafenoquine compared with a placebo," he said.

Large-scale study underway

A 2018 review by the US Food and Drug Administration found there was enough evidence to conclude tafenoquine was safe.

However, it also flagged concerns about the drug's potential neuropsychiatric side effects and recommended further research.

Some members of the review committee said safety data from clinical studies were small and the noted follow-up periods were short.

A scientist looks into a microscope while wearing a protective suit at the CSIRO Australia Animal Health Laboratory.
A scientist looks into a microscope while wearing a protective suit at the CSIRO Australia Animal Health Laboratory.
Researchers are looking into tafenoquine as a COVID-19 treatment.(Supplied: CSIRO)

Dr Dow said a large-scale study into the psychiatric safety of tafenoquine had been underway since 2017, with results expected in the second half of next year.

Mr Norton said clinical trials of tafenoquine against COVID-19 should not take place until further research was completed.

"How can you conduct a trial and say that this drug is safe, it's all singing, it's all dancing, when you're not looking at the long-term effects of what these drugs do to the human body?" he said.

'Some days I would have killed someone'

Veterans are calling for a royal commission into drug trials conducted by the military's Malaria and Infectious Diseases Institute, amid allegations of corruption and ethics breaches.

Wayne Karakyriacos, who also took tafenoquine while deployed in East Timor, said soldiers did not give informed consent to participate in the trials.

"We got told if you did not sign the paperwork, you would not deploy," he said.

"To me, this is not about financial gain — it's about justice and the truth, and how the [Military's] Australian Malaria Institute could use Australian soldiers as guinea pigs."

Middle-aged man in red shirt looking through medical documents at a small table in a hotel room.
Ex-soldier Glen Norton says there's been no research into the long-term side effects suffered by veterans who took the controversial anti-malaria drug while deployed in East Timor and Bougainville.(ABC Far North: Marian Faa)

The 2018 Senate inquiry heard evidence from more than a dozen soldiers, veterans and their relatives who said tafenoquine had a major detrimental impact on their lives.

"Some days I had to leave as I would have actually killed someone with no regret at all. The anxiety and anger was uncontrollable. This was not the life I wanted to live," one submission read.

A Defence spokeswoman said the inquiry found the trials were conducted ethically and lawfully, in keeping with national guidelines.

She said the Commonwealth had committed $2.1 million to support veterans concerned about having taken tafenoquine and other anti-malaria drugs.

"DVA is delivering a national program that provides concerned veterans with the option to receive a comprehensive health assessment to identify service-related illness, disease and injury," she said.

"These health assessments will be conducted by GPs trained to address medical issues specific to veterans and anti-malarial medications."

The spokeswoman said Defence had agreed to 12 of the inquiry's 14 recommendations and agreed in principle to the remaining two.

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A Great Serving Veteran, John Labelle Passed

Originally posted May 2020

Back in Dec we lost a good man, John Labelle. John was the lead advocate on reversing the CFSA Clawback. He advocated to his very last day.Personally, I will miss working with this dedicated veteran. I will miss his friendship.

RIP, John.

Major (Retired) CJ Wallace CD, BA, BAS, plsc
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Federal restrictions hurting ombudsman’s ability to help veterans: Report

Aug 17, 2020 6:10 AM

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 17, 2020.

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OTTAWA — The veterans ombudsman’s office is hoping a new report flagging problems with the watchdog’s limited authority and lack of independence from the federal government will lead to improvements in its ability to help those who have served in uniform.

Commissioned by the ombudsman’s office, the report represents the first real review of the watchdog’s operations since it was created in 2007 as a place that disabled veterans could turn if they felt the federal government was treating them unfairly.

Many veterans have since complained that the office has failed to live up to those expectations, an assessment that the watchdog itself has echoed.

“We strive to do our best, with the tools currently at our disposal, but we can and want to do more to address fairness issues veterans and their families are experiencing,” the ombudsman’s office said in a statement following the report’s release.

“An expanded mandate would make that possible. We could investigate more veterans’ complaints, sooner, and more efficiently, which would enable us to have a greater ability to impact equitable outcomes for veterans and their families.”

The analysis was conducted by Ottawa management firm Goss Gilroy Inc. and found the ombudsman has made a difference when it comes to some systemic issues affecting veterans such as inadequate financial support for large segments of the community.

Yet the analysis was frank in its assessment of the federally mandated limits on the office’s ability to investigate individual complaints, describing those restrictions as “key barriers” to the watchdog’s ability to help many veterans in need.

“The ombudsman should have the power to look at any complaint and not be restricted (with some specific exceptions like legal opinions), particularly when the department fails to respond to the complainant’s request for an internal review,” the report said.

It went on to note widespread and longstanding questions and concerns about the office’s perceived and real lack of independence given that it reports to the minister of veterans affairs and Veterans Affairs Canada rather than Parliament.

While staff in the ombudsman’s office and Veterans Affairs believed the watchdog has operated largely independently, the report said, “most external stakeholders questioned the independence of the OVO while being employed by and reporting to VAC.”

“Most veterans and other stakeholders interviewed believe that the OVO should be totally independent from VAC to avoid misperceptions, to safeguard against interference by the minister/department and to allow the office to use more than just ‘moral-suasion’ to achieve results.”

The report’s findings largely reflect concerns raised by the most recent ombudsman, Craig Dalton, before he resigned suddenly in May after only 18 months on the job to become city manager in Lethbridge, Alta.

In response to the report, Veterans Affairs Canada says it plans to conduct its own assessment over the coming months to determine how the ombudsman’s office — which remains vacant following Dalton’s resignation — can be improved.

While much of the report focused on the ombudsman’s limited ability to investigate certain cases and lack of independence, it also criticized the watchdog for taking a long time to respond to veterans’ complaints and concerns.

“The veterans who raised concerns when interviewed noted that despite repeated calls or letters to the OVO, months could go by before they got an answer to their enquiry regarding their claim,” the report said.

The ombudsman’s office blamed a shortage of staff and constant turnover, but said it was working to address the problem.

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Accounts are free for veterans, serving members and the immediate family of the military, police, ambulance and coast guard, etc.

VetsSpace Social Media Site... for those serving and have served.

This is not a forum, but a social media site in its structure. Although still under construction, one can still join now.

VVi Publisher Comment: Highly recommended for ALL veterans. Although still in the early stages of development, this web space, or veteran space, has a lot of potential. Join!

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TABLE OF CONTENTS 2020 issue 1


Despite the pandemic, European NATO members have no plans to cut their military budgets or revise their defence doctrines this year, according to statements made by the highest senior commanders of the Alliance and representatives of various ministries of Defence. Quite the contrary, many are considering a further raising of their combat potential as one way to stimulate their economies, which were negatively affected by COVID-19.

Airborne Early Warning & Control

Accurate plotting of a potential enemy's next moves has seen militaries worldwide rely increasingly on sophisticated technologies for strategic advantage, and that's where NATO's Airborne Early Warning & Control force comes in.

AUG 2020

Personnel changes in your defence community include: Raytheon, DRS, ADGA, MDA, DND, Canadian Embassy in Washington, Cdn Forces College, and Climatopolis.

General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), announced, in March 2020, the list of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) appointments, promo­tions, and retirements for 2020, and then announced his own retirement in July.


FrontLine has gathered the key industry leaders in the defence and national security sectors. These are the project primes and specialized subcontractors that provide Top Quality solutions for these critical sectors.

Challenges in the Persian Gulf
By Debalina Ghoshal

In naval warfare, one of the best tools for area denial is the anti-ship missile system. Iran is developing sophisticated anti-ship missile systems to counter any offensive advantage posed by its adversaries. 


Whether we like it or not, systemic relations, transactions, and clashes between people and polities across the globe rarely have the consideration to pause for our convenience (or global pandemics). One’s understanding of conflict must continually be challenged in order to be relevant when it is needed most. Through a historical evaluation of the foreign policy objectives of the three major pre-Islamic iterations of Iranian dominance, this essay concludes that many of the historical lessons can be accurately applied today.


Former Money laundering investigator shares thoughts on what the pending report on Money Laundering in BC is expected to reveal, and offers his own recommendations to close legal loopholes that make Canada a lucrative option for such criminal behaviour. 


Since May 25th, thousands of people of all ethnicities have taken to the streets in multiple cities around the world, as a groundswell movement for real and equal justice for all people began to take hold. Will 2020 finally be the year in which listening turns to hearing, and then to action? Change has indeed begun. Hopefully our leaders will embrace and assist this grassroots progress, but if not, to borrow from General Mattis, we can still do it together. What will you do?

Disaster relief on the home front

As 2020 rolled in, few could have guessed that members of the Canadian Armed Forces would soon be helping elderly Canadians battle an invisible enemy: the novel coronavirus that had emerged in China's Wuhan province in late 2019.

We Can Do Better

Toronto Police Service Trainers analyze recent protests from a best practices and crowd management perspective. Updated and consistent training is one part of the solution to change response tactics from aggressive escalation to serving the public right to peaceful protest.


As COVID continues to force the federal government to implement measures that will inject liquidity into the economy, now is the time to reflect on annual defence budgets and the impact on capabilities from long-term funding shifts.


Efforts to combat the effects of COVID-19 may compel deep cuts to DND/CAF – creating an opportunity to re-align security policy across government. A clearer distinction between 'compulsory' and 'discretionary' missions will help ensure the military's relevance for the most important challenges facing Canadians.

COVID-19 is both a threat-event and a national security concern, able to expose vulnerabilities of a nation and set the stage for grey-zone tactics by adversaries.


An unsettling revelation that Information Ops on the Canadian public had been underway for some time before the CDS got wind of it called an immediate halt. Considering that neither the CDS nor the Minister were aware of this initiative, one has to wonder what level of oversight exists for those operators?


10 May update: Partial remains of second crew member, Captain Brenden Ian MacDonald, have been identified after CH-148 Cyclone accident. A repatriation ceremony for all six Canadian Armed Forces members killed at sea in a helicopter crash, took place on 6 May 2020. Read original story and updates here.​

See more...
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2021 – Veteran identifier question / Recensement de 2021 – Question d’identification des vétérans

VVi 31 Sep 2020

(le français suit)

Dear Stakeholders and Advisory Groups members,

I am pleased to let you know that the questions which will make up the 2021 Census are now public and will include a Veteran identifier question – the first since 1971. As Minister of Veterans Affairs, I was surprised to learn that there is no formal listing of Canadian military Veterans. This creates a significant information gap that hampers the ability to fully understand and respond to the needs of Canadian Veterans and their families. That is why Veterans Affairs Canada has been working closely with Statistics Canada and advocating for the inclusion of a Veteran identifier question on the national survey.

We recently learned that these efforts had paid off - the 2021 national census will ask, “Have you ever served in the Canadian military?”. The addition of this question will provide the first truly accurate data on Canada’s Veteran population in 50 years. The data gathered from this survey will inform programs, supports and services for Canadian Veterans and their families for years to come. This is truly a victory that ensures those who serve our country no longer remain hidden from official statistics and gives us the opportunity to put the best supports in place that they so richly deserve.

For the latest 2021 Census information and developments, I invite you to visit the Statistics Canada website The road to the 2021 Census.

Lawrence MacAulay
Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
Chers intervenants et membres des groupes consultatifs,

Je suis heureux de vous informer que les questions que contiendra le Recensement de 2021 sont maintenant publiques et qu’il y aura parmi celles ci une question d’identification des vétérans – la première depuis 1971. En tant que ministre des Anciens Combattants, j’étais surpris d’apprendre qu’il n’existe aucune liste officielle des vétérans militaires canadiens. Il en résulte un important manque d’information qui empêche de comprendre entièrement les besoins des vétérans canadiens et de leur famille et d’y répondre. C’est pourquoi Anciens Combattants Canada travaille étroitement avec Statistique Canada et plaide pour l’inclusion d’une question d’identification des vétérans dans l’enquête nationale.

Récemment nous avons su que ces efforts avaient porté fruit – le Recensement de 2021 comptera la question suivante : « Avez vous déjà servi dans l’Armée canadienne ». L’ajout de cette question fournira les premières données vraiment précises en 50 ans, au sujet de la population de vétérans du Canada. Les données recueillies permettront d’orienter les programmes, les mesures de soutien et les services offerts aux vétérans canadiens et à leur famille pendant des années à venir. Il s’agit d’une victoire qui garantit que ceux qui servent notre pays feront maintenant partie des statistiques officielles et qui nous donne l’occasion de mettre en place les meilleures mesures de soutien qu’ils méritent tant.

Pour obtenir les derniers renseignements et progrès au sujet du Recensement de 2021, je vous invite à consulter le site Web de Statistique Canada En route vers le Recensement de 2021.

Lawrence MacAulay
Ministre des Anciens Combattants et ministre associé de la Défense nationale
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FrontLine Defence/Security/Innovation  FrontLine Newsletter - 23 July 2020

VVi 23 Jul 2020

Visit FrontLine website:

FrontLine Defence/Security/Innovation



| Top Defence Leaders | Jeopardizing Hearts & Minds | DND Retirements |

2019 Issue 2

Read FrontLine articles online defence/security/safety/innovation

To view the curent issue online, visit:



To subscribe to this newsletter, visit:


Jeopardizing Hearts & Minds   CHRIS MACLEAN

Democratic societies value the right to free speech and, by extention, the right to peaceful dissent without fear of military intervention – but not necessarily in our home and native land.

CAF/DND Promotions Appointments and Retirements 2020    DND

General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), announced, in March, the list of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) appointments, promotions, and retirements for 2020.


Top Quality Defence Capability Leaders 2020 – FRONTLINE REPORTS

FrontLine has gathered the key industry leaders, project primes and specialized subcontractors who provide Top Quality solutions for the defence sector. We will feature them all in our newsletter (in no particular order) over the coming weeks.

• Beretta Defence Technologies / Stoeger Canada

Beretta Defense Technologies has grown from the needs of government and law enforcement agencies to cover a wide range of requirements.

• Frequentis Canada Ltd

Frequentis designs resilient networks that meet modern demands across multiple domains in the Defence, Civil Aviation, Maritime, Public Transportation and Public Safety sectors.

• ROXOR by Mahindra

Does your fleet need a more durable option to meet bottom-line requirements? This robust side-by-side vehicle can manage the off-road environment while hauling gear, people and supplies.


COMING SOON: Pandemic not affecting NATO budgets; Operation Laser; Origins of Iran’s Modern Power; Iran’s anti-ship missile capability; NAEWC Force; RAN Offshore Patrol Vessel

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