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Month: May 2009


Smaller DEC Gets Down To Business

On the chilly weekend of Feb. 21-22, a considerably smaller group of Legionnaires came together to meet as the restructured Dominion Executive Council at Legion House in Ottawa. This was the second DEC meeting since the governance restructuring that occurred at the last dominion convention. And while certainly some disagreements remain on the governance issue, never did the conversation become strained or rancorous. It seemed to be a meeting of largely like-minded people. On Saturday morning, Honorary Grand President Charles Belzile opened the meeting with a short speech welcoming everyone to Ottawa. Belzile began by calling for “unity” and by making it clear he felt this was an important meeting. “It is still early, under the process set up for the new governance proceedings, to exp...

Centred On Juno

Canadians travelling to France to mark the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings and Normandy Campaign will find many events and locations dedicated to the contributions made by Canadians during the summer of 1944. Details for some of the planned events were still being worked out by press time in March, but a major ceremony, including the unveiling of a monument in honour of the Royal Canadian Navy, is scheduled for 10 a.m. June 6 at the Juno Beach Centre in Courseulles-sur-Mer, France. The ceremony will also help launch a temporary exhibit titled We Were There which will tell the personal stories of 12 Canadian veterans. “The veterans represent a real cross-section” of the units that took part from across the country, explains Juno Beach Centre President Garth Webb. Courseu...

Readers’ Quiz Answers

In the May/June issue we tested your knowledge of National Defence. Here are the answers: The Militia Act of 1883, which established the Infantry School Corps and the Cavalry School Corps.  The infantry and cavalry units formed the basis for Canada’s professional army, through both regular duties and providing permanent instructors for the non-permanent militia, male Canadian citizens who volunteered as part-time soldiers. The Department of Naval Service, the Department of Militia and Defence, and the Air Board. James H. MacBrien, who was head of the army during a period of financial retrenchment.  Later he became Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Defence Scheme No. 1, which proposed a limited Canadian offensive into and fighting withdrawal from the U.S. until Br...

Prescription Dispensing Fees Often Overlooked

Jean Lesniak has had her monthly prescriptions filled at the same drug store in Port Hope, Ont., for years, but after it recently changed hands, she was surprised when asked to pay an extra $4.99 to cover a dispensing fee. “I used to just pick up my prescriptions and they were covered by Veterans Affairs,” says Lesniak, an 85-year-old army veteran. When the pharmacy changed hands, the dispensing fee increased, putting it above the amount Veterans Affairs Canada covers. “I just never realized a dispensing fee was part of the cost of prescriptions,” says Lesniak. Like many Canadians whose medications are covered by employer benefit or provincial or federal plans, Lesniak was not only unaware that dispensing fees are part of the cost of their prescriptions, but that these fees vary from...
Military History

The French Connection

COMMONWEALTH WAR CEMETERY, BAYEUX, NORMANDY, JUNE 5, 1955: Bent and frail, Lise Enguerrand was a poor village woman in her early 70s. I was a Paris student from Toronto, aged 21. We were both there to attend to Stuart Hogarth of Hampton, Ont. Stu was a 28-year-old Canadian sergeant killed on Sept. 4, 1944, three months after the Allies’ June 6 Normandy invasion. His mother, my mother’s distant cousin, had asked me to come to this majestic garden of grief to represent her at her son’s grave. Madame Enguerrand was there, as every week, to dust Stu’s upright headstone and bring fresh flowers. She had come, and would come for years more, as Stu’s “French mother.” Her weekly mission to the cemetery was my first inkling of how many French felt about Canada’s sacrifices in the two World...
Serving You

We Care

It has often been asked by Canadian Forces (CF) members and veterans seeking a disability claim if there are any advantages associated with using the services of a command service officer of The Royal Canadian Legion Service Bureau Network. While all advocates bring their own qualities and strengths, we would like to think that the Legion service officers are a special breed. We are there to serve those who serve. Indeed, Legion command service officers are former members of the CF, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Veterans Affairs Canada, with extensive time and experience with the Service Bureau Network. We understand CF/ RCMP terminology, culture and operational practices. This unique background between a Legion service officer and a CF member or veteran promotes a good understa...

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