Month: January 2010

News

New Veterans Charter Needs Updating, Legion Says

When it came into force in 2006 the New Veterans Charter (NVC) was introduced as a living document, a work in progress that would be continually adapted to the changing needs of veterans. But promised updates have not occurred, and changes are now urgently needed, say the Legion’s Dominion Command Service Bureau and the Veterans Ombudsman. “Gaps are evident in the areas of financial benefits, rehabilitation and case management, and in the care of families,” Dominion Command Service Bureau Director Pierre Allard told the Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs in October. “The language now used by Veterans Affairs Canada could suggest that a needs-based approach has been adopted,” said Allard. “The reality is that very complex eligibility criteria grids are still in place.” VAC has not r...
News

Readers’ Quiz Answers

Our quiz in the January/February issue of Legion Magazine concerned the Korean War. Here are the answers. In July 1950, Canada sent three Royal Canadian Navy destroyers and the Royal Canadian Air Force’s No. 426 Squadron, a transport unit that conducted trans-Pacific shipments of United Nations supplies. True.  The Canadian government effectively recruited CASF troops off the street, in order to avoid weakening regular force units (whose primary role was to defend Canada) and the contentious issue of compulsory overseas service. CASF volunteers signed up for 18 months; some were Second World War veterans while others had been too young to fight in the last war.  Officers were, however, largely from the regular army. In November 1950, the force became known as the 25th Canadian Infant...
Defence Today

Assignment Afghanistan

Legion Magazine staff writer Adam Day spent nearly a month in Afghanistan last October. These field notes serve as a prelude to a major special section on the war in Afghanistan scheduled to appear in the March/April issue—the Editor. AFGHANISTAN FIELD NOTE No. 1 In the spring and summer of 2009, it seemed that critical opinion about the war in Afghanistan was sinking towards pessimism nearly as fast as violence inside the country was rising. “We are not going to ever defeat the insurgency,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper told CNN, and a chorus of military analysts soon joined him in expressing doubt. From Senator Colin Kenny to Professor David Bercuson, the best that could be said was that a new opinion had emerged: at this point, the war was easy to lose and hard to win. On the g...
News

Funeral Regulations Need To Change With The Times

Inadequate funding and a cumbersome bureaucracy have left some families of veterans scrambling to find the money to cover the funeral and burial expenses of loved ones, says a report from the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman. In a toughly worded 19-page report titled Serve With Honour, Depart With Dignity, Veterans Ombudsman Pat Stogran makes seven recommendations to bring the Veterans Funeral and Burial Regulations established by Veterans Affairs Canada and administered by the Last Post Fund up to date for today’s veterans. The Last Post Fund is a non-profit organization and registered charity with roots reaching back to its founding in Montreal in 1909. It is dedicated to seeing that no veteran goes without a dignified burial because of a lack of finances. The fund was incorporated...
Remembrance

A Royal Remembrance

It was the first time 91-year-old Arthur Dewar of London, Ont., had worn his medals, and the first time he had attended the national Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa. No one had ever shaken his hand or thanked him for his wartime service until today. And the first one to do so was the Prince of Wales. “He thanked me. Oh my, I don’t think I have the proper words for it,” said Dewar, who served with the 43rd General Transport Company during the Second World War campaigns in Sicily and Italy, and in northern Europe at the end of the war. At the end of the national ceremony Dewar was among a dozen veterans greeted by dignitaries, including Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. Others included John Sheardown of Ottawa, a Second World War pilot in 429 Squadro...
Remembrance

Remembrance In The Rockies

Banff in November is a vision of a winter wonderland. At the town limits the snowy mountains stretch instantly upwards into rocky peaks and people clank down the main street in ski boots and it seems like every single Banffite wears a toque all the time no matter what. It is cold, after all. Banff is one of Canada’s most famous places, stuck high up in the mountains in Alberta’s Banff National Park; the town of about 7,000 permanent locals is the country’s highest at an altitude of 4,800 feet. The Remembrance Day ceremony here is not exactly traditional, not exactly textbook, but where it may dispense with formality it excels in so many other ways that it’s impossible to deny the event’s allure, or its success. They still place wreaths, play the Last Post and have minutes of silence an...

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