Greetings from Niagara Falls.
Happy New Year's!
I hope that everybody has had a blessed Christmas with good cheer, love of family and great tidings for all. Now that the batteries have been recharged, I trust we are motivated to carry the fight for veterans' justice into 2011.
The CVA is growing daily as many veterans who participated with the Canadian Veterans National Day of Protest on November 6, 2010 and others demonstrate support for the Advocacy's ongoing mission. I would encourage you to join our Facebook site as it is monitored by the government and as such, the numbers that we present as members are important for our standing. Please encourage your friends to join as well. For veterans willing to take the next step, I would encourage you to subscribe to the Canadian Veterans Advocacy and become a member of our team. We are looking for veterans who feel as do we, that the Sacred Trust violated in 2006 by the enactment of the New Veterans Charter must be restored and Canada's sons and daughters who serve today are accorded the lifetime obligation of care and financial stability they so richly deserve. We believe in the five principles that we demonstrated for during the CVNDOP in November. Let us not falter now!!!
A couple of things on the go. First, the Canadian Veterans Advocacy is moving forward with plans to organize a nationwide support the troops rally this summer to celebrate the end of the combat mission in Afghanistan and, equally important, raise funds for homeless veterans. I would encourage prospective team leaders to consider forming a team to organize a rally in your town to coincide with this national event so that we may, united as we were on the Canadian Veterans National Day of Protest, make a difference to many needful veterans life. At the moment, I have a meeting with my MPP scheduled wherein we will discuss conducting a Veterans Rendezvous in Niagara Falls Ontario to coincide with this event. It is my hope to organize a local support the troops rally during the Saturday afternoon followed by a concert program down in Victoria Park directly across from Niagara Falls once it gets dark, the lights illuminate the falls and the fireworks begin. I am absolutely certain that I can organize special veterans packages for the weekend reference accommodations and discount prices for the various attractions in Niagara Falls. All funds will be designated to support programs for homeless veterans. Plan on bringing the family, Niagara is beautiful in summer. More to follow as the situation develops...
We are moving forward with the CVA website and hopefully it will be operational by mid month. As you might imagine, there are expenses and for those who have joined and sent their $20 subscription fee (or more, God bless you) , I would thank you. Without your contributions, it would simply be impossible at this time to financially support the tools we require to maintain the fight. Veterans wise, we have had some success already including the advocacy's assistance in helping out with several personal situations where veterans were confronting serious issues and on one occasion, homelessness. I would take a moment to thank John Percy and Peter Stoffer on the East Coast for rallying to the call in Halifax and taking substantial measures to ensure this Halifax located veteran was not abandoned. Do you know a veteran that needs help? Please contact me, there are resources available.
I would also thank our many friends in the media and would note that we have been very successful in assisting Melissa Fung of CBC for a project she was working on about the VRAB for CBC National. I suggest it will be very interesting! I have been contacted by several media organizations looking for veterans who have been adversely affected, particularly as it relates to the five principles. This includes spouses. I am accumulating names for a list so that we may present veterans willing to speak about these issues to the press and I would encourage those interested to contact me via e-mail so that I may include you. There are many issues to be rectified and rectification can only come through publication.
The Canadian Veterans Advocacy's mission to ensure legal representation for veterans in all provinces continues and I am hoping to hear back from other provincial trial lawyers associations in the very near future now that the Christmas period is over. I have received several calls and e-mails from veterans across the land and I wish to assure you all that I am working diligently to ensure that all veterans in this nation have the same pro bono legal resources that have been provided by The Ontario Trial Lawyers Association. I believe this is a very valuable tool and hope that you will refer any veterans that you may know of who are not online about this wonderful resource. Veterans living beyond Ontario's borders may contact me should they wish so that I may add their name to the provincial lists. I can use this data to substantiate the need!
I have FB-spoken with Paul Franklin earlier this evening about another flip-flop the government is about to impose on those who have been injured and continue to serve with the Canadian Forces. You will remember it was the government's catchphrase throughout the Fall how they believed soldiers who were wounded that wished to continue serving would be provided an opportunity to do so. Jodi Mitic, a fine member of the Royal Canadian Regiment who continues to serve and to represent this nation with distinction, for example. More on this story is available at Paul's blog which is here and I would encourage you to read it as this as it demonstrates yet just how our soldiers, even those who have offered great sacrifice, have been misled.
Who speaks for those, bound by protocol, cannot speak? We, the Veterans of Canada, and their supporters, do! Once the situation is confirmed I hope you will join me in launching an organized e-mail campaign to voice our displeasure about this flip-flop and the consequences it has on veterans who have now been abandoned.
One Veteran, One standard, One Voice.
Michael L Blais CD
Founder, Canadian Veterans Advocacy
6618 Harper Drive, Niagara Falls, Ont, Cda.
L2E 7K6 // 905-357-3306