Author Topic: Ottawa Tory organizer Daniel Dickin blasts ‘extreme’ veterans’ advocacy group  (Read 4923 times)

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Sylvain Chartrand CD

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Ottawa Tory organizer Daniel Dickin blasts ‘extreme’ veterans’ advocacy group

By DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN October 28, 2013

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Ottawa+Tory+organizer+Daniel+Dickin+blasts+extreme+veterans+advocacy+group/9093885/story.html



A battle is under way on social media as angry former soldiers accused the president of the Ottawa South Conservative Association of branding one of the country’s veterans’ advocates as “extreme” and claiming he and his group are threatening Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The blog post by Conservative organizer Daniel Dickin has incensed some veterans, who point out that former soldier Mike Blais never threatened anyone.

Veterans say Dickin and other government officials have undertaken a smear campaign against those like Blais who criticize the Conservative government for failing to meet the needs of former soldiers.

In an online post on his blog, Dickin wrote that Blais published ideas for what veterans could do on Remembrance Day, including booing Harper, spitting on him and egging MPs’ offices.

“Unfortunately, simply by threatening violence against elected officials (including the Prime Minister) and vandalism against public offices, this group has lost all credibility as a non-partisan, professional advocate on behalf of Canadian veterans,” Dickin wrote under the title, ‘Extreme veterans group threaten to assault Prime Minister.’

He wrote that Canadian Veterans Advocacy, or CVA, has “taken a turn for the extreme.”

But in the original Oct. 18 post in question, Blais actually stated that CVA does not condone protest and the list of disruptive activities he wrote about were “things suggested or I have read, heard in my travels about what veterans might do on R(remembrance) Day.”

“I spoke briefly to our liaison in the minister’s office this morning, as considering the nature of the traffic here lately, I felt it was important to reiterate, as president of the CVA, that we will not be active on R(emembrance) Day,” Blais noted in his post.

He wrote he would not stifle discussion by frustrated veterans on the group’s social network. But Blais also added, “You may discuss this issue on a personal level — ie leave the CVA out of it — if you please.”

Blais, who will be in Ottawa next week to meet with government officials, said in an interview he is concerned Dickin’s comments are aimed at trying to discredit him and the CVA.

He said he has written a “friendly” letter to Dickin to point out what he wrote is not true. “You have to consider his motives,” said Blais, noting Dickin’s Conservative Party connection. “I’d like an apology from him but I doubt I’ll get one.”

But Dickin said he did not single out Blais and is not out to smear him. “At no time did I state that Mr. Blais was ‘extreme,’ but rather that the group’s direction, for which Mr. Blais is at least partly responsible as the founder and President, had turned to extreme means of making their views known,” Dickin wrote in an email to the Citizen.

Dickin stated that by listing the disruptive activities others were talking about, “Mr. Blais made it seem that these criminal activities were endorsed, credible forms of protest.”

He said dozens of veterans agree with his view of CVA. “Unfortunately, they have recently turned to opposing everything the federal government does and using social media to organize negative, sometimes libellous, comments against Conservative MPs, ministers, and Senators,” Dickin noted. “Unfortunately, rather than supporting their fellow veterans (including me), they’ve chosen to attack anyone who notices this trend.”

Dickin said he is a full-time member of the Canadian Forces.

He stated in his email that as a result of his posting about CVA, he has been “viciously attacked through social media and anonymous emails.”

Veterans advocate David MacLeod issued a statement Monday, noting Dickin’s claims about Blais were malicious as well as inaccurate. He pointed out that in the original posting, Blais specifically stated he did not condone protest, was not taking part in any disruptive activities and wanted the CVA left out of any such debate.

“Mr. Dickin you and the Conservative Party of Canada, owe Mike Blais, at the very least, a very public apology,” wrote MacLeod.

In early 2012, MacLeod and fellow veteran Jim Lowther received an apology from Conservative MP Rob Anders. Anders described both men, who volunteer their time helping homeless veterans, as “NDP hacks” and supporters of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.

But the two were both card-carrying Conservatives. Lowther served in Bosnia and Afghanistan. MacLeod served in Cyprus, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.

Ottawa veterans advocate Sean Bruyea noted that Blais’s group has recently been using the Access to Information law to obtain internal government records showing veterans are not being properly cared for. “It appears the Conservatives are up to their old tactics,” said Bruyea, who himself faced a campaign orchestrated by Veterans Affairs staff after speaking out. “Mike Blais has always been completely lawful. He has never threatened anyone.”

Bruyea also received an apology from the Conservative government and a financial settlement after sensitive personal and medical information was illegally shared by Veterans Affairs officials.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Sylvain Chartrand CD

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Reservist Daniel Dickin ordered to resign as Tory organizer after criticizing veterans advocate

By David Pugliese, OTTAWA CITIZEN October 30, 2013 9:06 PM

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Reservist+Daniel+Dickin+ordered+resign+Tory+organizer+after+criticizing+veterans+advocate/9104340/story.html



The Canadian Forces has ordered a member of the military who is also president of the Ottawa South Conservative Association to resign immediately from that position and cease his political activities.

The move comes a day after the Citizen reported on the growing anger among former soldiers who accused Daniel Dickin of branding a prominent veterans advocate and his organization as “extreme” and a threat to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Dickin, president of the Ottawa South Conservative Association, is a reservist in the Canadian Forces.

Some veterans and Citizen readers also questioned why Dickin was being allowed to post highly controversial and politically partisan writings while he is a serving military member. Dickin’s writings have attacked the NDP as well as Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who he called a “criminal” while praising Harper as “the Best PM we’ve ever had.”

Dickin sent an email message Tuesday to the Ottawa South Conservative Association board of directors notifying them he was leaving his position. “I have been ordered by my military chain of command to immediately resign from OSCA and cease all political and public activities,” he noted in the email. “Their order was made in accordance with Defence Administrative Orders and Directives (DAOD) 7021, Conflict of Interest, which has triggered an investigation.”

“I further note that this officially has nothing to do with my comments which were publicized in the Ottawa Citizen earlier this week, but rather suspends my activity until the investigation is completed. Following the investigation, the Canadian Armed Forces may authorize me to participate in certain activities.”

The Wednesday email came as veterans as well as Liberal and NDP MPs started to rally in support of veterans advocate Mike Blais and his Canadian Veterans Advocacy (CVA).

Veterans said Dickin and other Conservative government officials have undertaken a smear campaign against those like Blais who criticize the Conservative government for failing to meet the needs of former soldiers.

In a recent online post on his blog, Dickin wrote that Blais, president of the CVA, published ideas for what veterans could do on Remembrance Day, including booing Harper, spitting on him and egging MPs offices. “Unfortunately, simply by threatening violence against elected officials (including the Prime Minister) and vandalism against public offices, this group has lost all credibility as a non-partisan, professional advocate on behalf of Canadian veterans,” Dickin wrote under the title “Extreme veterans group threaten to assault Prime Minister.”

But in the original Oct. 18 post in question, Blais actually stated that CVA does not condone protest and the list of disruptive activities he wrote about were things being suggested by some veterans. He noted he informed the government he had no intention of protesting on Remembrance Day and asked other veterans to leave him and the CVA out of discussions about disruptive activities.

Veterans advocates as well as Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis and NDP MP Peter Stoffer have said that Dickin should apologize publicly to Blais.

Karygiannis and Stoffer said it is common for the Conservatives to try to smear those who highlight problems with government.

“Mike Blais is a very effective advocate for veterans and I find it disgusting for (Dickin) to make those false claims about him,” said Karygiannis.

He said the Ottawa South Conservative Association should have immediately removed Dickin as its president.

Dickin, however, said earlier Wednesday that the Citizen should not link the fact he is president of the Conservative association to the Blais issue, adding what he wrote was “on my own personal blog, from my own personal opinion, and not while representing or speaking on behalf of any organization.”

But it was veterans who suggested Dickin’s Conservative connection was the motive for going after Blais. They also noted his blog highlighted that Conservative link with photos of Dickin with Harper, John Baird and Tony Clement.

But Dickin counters he was not out to smear Blais. “At no time did I state that Mr. Blais was “extreme,” but rather that the group’s direction, for which Mr. Blais is at least partly responsible as the founder and President, had turned to extreme means of making their views known,” he noted.

Dickin stated that by listing the disruptive activities others were talking about, “Mr. Blais made it seem that these criminal activities were endorsed, credible forms of protest.” He also complained the CVA had opposed the federal government and had made negative comments about Conservative MPs, ministers and senators.

Dickin said he too is a veteran and received support for his comments about CVA from other veterans.

After the article was published, veterans emailed the Citizen to question how Dickin, as a serving member of the military, could post highly controversial and politically partisan writings.

Under Canadian military regulations no officer or non-commissioned member is allowed without permission to publish on subjects of a controversial nature affecting other departments of the public service or pertaining to public policy. If they were to write on such issues, they would need permission from the Chief of the Defence Staff or “such other authority.”

Dickin did not respond to questions whether he has such permission, nor did he provide comment about his writings and the standing military orders.

But he noted in the email to the Ottawa South Conservative Association that the conflict of interest investigation he is now under is separate from military rules governing political activities.

Dickin served for four years as a board member, two of those as president.

Blais has been asked by the Liberals to meet with their MPs on Parliament Hill next week while the NDP are sending a contingent of MPs to a meeting held by the CVA in Ottawa.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

-------------------

Daniel Dickin • 31 followers
3 minutes ago •
Dear Friends,

I have been ordered by my military chain of command to immediately resign from my role as President of the Ottawa South Conservative Association and cease all political and public activities (including social media).

Their order was made in accordance with Defence Administrative Orders and Directives (DAOD) 7021, Conflict of Interest, which has triggered an investigation. I note that this is a separate process from Queen's Regulations and Orders (QR&O) 19.44, Political Activities.

I further note that this officially has nothing to do with my comments which were publicized in the Ottawa Citizen earlier this week, but rather suspends my activity until the investigation is completed. Following the investigation, the Canadian Armed Forces may authorize me to participate in certain activities.

To those of you attending the 2013 Conservative convention in Calgary, I wish you the very best in having a productive and informative weekend.

To everyone, I'm incredibly proud to see the remarkable progress OSCA has made over the past two years, and I hope this progress continues. I was honoured to serve with OSCA for four years, two of those years as the President. The passion and dedication to elect a Conservative MP in 2015 is enormous, and OSCA made incredible progress towards achieving that end.

I remain supportive of our Conservative government, our Conservative Party, and OSCA’s substantial efforts to elect a Conservative MP for Ottawa South.

Sincerely,

Daniel Dickin — feeling hopeful.



Dear Friend,

Please find attached a letter which I sent to Mike Blais, President and Founder of Canadian Veterans Advocacy, who was recently attacked in a blog by a Conservative organizer.

Mike Blais
President and Founder
Canadian Veterans Advocacy

Dear Mike:

I am writing to express my outrage after being informed about the difficult situation you and your organization are facing.

I read, with great disgust, the article posted by Daniel Dickin, President of the Ottawa South Conservative Association, on the web about you and the advocacy group you have built and lead.

This is not an unusual method of operation for the Conservative Party - they distract and try to mislead when they are faced with issues that point out their mistakes and that do not fit into their agenda.

You are getting ready to come to Ottawa to advocate for Veteran issues and rights. In order to sideline the importance of the message you will be bringing, you have to face this personal attack.

The Liberal Caucus and I are looking forward to welcoming you to the House of Commons and discussing with you the important issues which are facing the Veteran community, such as:

• Equitas Lawsuit – in which six veterans have launched a class action lawsuit against the Conservative Government. The Harper Conservative, instead of letting the lawsuit proceed, have appealed the judge’s decision.

• Nine Veteran Service offices are being closed and case workers are being laid off. These offices provide advice to veterans on negotiating the numerous benefit packages get service and case workers are able to speak to the veteran face-to-face. This face-to-face contact is especially important to veterans who are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

• A limited review of the New Veterans Charter (NVC) by the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs was to begin in October. Due to the recent prorogation of the House of Commons, the much-needed review was delayed. In view of the Veterans Ombudsman’s report, the Minister of Veteran Affairs was forced to allow a comprehensive review of the NVC. To ensure that this review hears from the people most affected – the veterans, we must make sure that the Committee hears from as many veterans as possible. Many veterans are living close to the poverty line as they fight to receive the benefits they are owed.

Please allow me to thank you, and your fellow Veterans, for your service to Canada.

Regards,

Hon. Jim Karygiannis P.C., M.P.
Scarborough-Agincourt
Constituency Office
3850 Finch Ave East Suite 206
Scarborough Ontario
M1T 3T6
Tel: (416) 321 5454
fax: (416) 321 5456
jim@karygiannismp.com
www.karygiannismp.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 29, 2013


STOFFER: CONSERVATIVE ATTACKS ON VETERANS’ CREDIBILITY A NOTICEABLE PATTERN

OTTAWA – NDP Veterans Affairs Critic Peter Stoffer (Sackville—Eastern Shore) slammed the Conservative party today for attempting to discredit a well-known veterans advocate.

“Last week, a blog post by a local President of a Conservative riding association accused Mike Blais, founder of the Canadian Veterans Advocacy organization, of being ‘extreme’ and threatening public officials in advance of this years’ Remembrance Day ceremonies,” said Stoffer.

“I find these comments from the Conservative party despicable. I have worked with Mike Blais and his organization for a number of years as well as many other veterans’ organizations. Mike Blais is a very determined advocate who works to improve veterans’ benefits and services. He has said publically that his organization ‘does not condone protest’ and the list of activities he mentioned on his website were things suggested or ….read, heard in my travels about what veterans might do on Remembrance Day.”

Stoffer noted that there is a pattern with the Conservatives in attacking individuals involved in veterans’ advocacy.

“The Conservatives have tried to discredit many veterans’ advocates in the past including Sean Bruyea, Harold Leduc, Pat Stogran, Jim Lowther, Dennis Manuge, and now Mike Blais. It is becoming a very noticeable pattern. This Conservative government does not like to hear that they are not doing enough to provide improve programs and services for veterans and their families.”

“The Conservative party should apologize to Mike Blais and the Canadian Veterans Advocacy for their comments.”

For more information: Office of Peter Stoffer: 613-995-5822 or stoffp0@parl.gc.ca


What a way to destroy someone’s credibility
 
The recent attacks on the CVA President Michael Blais are ridiculous, malicious and condamned by the Union of Veterans Affairs Employee’s President.
 
The CVA people are straight supporters to Veterans. They’ve questionned the cuts to the Veterans Affairs Department and the changes to the services. They’ve questionned the injustices from the New Veterans Charter that was implemented in 2006. They are now questionning the appeal against a decision rendered by a B.C. court on a legal case.
 
Because they are the voice of dissent, they are now under attack. This Conservative government is acting like the Bush administration. Either you are with us or you are against us.
 
Mr. Blais, the CVA President, never pushed Veterans to civil disobedience. Michael Blais never threatened anyone.
 
Those comments are aimed to discredit him and the CVA.
 
Mr. Blais, you have my full support. As for Mr. Dickin, you owe the CVA President an apology.
 
Yvan Thauvette
UVAE National President


From: Canadian Veterans Advocacy [mailto:veteran_advocate@canadianveteransadvocacy.com]
Sent: October-27-13 7:59 PM
To:
Subject: Mike Blais: target of defamatory statements
Importance: High
Sensitivity: Confidential

Mike Blais target of defamatory statements



On Oct 19, 2013, in his personal blog Daniel Dickin posted “Extreme veterans group threatens to assault Prime Minister, vandalize MPs offices”.  Dickin’s post states that Mike Blais, Founder and President of the Canadian Veterans Advocacy posted what veterans might do on Remembrance Day.  Dickin also stated that Mike Blais and the CVA threatened violence against elected officials.

The quote that Dickin ripped from the CVA Facebook site begins with Blais stating in his first line “… the CVA is not condoning protest … .”  Later in the post Mike Blais goes on to state that he has been in contact with the Ministers office that morning and that he reported these items.  He finishes with a very clear “leave the CVA out of it”.
Could Mike Blais have been clearer that he has and wants nothing to do with any irregularity (let alone disruption) on Remembrance Day?

To say that Mike Blais is an extremist is to label the Royal Canadian Legion a terrorist organization. Both organizations wear uniforms, both work for the betterment of Veterans, both advocate, both are patriotic, and the list goes on.  Like the Legion, Mike Blais is not a threat to anyone and works in his own way to better society.

I don’t defend Mike Blais because we are friends.  Anyone who knows us will attest to our mutual dislike.  However, I do acknowledge that he cares for Veterans, their families, and for we Veterans with physical and emotional wounds. I defend Mike Blais because he does not deserve to be treated to low quality statements designed to discredit him in order to curry favour with politicians.  To state that Mike Blais is radical or extreme is not only misguided it is libel (written defamation).

Mr. Dickin, you owe Mike Blais, at the very least, a very public apology.  You sir should know better since you have a degree in Law and Political Science.  You should know that slander is a false communication to others about a specific person.  The communication tends to hurt the targeted person’s reputation.  You have plastered your untrue tripe across the internet likely damaging both Mike Blais and the CVA:

Personal Blog: http://www.danieldickin.ca

Google +: https://plus.google.com/app/basic/s?sc=po&sq=threatens+to+assault+Prime+Minister

Blogging Tories:
http://www.danieldickin.ca/2013/10/extreme-veterans-group-threaten-to.html

In closing, leave Mike Blais alone.  BS artists like you harm others so you may personally benefit.  By the way, if you intend to use a blog to harm someone in the future, be smart enough not to put evidence of his or her defense in your article ...

David T. MacLeod CD MA

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Michael L Blais CD
Founder/President, Canadian Veterans Advocacy
6618 Harper Drive, Niagara Falls, Ont, Cda.
L2E 7K6 // 905-357-3306  // Cell 905-359-9247


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