Author Topic: 2010 - 11-6 Parliament Hill Speech  (Read 1417 times)

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2010 - 11-6 Parliament Hill Speech
« on: March 31, 2012, 08:32:23 PM »
…We have fulfilled our duty to the dead, now, as veterans united, we shall fulfill our duty to the living. My name is Michael Blais, I served with The Royal Canadian Regiment in Canada, Germany and Cyprus. On August 17th, 2010, I would become a reluctant veterans advocate after watching Veterans Ombudsman Strogan’s televised press conference. Through this advocacy, the Canadian Veterans National Day of Protest was born. Today, eleven weeks later, veterans of the Canadian Forces, the RCMP and various police services have rallied to the call for justice and events are, or will take place from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island! Veterans are united, perhaps as never before in modern history. We are united by a noble quest, to speak for those to whom we have passed the torch, our veterans and the many families that have been subject to the unnecessary hardships imposed upon them through the gross inadequacies of the New Veterans Charter.

The eleventh hour is sacred to Canada’s military traditions. It is a symbol of the end of the horrific consequences of war and the beginning of a new era, one of peace. This morning, as the 11th morning hour graces our proud land’s many time zones, veterans have and will assemble with great dignity at the MPs offices in Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. Larger rallies are being held in St John’s, Newfoundland, Halifax, Nova Scotia, London, Ontario and on the national level, here on Parliament Hill. This is a remarkable feat considering the limited time frame and I would thank everybody who has answered the call today and express by profound gratitude for your support on so many levels.

Many, many other Canadians have chosen to demonstrate their support for this most noble cause by telephoning, writing letters or emailing their parliamentarians and I would heartily encourage anybody who hears our voices to do so between now and Remembrance Day.

Our message is the same.

On this day, the first Canadian Veterans National Day of Protest, veterans across Canada are united by a common objective and a profoundly honourable duty to those who currently serve and to the generations of Canadian patriots who have been killed, wounded or injured during the course of their service to Canada’s proud military history. Today it matters not what branch of the Canadian Forces you or I have served. It matters not what rank we attained, what missions we have participated in or which part of the globe we have served! On this day, during the eleventh hour, Nov 6th, 2010, we are united, kindred with spirit and message, patriots who have not forgotten our responsibilities to this great nation, to those who serve yet cannot speak and to the thousands of veterans adversely affected by the New Veterans Charter.

Today is a remarkable day, one borne of great frustration as during these past two years veterans watched various veterans advocates and organizations, the Royal Canadian Legion and Prime Minister Harper’s personally appointed Veterans Ombudsman, Colonel Pat Stogran championed changes to the New Veteran Charter. Their words would fall on ears that do not hear and even as Canada’s sons and daughters were being repatriated to Canada with terrible mental and physical wounds, as the names of the valiant were added to regimental and national roll’s of honour, nothing was even proposed until after Canadians veterans rallied and the CVNDOP was created.

Lest we forget indeed!

As patriots, our duty is clear. As Canada’s veterans, the men and women who served this nation with distinction and honour, it is our duty to seek only one precious thing from our government, from those who would send Canada’s most sacred treasure to war on this nations behalf.

We seek justice!

We seek justice for our troops, who are not being accorded the same dignity, respect or honour as Canadians who fought at Dieppe, prevailed at Ortona, landed at Juno Beach, who liberated Holland and ended the barbarous tyranny of Adolph Hitler. Our veterans of today are no different then those who rallied to arms in Korea, who would fight heroically at Kapyong, Chai-Li, Hill 355, Kowang-San, and Hill 187. Our veterans bleed the same as veterans of the pre-New Veterans Charter. Our Afghanstan war veterans today suffer the same physical and psychological consequences of combat that the veterans of the pre New Veteran Charter the same! Is it not fair, not Canadian, for us to demand that our veterans of the Afghanistan War deserve the same level of dignified, life time financial security and quality of life, for life, as veterans did prior to the New Veterans Charter.

We seek justice for the widows and the families of the fallen through the repeal of all unwarranted taxes on service pensions related to those valiant Canadians who have been Killed in Action in Canada’s name!

We seek justice for 6300 veterans of the peacekeeping era, valiant Canadians who served across the globe, who have borne testimony to the horror of genocide, civil war, profound hatred, racism, death and destruction. We seek an end of the SISIP claw back on their Veterans Affairs pensions, pensions that reflect the unique, very special bond between soldier and state, that are awarded for pain and suffering, not income replacement.

We seek justice from the reduction of RCMP officers, Coast Guardsmen and Veterans Service and CPP disability pensions when these brave Canadians reach the age of sixty-five.

We seek justice for all generations of veterans who were affected by exposure to Agent Orange or a variety of chemical agents at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick and CFB Suffield, Alberta.

We seek justice for veterans who are suffering from PTSD through a expanded comprehensive PTSD program possessive of sufficient, nation-wide resources to assist the many veterans and their families, of all generations of war, who suffer from this crippling disorder.

We seek justice for those who have advocated on veterans behalf and as a consequence had their private VAC medical and financials files compromised hundreds of times by departmental bureaucrats and members of the government that we, the people of Canada, elected.

These actions were, as Prime Minister Harper rightly declared at the time, unacceptable!

Unacceptable it may be Mr. Prime Minister, but it is also illegal!

Accordingly, we seek justice in the form of a RCMP investigation into those who have violated the sacred integrity of a disabled veterans confidentiality and a Royal Commission to ensure the bond of trust, the sacred covenant between soldier, veteran, Veterans Affairs Canada and the government to which we serve is restored. There have been too many problems identified, our wounded and injured veterans deserve dignified service and the financial security in a timely manner bereft of repeated appeals and delays.

We seek justice.

No more.

No less!


There may come a time in the future where we, the veterans of Canada, will once again be required to heed the patriot’s call, that the message that we have sent to Parliamentarians today may very well fall upon deaf ears and another message, one of greater significance, will be required. We are warriors, adversity is not our enemy, it is our friend. There will be many skirmishes before the bond of trust between veterans and our government is restored, I know it, you know it, Canadians know it. Yet we are veterans, we have been seasoned by the trials and tribulations of many campaigns individually and as a team, we have confronted adversity across the globe and WE … HAVE … PREVAILED!

We will prevail again!

Our resolve as veterans… is not in question.

Our commitment to those to whom we have passed the torch… is not in question.

Our determination to improve the quality of life for veterans who are experiencing unnecessary hardship through the New Veterans Charter… is not in question.

Our confidence in the concept of justice for the issues we have brought forth today… is not in question.

We have united, our voices are as one, steadfast, true to the patriot’s code.

Should this message for justice not be heard, should this message for justice be ignored, dismissed, belittled, criticized, impugned by those who would defend the indefensible, be advised! We, the veterans of this nation, will not abandon the course of justice! We, the veterans of Canada, will not abandon our troops during this time of war, no, we shall stand forth, stand righteous, stand up for them with TRUE PATRIOT LOVE.

On closing, I would repeat a question raised in response to my request for formal support from the Royal Canadian Regiment Association.

Who speaks for the soldier?

I would say, ladies and gentlemen, that at this moment of Canada’s history, after seven years of war in Afghanistan, the loss of over 150 of our brothers and sisters in arms, that it is we, the veterans of Canada, who speaks for the soldier! That it is we, the patriots of Canada, who will speak for Canada’s sons and daughters as they tread in harms way.

It is our most sacred duty, for it is we who have passed the torch.

We will not shirk from our responsibility, not to Canada, not to our brothers in arms, not to Canada’s veterans and to their families.

God Bless our troops. God bless our veterans. God bless Canada.

Pro Patria!

Michael L Blais CD
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Ontario
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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