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Post by Whisky45 on Sat 05 Oct 2013, 19:55

The recent comment by Minister of Veterans Affairs Mr. Fantino has really struck a nerve in the veterans community and of course this is my two bits about it.

I will also make reference to a letter posted on my facebook and that I received from the previous Minister of Veterans Affairs Mr. Blaney. It has always been my position that the RCMP are second class veterans and as a matter of fact stated same on a protest sign I displayed on Parliament Hill and other locations during my protesting for RCMP to be treated equally as veterans with the Canadian Military. We all know that the Canadian military have been screwed by the New Veterans Charter so it would be a step up for the RCMP Veterans to have the honor to be recognized equally alongside our brothers and sister Canadian Military veterans and be equally screwed.

. Mr. Fantino stated on a radio talk show the following

"...not every veteran is at the same level of service to country...".

He also said "...I spent 40 years in law enforcement, I too have served. I've been in the trenches and heard the guns go off. I guess I can also put myself and other colleagues, firefighters and other police officers who put themselves in harms way every day in the same category..."

Can be heard at the following link.
Well Mr. Fantino certainly confirmed what I have believed for a very long actually since 2007 that the RCMP disabled vets are being treated as second class veterans. The VAC web site does not associate the word veteran with the RCMP which is big hint. What part of strapping on a gun every day not knowing that you could get run over, shot, stabbed and shot or generally killed on duty does Mr. Fantino not understand or does not want to understand any longer since leaving the police profession. Catching a bullet here or on mission with the UN or NATO is there any difference? Not really.

I do not wish to take away from the sacrifice our valiant Canadian Soldiers have made during the War in Afghanistan, we have the best troops in the world. The Canadian military did a specific job which was to kick the living shit out of the Taliban while the RCMP and Police Services officers dealt the Afghan National Police in helping them keep law and order which really is an oxymoron when it comes to Afghanistan. The operated with the Canadian Military in the Forward Observation Bases (FOB) during the combat mission (their mission was expanded.) Never the less like the true Canadian they are they went there and did their best. Some came home injured generally with occupational stress injuries. One RCMP Sgt was severely wounded by a suicide bomber in 2010.

What is the definition of a veteran? This has been a long standing question for me and as you all know if have done a lot of research into the RCMP history that clearly states we are veterans in every sense of the word. You can paint the RCMP pink purple or whatever but it will as it was when it first became the North West Mounted Police, a paramilitary force patterned on the Irish Constabulary a paramilitary organization. What other police force of the day marched west with two 9 Pound field guns??

Last November 2012 I met the then Minister of VAC Mr. Blaney in Kingston and gave him a little history lesson about the first British Colonial to win the Victoria Cross for Valour under fire. His name was Sgt Richardson of the North West Mounted Police who won the honour at the Battle of Wolv Spruit during the Boer War 1900. Mr. Blaney had one of his aids write this down and I later received a letter from Mr. Blaney who confirmed in his own hand writing that this was a fact. I stated to Mr. Blaney at the time that by not recognizing the RCMP as veterans equally with the Canadian Military, dishonors the memory of Sgt. Richardson of the North West Mounted Police. He was on the books from 1895 until 1907.
In Mr. Blaney’s letter he mentioned that the RCMP are not mentioned in the Department of Veterans Affairs Act and I quote;

“Veterans Affairs Canada has been partnering with the RCMP for more than 60 years in the provision of certain benefits. However, RCMP members are not included in the Department of Veterans Affairs Act and therefor they fall outside the Department’s mandate.”

The letter can be read at the following link
Not sure how many veterans out there take the word of a politician as gospel but I sure as hell don’t. So I looked up the Department of Veterans Affairs Act which states the following;


4. The powers, duties and functions of the Minister extend and apply to
• (a) the administration of such Acts of Parliament, and of such orders of the Governor in Council, as are not by law assigned to any other department of the Government of Canada or any Minister thereof, relating to
o (i) the care, treatment or re-establishment in civil life of any person who served in the Canadian Forces or merchant navy or in the naval, army or air forces or merchant navies of Her Majesty, of any person who has otherwise engaged in pursuits relating to war, and of any other person designated by the Governor in Council, and
o (ii) the care of the dependants or survivors of any person referred to in subparagraph (i); and
• (b) all such other matters and such boards and other bodies, subjects, services and properties of the Crown as may be designated, or assigned to the Minister, by the Governor in Council.
• R.S., 1985, c. V-1, s. 4;
• 2000, c. 34, s. 11.


• 5. The Governor in Council may make regulations
o (a) specifying the persons or classes of persons, from within those referred to in subparagraphs 4(a)(i) and (ii), who are entitled to any or all of the care, treatment or other benefits authorized by regulations made under this section, and respecting the circumstances in which a person may receive any such care, treatment or other benefit;
o (b) for the control and management of any hospital, home or other institution used by Her Majesty for the care or treatment of persons referred to in subparagraph 4(a)(i) or (ii), including regulations setting out the grounds on which the Minister may discharge a person from such a hospital, home or other institution;
o (c) respecting the care, treatment or other benefits to be provided or that the Minister will pay for in whole or in part, the circumstances in which the Minister will pay in whole or in part and the circumstances in which the Minister may cease to pay in whole or in part;
o (c.1) respecting
(i) the circumstances in which a person is required to make payments in respect of all or part of the cost of accommodation and meals in a hospital, home or institution, whether or not it is one described in paragraph (b),
(ii) the calculation of the payments referred to in subparagraph (i), and
(iii) the method and arrangement for making the payments referred to in subparagraph (i);

The following link is to the Department of Veterans Affairs Act.

Note that in Section 4 the word Veteran is not mentioned rather the word “person” other than Canadian Military and the (civilian) Merchant Marine. The only reference to Veteran is in the title as it relates to Section 4 and 5. We all know that it took approx. 50 years for the civilian Merchant Marine sailors to finally be recognized under the stated Act and they were civilians involved in the operation of civilian cargo ships to transport war material to England. 50 years is a long time but at least it happened. Even the Merchant Seaman of her Majesties Navy are also recognized by the Government of Canada. As one reads on it states “any person who has otherwise engaged in pursuits relating to war”

It is important to note that it does not say in time of war just relating to war which brings me to my next point. Former Minister Blaney was correct in stating that the RCMP are not mentioned in the Department of Veterans Affairs Act which is true but the act infers that the RCMP are included. The best current example that comes to mind is the war in Afghanistan which the RCMP and Canadian Police Services officers served since the beginning of the combat mission until that part of the mission mandate ended and are still there today.

So it is very evident that “any person who has otherwise engaged in pursuits relating to war” means a Canadian human being working in a special duty area be it with the United Nations and in the case of Afghanistan NATO. Like in all conflicts the Canadian Government has asked for volunteers to step up and volunteer for service abroad in War Zones either for peace keeping duties and in the case of Afghanistan in a War i.e. work with the Afghan National Police walking patrols armed with C7 rifles and military equipment supplied by the Canadian Military who also provided the training.

The Canadian Government had no choice but to extent the invitation through the RCMP to the Canadian Police Service community nationally for volunteers (Police Persons) because there were not enough RCMP officers to release. So Canadian Police Services had to fill the gap. Does one have to only work in the Canadian Military to be a veteran? Absolutely not and the Merchant Marine are a fine example. The act is clear that the services are provided to all persons engage in pursuits relating to war be it peace keeping in a special duty area which is a war zone hence having to be leery of mines as an example of a hazard working in a Special Duty Area etc.

We know that the RCMP every November 11 march in the National Remembrance Day Parade and have an RCMP officer with a Canadian Soldier, Sailor and Airman on the 4 corners of the National Cenotaph because we are veterans and as a matter of fact every Police Service Officer who has volunteered under the federal umbrella of the RCMP are veterans as well. Not too hard to figure out if a certain new Minister of Veterans Affairs and the rest of them for that matter actually read the Department of Veterans Affairs Act in the way it was meant to be interpreted.
Minister of Veterans Affairs Mr. Fantino was the former Chief of Police for the Toronto Police Service then later became the Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police who by his own comment is trying to prevent righteous veterans some disabled from the distinction of being veterans. He has sold out both the members of the Toronto Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police as well as the rest of the Canadian Police Services Officers who stepped up and volunteered to risk their lives in Afghanistan and on other mission abroad in special duty areas.

I know of one former member of the Cape Breton Regional Police Service,Mel Birmingham a friend of mine who was in Kosovo when I was there in 1999/ 2000. He served in the most violent dangerous place in Kosovo, a town called Mirtovitca and came back to Canada with a severe case of PTSD which ended his police career. His Province would not provide disability benefits because he did not get injured in Cape Breton. My Friend Mel Birmingham a person as stated in the Department of Veterans Affairs Act who was engaged in pursuits relating to war which he was returned home injured. His province let him down ant then he reached out to Veterans Affairs Canada who also refused to help a righteous disabled veteran in his time of need after faithfully doing his duty for Canada abroad. My buddy and fellow disabled veteran was left alongside the road by his province and this country. This is an outrage and goes against everything Canada has stood for.

The Act in question is clear and I ask where do the RCMP and Police Services officers fit in to the list stated in the Department of Veterans Affairs Act? Is it between “persons engaged in pursuits relating to war” and the British Merchant Marine civilians, or is it between the civilian Canadian Merchant Navy and the civilian British Merchant Marine, or is it between the Canadian Military and the civilian Canadian Merchant Marine. Considering the Canadian Military trained the RCMP and Police Services, equipped them in order to survive in an active war zone I would say between the Canadian Military and civilian Merchant Marine. What is the Malfunction here?

It is a fact that the Provincial, Regional and Municipal police services are covered by Workman’s Compensation in their respective provinces which I really hope is the universal case but then there is the sad story of former Cape Breton Regional Police Service officer Mel Birmingham who really fell through the crack of indifference by the present Conservative Government when his province could give a rats ass about his special duty area related PTSD injury.

Even though Workman’s Compensation has their own programs the one thing that can be universally provided is the Occupational Stress Injury Social Support Program OSISS for these injured Police Services officer veterans and their families and anything else their province cannot provide but Veterans Affairs Canada does. Its only fair that all disabled veterans are supported equally.

Yes Mr. Blaney and Mr. Fantino the RCMP and Police Services and any other persons asked by your government to volunteer and risk themselves working in a war zone are veterans. Maybe Mr. Fantino should have read the Department of Veterans Affairs Act before making an ignorant statement on Radio. Here we go again some more divide and conquer by a former police officer towing a political rope.

Eric Rebiere (Former Cst. RCMP 37515 LSGC and Military Veteran)
CSAT Member

Number of posts : 81
Location : Bath Ontario
Registration date : 2010-10-08

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