William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

THE SUFFERING OF SEAN BRUYEA

Go into the personal medical files of Sean a VAC client.
Spread the VAC word that Bruyea is still openly defiant.
Run copies of the shrink reports to indicate he is nuts.
That will silence him for sure, there’s no ifs ands or buts.

Thanks to freedom of information Sean drew his pers file.
He saw what they had done he became agitated and riled.
They used his medical info to try and make him look bad.
Private shrink information will prove that he is stark-mad?

He spoke out on behalf of our Afghan War wounded troops.
With their legs blown away they No longer needed boots.
Against the veterans charter Sean Bruyea, early, spoke out.
What began like a whisper is now a cross-Canada shout.

He recommended that our Government hire an Ombudsman.
He helped the Tories get re-elected, another minority clan.
They screwed up by hiring an old soldier, Colonel Pat.
The Budman soon uncovered bits of this and bits of that.

In Canada’s Veteran Community we all hope and pray.
That Sean Bruyea is vindicated at the end of the day.
We hope the PMO shows us some forethought and guts.
By apologizing to Sean Bruyea and letting Col P@ re-up.

Hi All

Please distribute this and the article below widely and please join in asking the opposition to call for a public inquiry into all things VAC.

Also, please post your comments on the Citizen web page… the Citizen has been most supportive of condemning what legal experts are calling VAC’s illegal actions and the largest Privacy breach of its kind in Canada’s history… (reproduced below)

An Editorial from two days before was bang on in condemning VAC’s actions and calling for a thorough investigation. My article asks for that investigation to be made public. This is so that all veterans and Canadians can see the wolf in sheep’s clothing which has resulted in veterans not having an equal say in how we are treated. Instead veterans are treated like enemies of the state and misbehaving radicals. It is no wonder that so many veterans justly and rightly feel that the only last resort is a country-wide peaceful demonstration on Nov 6 2010?

Will all demonstrators have their files shown to Ministers and Prime Minister’s staff? A public inquiry into all things VAC will make sure we can continue to live in peace and security in the country for which we have sacrificed so much.

Let us all call on the opposition to insist on a Public Inquiry. I promise you all that the 14,000 documents show how VAC bureaucrats manipulated the politicians and the public while clearly misrepresenting the truth in deliberately creating an ombudsman’s office without powers and in forcing through the new veterans charter while destroying or silencing opposition. Just as disturbing the many pages show their scorn for any advice from advisory groups and veterans organizations and the near complete inability at the director level and above to understand what it means to serve in the military or suffer a physical or a psychological injury. Maybe that is because no directors or above in VAC have ever served in the Canadian Forces.

Please contact your MP’s and the opposition MP’s and ask them to support a public inquiry into VAC. Only then will we cure the disease so that all the endless list of symptoms from CPP clawbacks and SISIP to Agent Orange and Nuclear Soldiers can be fixed once and for all.

And if anyone has a similar story, all it will take is one story to break which will nearly guarantee a full public investigation into how VAC treats and mistreats the more than 2 million Canadian veterans, serving members and their families.

Take care and thank you all for your much appreciated support this week!

Sean Bruyea

This Is Not What I Went To War For

By Sean Bruyea, Citizen Special
September 25, 2010 10:28 AM

This past week, Canadians learned that federal bureaucrats at Veterans Affairs Canada freely offered up extensive amounts of my confidential medical and financial information to federal cabinet ministers without my permission. And at least 850 federal employees, political staffers and politicians exchanged and/or accessed the most intimate details of my personal life.

Why? And what can be done to make sure it never happens to another Canadian?

I am a veteran with disabilities. I, therefore, depend upon Canada for my financial security as well as funding for my extensive medical needs for the rest of my life. I am also an advocate for the rights of injured soldiers and their families.

Internal e-mails show, Veterans Affairs employees sarcastically labelled me as their “favorite client” who is “very vocal in criticisms of our efforts” and “our programs.” It is exactly this bureaucratic sense of propriety over what are, in reality, veterans’ programs which seems to have fuelled the desire of numerous high-ranking bureaucrats to use my private and confidential information to impugn my credibility.

You see, in May 2005, I was the first of just a handful of veterans who opposed the single most important legislation to affect veterans in almost a century. The new law took away a lifetime monthly disability payment for injuries suffered by disabled soldiers and replaced it with a one-time lump sum. The law passed in the House of Commons in less than a minute without any debate. As a recipient of the lifetime monthly payments, I could not in good conscience stand by while other soldiers suffering the same injuries would receive dramatically less than what they deserve and what I still receive.

As part of my attempts to heal from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other physical and psychological injuries, I also started to write. As a budding journalist, my first article was a call for a veterans’ ombudsman. That article became more important than I imagined. It served as the foundation for the Conservative election platform of 2006, promising to create such an office.

As the recent scandal over not renewing the current ombudsman shows, the bureaucracy did not want anyone to watch over them.

What is also clear is that the 14,000 pages of documents obtained through Privacy Act requests and held by Veterans Affairs show that my volunteer efforts to defend the rights of disabled veterans and their families angered many in the federal department. However, their emotional reaction is not my concern. That these individuals worked together to knowingly circulate my personal documents to virtually every director-level bureaucrat and above, as well as to ministers, political staffers and MPs is my concern. That these documents served as the basis of a briefing to the minister’s chief of staff the day before he briefed the prime minister’s office is outright disturbing.

This also needs to be the concern of every Canadian, and especially all parliamentarians.

We are all clients of the federal government at some level. Government departments in Ottawa hold vast amounts of our personal information including recipients of the Canada Pension Plan, retirement and disability, First Nations health and welfare, or the millions of immigration records replete with information which, if misused, could not only jeopardize the security and well-being of individuals in Canada but also relatives in their countries of origin. And most every adult and all Canadian business provides Ottawa with detailed tax information including social insurance numbers.

But Veterans Affairs is an odd creature located principally in Charlottetown, P.E.I. It is the only federal department with its headquarters located outside Ottawa. This is also likely part of the reason why 850 federal employees thought that they had every right to widely disseminate and/or access the most sacred knowledge about me.

Is what happened to me an exception? Col. (Ret’d) Michel Drapeau, Canada’s leading expert in privacy law, knows that it is not. But my case is the most flagrant and extensive he has seen and the widespread circulation of my information should not and cannot be used “for political warfare to try to silence a critic.”

How will the government ensure what happened to me will never happen to not only another veteran but to another journalist or any other Canadian for that matter?

The Privacy Commissioner has been carrying out a year-long investigation into my situation. Her findings are due soon. Supportive findings as well as clear and strong recommendations will undoubtedly help, but over the past five years, Veterans Affairs has easily and successfully resisted literally hundreds of recommendations, most by their own advisory groups. And many federal departments have shown similar arrogance in resisting the recommendations of oversight agencies and even parliamentary committees.

For that reason, Parliament must look into this and opposition parties need to call for a full public inquiry. Parliament is the only institution which has the power to stand up to our federal bureaucracy.

I went to war to defend Canada’s sacred values and rights such as freedom of expression. Why is it that the government can use my most sacred information to destroy my credibility, thereby denying me that same freedom for which I and other soldiers have sacrificed so much?

What happened to my private information should have every Canadian asking whether they are next. Only a full public inquiry has the power to reassure all Canadians that they never have to ask this question.

Sean Bruyea is a freelance journalist, advocate for veterans’ rights and a retired Air Force Intelligence Officer.

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