Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight News Highlights – November 22, 2012

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  • This Just Out from the CF’s Ombudsman  “…. Of particular note, no change has been made to the Accidental Dismemberment Insurance Plan, which maintains an unfair disparity as some Reservists are still not entitled to the same compensation as their counterparts for exactly the same dismemberment. I have called for a ministerial intervention in order to correct this grave unfairness …. However, Reservists are still not subject to periodic health assessments and routine immunizations. Although there is a limited trial underway, inconsistent medical screening standards applied to the Reserve Force poses two problems – a risk to the medical well-being of reservists, and the potential inability to deploy medically-fit Reservists on domestic operations (floods, ice storms, etc.) because they lack the appropriate medical screening ….” – more in the ‘Budman’s report here, and in the mainstream media here and here.
  • Latest from the Vets’ ‘Budman on coming work  “…. the concept of fairness will continue to be central in my discussions with the Minister of Veterans Affairs, other parliamentarians and the Veterans community as my Office prepares for the parliamentary review of the changes to the New Veterans Charter brought about by Bill C-55.  In my opinion, this review, which should be initiated by October 2013, should not be limited only to an examination of the enhancements brought about by Bill C-55. In coming months, I will encourage the Minister and other parliamentarians to broaden the scope of the review to cover critical areas for the successful transition of Canadian Forces members from military to civilian life, namely, financial support, career transition support, and support to families – areas where there are documented deficiencies in terms of adequacy, sufficiency, and accessibility. Rest assured that I will keep you informed and will provide you with more information about the review as we firm up our plans ….”
  • On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Lieutenant-General Walter Semianiw, CMM, MSC, CD, Assistant Deputy Minister at Veterans Affairs Canada, along with Mark Cohon, Canadian Football League (CFL) Commissioner, presented the annual Jake Gaudaur Veterans’ Award (yesterday) to Graeme Bell of the Saskatchewan Roughriders …. Graeme Bell was chosen as this year’s recipient of the Jake Gaudaur Veterans’ Award thanks to his efforts as a leader both on and off the field. His teammates look to him for leadership and his community benefits from his involvement in many different charities, fundraisers and organizations including the Boys and Girls Club, Homeless Connect, and the Brain Injury Association ….”
  • Afghanistan(1)  “…. at the semi-annual meeting of the Committee of the Chiefs of Military Medical Services at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters in Brussels, the Dominique-Jean Larrey Award was awarded to Canada for its establishment and command of the NATO Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, from 2006 to 2009.  It was the first ever NATO multi-national field hospital involved in combat operations.  The Dominique-Jean Larrey Award is the highest honour for medical support that NATO bestows. It is awarded in recognition of a significant and lasting contribution to NATO multi-nationality and/or interoperability or to improvements in the provision of health care in NATO missions within the areas of military medical support or military healthcare development. This is only the second time the award has been granted.  This award was received by Brigadier-General Jean-Robert Bernier, the Canadian Forces (CF) Surgeon General, and Colonel Jacques Ricard, the first Commander of the medical unit. The CF were honoured for their outstanding leadership and the extraordinary clinical success throughout the mission, with the highest survival rate for war victims recorded to date. The CF were also commended for their groundbreaking work in integrating multinational health teams comprised of military and civilian personnel from partner nations, including Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States ….”
  • Afghanistan (2)  Columnist Terry Glavin talks to former Afghan intelligence boss Amrullah Saleh about what needs to happen  “…. There are two ways the NATO capitals generally justify their elaborate peace-talks exit-strategy in Afghanistan, Saleh said. The first is to imagine the Taliban as an indigenous expression of ethnic grievance, representing the Pashtun people, Afghanistan’s largest minority. “But they do not represent Pashtuns.” The second is to think of the Taliban as just another crazy militant Islamist grouping, but the Taliban religion has no legitimacy in Afghanistan’s Islamic traditions and its ideology is non-negotiable.  The proper way to approach the Taliban is to treat them for what they are — the front-line shock troops of a grimly determined, extremist and fanatical proxy of the Pakistani military, Saleh said. “So, why would you even talk to the proxy? Talk to their masters. Talk to the Pakistanis.” ….”
  • Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says a memo written by one of his senior bureaucrats, warning of a lack of security at Canada’s embassy in Moscow, was never delivered to him.  “Mr. Speaker, no memo was sent to my office on this issue,” Baird told the House of Commons on Wednesday as he faced questions by the opposition NDP.  The Canadian Press has reported exclusively on the memo — stamped “unclassified” and addressed to the minister of Foreign Affairs — which warned that Canada’s current embassy building in Moscow remained vulnerable to terrorist attack and being spied on ….” – more from the House of Commons debate here.

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22 November 12 at 7:45

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