Author Topic: 09 May 2014 - Parade to mark the end of Canadian Ops in Afghanistan  (Read 44157 times)

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Offline Schindler's Lift

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Re: Parade for end of Afghanistan military mission?
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2014, 20:07:35 »
Why not?  The Queen would get good economy out of your trip if you could attend both.

I've gotta lot of time for the old gal but not that much. 

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9 May 14: "National Day of Honour" for AFG mission
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2014, 10:20:58 »
Bumped with this from the PM's Info-machine:
With a little more from the PM today - highlights mine:
Quote
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark the return of the Canadian Armed Forces from the NATO training mission in Afghanistan during a ceremony in Ottawa:

“Today, I join all Canadians in welcoming home our men and women who are among the last members of the Canadian Armed Forces to return after serving Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. Our troops demonstrated commitment, dedication and valour during the mission.

“To honour that exemplary service, I am very pleased to announce that May 9, 2014, has been declared a ’National Day of Honour’ by Royal Proclamation, in recognition and commemoration of Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan.

“Through this National Day, Canadians will have the opportunity to reflect on the courage and sacrifices made by our soldiers.

“Since October 2001, more than 40,000 Canadian Armed Forces members have been deployed to Afghanistan to work with Allies and the Afghan Government to defeat terrorism as well as promote security, development, and governance so that Afghans can build a viable, stable, secure and better governed country. 

“Our soldiers helped create an environment in which schools and dams could be built, and governance and judicial systems could be developed.

“Sadly, many Canadians made the ultimate sacrifice for these goals and many others were injured carrying out their duties. We owe them and their families a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.

“I would also like to extend special thanks to the families of those who served in Afghanistan. The mothers and fathers, wives, husbands, partners, sisters and brothers, daughters and sons, family and friends who supported their loved ones during demanding deployments and who have sacrificed precious time with their family members so they could serve.

“On behalf of all Canadians, I extend my deepest thanks to all those who served in Afghanistan with such distinction and honour, to protect our own freedom and the freedom of others.”
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 10:27:06 by milnews.ca »
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Offline MCG

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"National Day of Honour" to conclude Canada's Afghanistan mission
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2014, 23:34:21 »
That did not take long for a correction.
Quote
Families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan to be flown to memorial
Defence Minister Rob Nicholson says expenses will be paid for May 9 commemoration ceremony in Ottawa

Laura Payton, CBC News
03 April 2014

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson is contradicting an invitation sent to the families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan that told them they would have to pay their own way to a commemorative ceremony in Ottawa next month.

Nicholson told MPs on the House defence committee that a letter cited in a media report Wednesday was premature and incorrect.  But he wouldn't provide details of the expenses that the government plans to cover.

CTV News reported Wednesday that National Defence officials wrote to the families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan to invite them to the May 9 ceremony, but told them that they would have to bear the financial cost.

"The letter was premature and incorrect and contained false information as event plans have not been finalized," Nicholson said, adding that the government is proud to commemorate the military mission in Afghanistan.  "That is why it is the government's position that these expenses will be covered," he said.

Liberal defence critic Joyce Murray questioned Nicholson about how many family members and which costs would be covered for the trip to Ottawa for the May 9 commemoration.  "Could you share the plan?" she said.

Nicholson said the department is working on those details.

"At this point in time, we're in the planning process and the first step in the process was to make the announcement that in fact we would honour Canada's role in Afghanistan and those who played this important role, and again it's an evolutionary exercise," he said.

Murray also asked Nicholson whether he or the department had apologized to the families.

"It just came to our attention last night," Nicholson said.

In question period, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair asked whether the government will take care of travel expenses for the family members of the Canadian Forces members killed in Afghanistan.

"The minister is trying to shift the blame, claiming that, well, he's not responsible for the note sent out by his own office. Enough with the excuses. These families have already paid a greater price than most of us can even imagine. Will the minister of national defence take responsibility for this latest insult and guarantee that the expenses of the families of fallen soldiers will be taken care of completely by the government?" Mulcair said.

Nicholson's parliamentary secretary responded to the question, referring to the defence minister's testimony earlier Thursday.

"The minister was very clear that the letter was supposed to go out to inform family members of fallen soldiers that there was going to be a commemoration day, to save the date, May 9, to attend," James Bezan said.

Last year, then defence minister Peter MacKay faced a similar controversy when he unveiled a travelling memorial to Canadians killed in Afghanistan during the mission.

Some of the families said they only had five days' notice to plan to be at the unveiling, or that they hadn't heard of it at all.

A spokesman for National Defence said at the time that the department had tried to reach the families but some had moved and hadn't updated their contact information with the department's Integrated Personnel Support Centres.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/families-of-soldiers-killed-in-afghanistan-to-be-flown-to-memorial-1.2596997

Offline milnews.ca

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.... "The letter was premature and incorrect and contained false information as event plans have not been finalized," Nicholson said, adding that the government is proud to commemorate the military mission in Afghanistan.  "That is why it is the government's position that these expenses will be covered," he said ....
<sarcasm> Yeah, I'm SURE all sorts of such freelance letters on sensitive issues go out without someone vetting them and without permissions well above whoever signs the letter.  </sarcasm>

And how are those trips to be paid for?
Quote
The Harper government is negotiating with an outside fundraising organization to cover the costs to bring the families of Canada's Afghan war dead to Ottawa for a national commemoration.

Bronwen Evans, managing director of the True Patriot Love Foundation, says both the Prime Minister's Office and National Defence reached out to them more than two weeks ago to discuss how the group could help.

The talks are still ongoing, Evans added.

The foundation, first established in 2009, has raised $14 million donations. As part of its core mandate it steps in "where government is unable to fund programs" that support the well being of members of the military.

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson addressed a foundation dinner in Calgary late Thursday, and a spokeswoman for the minister confirmed the negotiations ....
Let's see if the government will issue a news release saying what a great thing they're doing getting donors to foot the bill the government (IMHO) should be footing. 

If there's money to send hangers-on to Europe for all the coming anniversaries, there should be money for this one last public gesture to the families of the fallen.
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Offline Technoviking

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I for one acknowledge the vital importance of pomp and circumstance.  Bean counters can go on counting beans, and then they can all go pound salt, but for the mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers, sons and daughters of those who served, not to mention the average work-a-day Canadian, events such as these are important.  I may or may not be there (probably won't), but ceremony is vital to us as a nation, if that is what we are. 



Or we can be bureaucratic about it, form a Royal Commission, and pretend that if the money isn't spent on this, it's going to be spent on orphans.  So, I guess those orphans have to go without so that those War Mongers in Ottawa can have their fancy parade.....  [/sarcasm]
So, there I was....

Offline Bzzliteyr

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TPL raised 1.2 million dollars the other night at the Calgary event.. I hope that might cover a flight or two.
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Offline Thucydides

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Will be in sunny Wainwright for the start of MR14 then. I wonder if there will be a tactical pause for a parade?
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline MCG

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For those waiting to hear about what is planned, you are not alone:
Quote
Afghan commemoration cloaked in secrecy with two weeks left to go
CTV News
Murray Brewster, The Canadian Press
22 April 2014

OTTAWA -- A Royal Proclamation, a moment of silence in schools, and the heavy beating of helicopter rotors over Parliament Hill are slated for May 9, but the Harper's government attempt to turn commemoration of the Afghan mission into a national event is facing delays, confusion and the sting of politics.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently designated May 9 as the day to honour the sacrifices in the 12-year war against the Taliban.

Aside from cursory references on two government websites, there's little information about the event.

The silence has left some wondering how the public is expected to participate and whether the day will be an Ottawa-focused political spectacle rather than a grassroots outpouring of appreciation for the approximately 40,000 troops who rotated through the war-ravaged nation.

The Royal Canadian Legion's national office only last week received a letter from Veterans Affairs asking the group to raise awareness and host events at its 1,450 branches across the country.

"Our goal is to honour the end of a generational mission that affected almost every community in Canada," said the April 16 letter from Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino.

The notice has yet to be distributed across the country because the veterans department initially tried to bypass the group's national headquarters, which has been sharply critical of a number of aspects of government's policies toward ex-soldiers.

With just over two weeks to go, the Legion and other community groups have been given little time to organize or promote events, said group's market director, Scott Ferris.

The questions being posed by the Legion include: What is this day supposed to be? What are we supposed to do on this day? And how are we supposed to support? How are we supposed to recognize these sacrifices?

"On Remembrance Day we honour by going to our cenotaphs, and the National War Memorial here in Ottawa," said Ferris. "We recognize (the day) by celebrating at a Legion branch after the fact. There are concrete actions involved."

The May 9 event is looking "very politically motivated and lacking in any description as to what Canadians are expected to do," Ferris added.

Neither opposition party has been formally consulted about the event, although all MPs received a letter from the prime minister asking them to promote the date.

Yet, websites at National Defence and Veterans Affairs cryptically ask the public to stay tuned for more "detailed information" in the coming days.

It's unclear whether the Conservatives, known for bombarding the airwaves with tens of millions of dollars of Economic Action Plan commercials, will put any advertising heft behind the Afghan commemoration.

It is has also been looking ways to off-load the cost of the event.

An outside fundraising organization, the True Patriot Love Foundation, was asked to cover the expense of bringing the families of Canada's Afghan war dead to Ottawa the ceremony.

The group acknowledged Tuesday it has agreed to put together a tribute breakfast for the families at the Ottawa convention centre on the day of the event, but it is looking for sponsors to help.

The idea of honouring those who fought the brutal guerrilla war and helped train Afghan forces was highlighted in the Conservative throne speech last fall and there has been at least three years of planning at National Defence for the event.

Despite that, Nicholson told a House of Commons committee two weeks ago that details for the overall tribute were still being worked out.

New Democrat veterans critic Peter Stoffer said it looks like the government is trying to pass the hat for its own celebration.

"It looks half-hearted and quite frankly disrespectful," Stoffer said.

"This is supposed to be a day of significance, especially for the families of those sacrificed when a grateful nation gets to show its appreciation. All I can say is, this better not be about money and keeping the balanced budget."
http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/afghan-commemoration-cloaked-in-secrecy-with-two-weeks-left-to-go-1.1787727

Offline milnews.ca

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.... The Royal Canadian Legion's national office only last week received a letter from Veterans Affairs asking the group to raise awareness and host events at its 1,450 branches across the country.

"Our goal is to honour the end of a generational mission that affected almost every community in Canada," said the April 16 letter from Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino.

The notice has yet to be distributed across the country because the veterans department initially tried to bypass the group's national headquarters, which has been sharply critical of a number of aspects of government's policies toward ex-soldiers ....
Gotta love that "if you're not for us, you're against us" mentality ....  :facepalm:
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Offline Crispy Bacon

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I know the date and location of the parade (it's been circulated), but considering the media/Opposition's interest in the matter, I won't say anything further.  What I will say is that the Opposition is not entitled to know anything more about the event than anyone else; they can sit tight and wait to find out with the rest of the public.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2014, 09:06:02 by Crispy Bacon »
Banned for registering when already banned, among other things.

Offline daftandbarmy

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I know the date and location of the parade (it's been circulated), but considering the media/Opposition's interest in the matter, I won't say anything further.  What I will say is that the Opposition is not entitled to know anything more about the event than anyone else; they can sit tight and wait to find out with the rest of the public.

Hmmm.... May 9th. That date seems to coincide with another historic 'ending of a conflict' event...

Oh yes, it's 'Victory Day' in Russia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Day_(9_May)

Remember, you heard the rumour start right here  ;D
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Offline Schindler's Lift

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Not one word on anything here.  In fact my CSM had forgotten about it and has now been trying to get ANY info from the Base.  Plan B is a Unit lunch and a few pints hoisted in memory. 

The whole thing seems to be an afterthought from the top on down.  Almost disrespectful to the whole intended purpose of the day and perhaps something that should have been left as a special note for this Nov 11th.

Online Remius

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Saw the JIs as one of my guys is filling a parade position.

But it's just report timings and thin on details.
Optio

Offline MCG

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I know the date and location of the parade (it's been circulated), but considering the media/Opposition's interest in the matter, I won't say anything further.  What I will say is that the Opposition is not entitled to know anything more about the event than anyone else; they can sit tight and wait to find out with the rest of the public.
It sounds like there is a desire to have events all over the country and not just the big parade in Ottawa.  I do not think that I had previously heard that communicated.  If information on secondary events is not communicated to the public, then those events will all be non-events.  I believe that is the core message of the article; it is not about the opposition wanting to know more about the main event.


Offline Jarnhamar

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Will be in sunny Wainwright for the start of MR14 then. I wonder if there will be a tactical pause for a parade?

Nope but the good news is there's a 2CMBG Afghan Memorial Day parade on Saturday June 21st  ;D
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Offline Towards_the_gap

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Nope but the good news is there's a 2CMBG Afghan Memorial Day parade on Saturday June 21st  ;D

Parade participation will max out at 20% GCS/OSM medal holders and the remainder b****ing about how they have to work on a Saturday.

Offline OldTanker

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I am not an Afghanistan vet but am associated with a unit that has many. I know from personal contacts that they are looking forward to some sort of public appreciation (as am I and many other non-Afghanistan vets - I want to wave the flag and cheer for them - they have earned this) but it appears that the chain of command is totally immobilized on this. We have been unable to get any guidance from the Army as to what is happening. My suggestion is to simply let the Regimental Association take over the entire issue and to hell with the chain of command. Really, its only two-weeks -and-a-bit away, and still no direction or plan? I do notice however that there is no shortage of direction on where the pips and crowns will go and what the new Army buttons will look like. Maybe all the decision-making effort is going into trivial issues. Plus ca change . . .

Offline George Wallace

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 ::)

Questions are being asked at all levels, within DND, Government, Municipal, etc.   Does someone in a high position, just expect all to show up in uniform, meet on Parliament Hill and mill about before wandering the streets of Ottawa?  It is beginning to look that way.


 :facepalm:
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Offline MCG

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New press concern is that Gen Hillier, LGen Leslie, and Col Stogran have all not received invitations and that Gen Natynczyk has also probably not received an invitation.  The Liberals have come out and said this is a partisan event and not about those who fought the mission.  I suspect the accusation of malice to be inaccurate; the excitement over the last few days is probably a shortfall in communication and/or planning.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/key-players-in-afghan-mission-have-yet-to-receive-day-of-honour-invitations-1.1789907

Offline milnews.ca

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I suspect the accusation of malice to be inaccurate; the excitement over the last few days is probably a shortfall in communication and/or planning.
Based on the previous article with allegegations of wanting to by-pass Legion high command, I'd suspect it might be a 10:90 ratio.
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Offline recceguy

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Given the way the RCL has all but shunned the Afghanistan vets, I doubt many of those vets would miss the Legion participation anyway.
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Offline PuckChaser

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My unit just got more clarity, apparently there are supposed to be Base-level parades to coincide with the national level one in Ottawa. We still don't have any SA on how many from my unit, if any, are required for the national parade.

Offline Journeyman

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Given the way the RCL has all but shunned the Afghanistan vets, I doubt many of those vets would miss the Legion participation anyway.

           :nod:

Offline Bzzliteyr

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I heard the sleeping conditions might be a little austere for this event.
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Offline acen

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If people will be staying at CRPTC (Connaught Ranges), then the conditions are indeed austere. Of the 5 trailer shacks (on Webley) that once stood there, one had to be demolished recently. The others are in equally bad shape, and generally so occupied on weekends that some PRes BMQ course staff have difficulty getting rooms (some even opted for hootches to solve the issue). This is compounded by the fact that DCRA (a civvy shooting organization) is bumping us in priority on shacks. The other accomodations on site include the Bren Gun temporaries which are so full of dead flies (thousands) and their excrement that nary a soul will stay there. Other options are the cadet shelters, which are basically bunk beds in tarp shelters (8 pers to a shelter IIRC) and permanent shower/toilet facilities meant to accomodate the PRes when LFCA Training Centre Meaford had a det for summer training with their Mod Tent concrete pads. Not exactly the best facilities to prep and wear DEU in a manner fitting for a national parade.

Hopefully it isn't CRPTC, because there will already be a PRes BMQ running out of CRPTC on that weekend which generally takes up a trailer shack on it's own, leaving 3 (or bumping us somewhere else).

You'd almost be better with cots on armoury floors, honestly.