Nova Scotia President’s Message Nov 2020

President Brian Carter of Nova Scotia Division November 2020 Observations

Dear Members of the Association,

President Carter has offered some insightful observations on events in his Division over the past while and the support that Nova Scotia Division and by extenstion, the Association is providing to the serving members.

James Forrest
Director of Communications


I hope everyone is well. November was a busy month for most of us. As always, time flies. It has been one year now that I have been in this role and it sure has been a different year with COVID 19. Despite that, I have enjoyed the first year very much and look forward to the coming year. It is a privilege to serve you.

COVID 19 has raised itself in the second phase of the pandemic. This phase is different than the first in that the positive cases are not isolated in seniors’ homes. They are much more spread out and affecting all ages. The spread seems to be from larger group gatherings, bars, and restaurants. The Province has taken steps to help keep us safe, such as restrict us to groups of five or less, wear a mask everywhere and wash your hands constantly.

All these measures have been hard on most of us especially those who usually are heading south or thinking about going. We cannot go at this time. So, make sure we keep talking to each other and keep busy to take your mind off the isolation.

Good news is that as far as I know we have had no veteran die due to COVID in NS.

What has been happening?

Negative publicity of the RCMP is an ongoing and sometimes growing trend. I know it affects all of us and especially the serving members and staff of the RCMP. There are many good things going on in the Vets across Canada to help put positivity on the Force. Here in Nova Scotia, there are a few POD-casts that are airing positive stories from serving and retired members. I did one a couple weeks ago.

Steve Mills and several others have been replying to reported news outlets and even a judge who have been spreading misinformation and half truths about the Force. They are extremely cautious in what they say and to whom they write. They stick to the facts and correct the misinformation. It is not on social media. It is direct to the reporters and/or their superiors.

Others are posting positive stories about what serving members are doing every day. I have shared several myself. It is through such means that the good stories can be spread through social media. No need to get into debates with people, simply post positive stories.

RCMP Moose deliveries and Detachment visits:

We have visited all but 5 detachments in the Province now. The last five are on hold until the COVID restrictions are lifted. Several of the moose have already been used and we are replacing them now. Please if you can sponsor more moose.

The visits also show our support in person for the serving members and staff. We also take the opportunity to provide information on how we as the RCMP Vets can support them and their families via VAC assistance and other support services. We can help them get connected. We explain that we are supporting the Force by helping deliver services the Force has for them as well as VAC.

We have met a large cross section of members ranging from 3 months to 30 years service. They all appreciate what we do for them once they learn about who we are and what we do. The visits have given them comfort to know someone cares about them and their families as well as how we support them. Several have already contacted the S&A committee for assistance.

Women of Courage:

Three women who lost their lives in service in 2020, a deputy minister and a journeyperson have been named in this year’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN), the province announced on Wednesday.

According to the province, the three women were named in this year’s new category, Women of Courage.

These three Nova Scotia women, Cst Heidi Stevenson, Sub-Lt Abbigail Cowbrough and Capt. Jenn Casey were all recognised in the new “Women of Courage ” meant to honour those who champion our country and its values. All three were killed while on duty serving our country. All three had their lives cut too short by tragedy in 2020. I knew both Heidi and Abbigail personally.

  • Const. Heidi Stevenson served as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for 23 years and lost her life in the line of duty, attempting to stop and apprehend an active shooter in April.
  • Sub-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough was a naval officer serving on HMCS Fredericton. At the age of 23, she was one of six Canadians who died in a helicopter crash during a retrieval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea in April.
  • Capt. Jenn Casey, a public affairs officer with the Canadian Snowbird team, died in May in a jet crash during Operation Inspiration, the Snowbird’s salute to Canadians and frontline workers during the COVIE-19 pandemic.

Rappelling for Easter Seals:

Thanks to D Lamb one of our Vets for rappelling and raising funds for Easter Seals. Here are a couple of photos to give you an idea of how high it was and the challenge our 70-year-old Vet took on. By the way, he loved it.

Tab Program: The RCMP Veterans’ Association has been involved in the “Tabs for Wheelchairs” program for several years. Every penny generated by selling pop-can tabs goes to Easter Seals Nova Scotia, who in turn purchase new wheelchairs for community members. One of our Vets, Peter Ineson, has been working tirelessly for this program over the years. Peter has a “team” of friends who help him with collections on a regular basis. Many of our Vets are also involved with this program in various parts of the Province. Thanks to all who participate in this program!

What has the Nova Scotia Division been donating to? The following information was provided by Treasurer, Ian Atkins. Nova Scotia Division members have demonstrated their generosity throughout 2020 by donating more than $14,250.00 to support special initiatives (the Feed Nova Scotia food bank drive in memory of Cst. Heidi Stevenson, and the Big Foot Moose sponsorships for the We’ve Got Your Back (Detachment support initiative)). This generosity from our members has allowed the Division to make donations valued at $20,777.00 in support of community initiatives in Nova Scotia during 2020. We know that Regions have made additional local contributions as well. In my opinion, this speaks very well of our collective desire to help those who can benefit from our support.

An event some may want to participate in next summer:

It is a motorcycle ride for Veterans to participate in that is being organized by RCMP Veterans. Participants will visit Detachments right across the country next summer. It is in the planning stages right now and they are not requesting sponsorship from Divisions, just participants. The dates are not finalized due to COVID, but some time next summer. Nova Scotia is planned for day five and six of the event, with one of those days a rest day in Halifax. It begins in Newfoundland and heads west. I will keep you posted.

Reminders:

It is that time again! Dues are due now so don’t forget to submit payment. This process can now also be done via e-transfer

Sponsorship for the Moose is ongoing, so all support in this venture is greatly appreciated. To date, they have been used frequently by serving members.

The Association is always looking for volunteers to fill positions on the executive. Currently, we are seeking volunteers for a Truro regional director and the secretary role, as well as assistance in all regions. Volunteers play such a vital role in the Association. We are always looking for people to help with projects and social events, which will begin again when we are able to do so.

Getting people to join, what we do for our Vets and families is special and well worth the nominal fee to join. We are all on a pension which is often supplemented by a VAC pension. The help we provide for each other is well worth it. Remind people to join just to stay in the loop and get the support we all need.

Closing remarks:

With one year complete in my role as President, I want to thank each member of the Nova Scotia Division of the RCMP Veterans’ Association for your support, volunteerism, and participation by joining the organization. You have made the organization what it is today. We have the largest Division in Canada with 900 members. This happened because of you; reaching out to support Vets, families, serving members and their families and employees of the Force.

Sorry to keep repeating this, but it is true. Those of us who served and serve are special and those who do not serve do not understand us. It is so important that we continue to have a group like this where we can talk openly to others who know what we went through and know what it is like to serve.

This support does save lives. It does help others get the help they need. It helps us to get through tough days and moments in our lives. Through this organization and all of you we have a safe place and support.

Stay safe, stay busy, find ways to keep yourself entertained and happy. Reach out to others. Buy a serving member a coffee and thank them when you see them anywhere. Support each other.

Someday soon we will be able to meet each other in person. Be patient, the vaccine is coming and COVID cannot last forever.

Brian Carter
President, NS RCMP Veterans’ Association

 

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