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Canada Christie Blatchford: God forbid, Canadian soldiers go anywhere near a church

16:50  17 october  2019
16:50  17 october  2019 Source:   nationalpost.com

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But soldiers going anywhere near a church , bad, and against rules five years old that no one cared to enforce until now. But most of all, in such small incremental strikes Colby Cosh: Foreign policy is the dog that didn't bark in our federal election. Christie Blatchford : God forbid , Canadian soldiers

Christie Blatchford is a journalist on National Post. Read and subscribe to the latest news and articles from Enough of the endless parade of talking heads, can we skip the campaign and go directly to the Christie Blatchford was born in Quebec and studied journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto.

a group of people in uniform: Members of 32 Canadian Brigade Group march in 2004.© Alex Urosevic/Postmedia/File Members of 32 Canadian Brigade Group march in 2004.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

An army brigade commander has told the 14 Ontario reserve regiments under his charge that they must cancel any “church parade” they have planned.

Despite a lack of complaints about the parades, which see soldiers march to their regimental church, Col. Daniel Stepaniuk urged his commanding officers to stop participating in “any event where the primary purpose is liturgical, spiritual or religious … even if the service is non-denominational.”

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Share this story. Christie Blatchford : A war memorial ‘built for soldiers by soldiers ’ — that soldiers can’t even go see. The Canadian Forces didn’t even announce that the memorial hall, the soldier -built memorial as its centrepiece, had been opened until three days after the ceremony, on

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A custom in the Canadian Army since the time of Confederation, the parades aren’t as common as they once were, though many units still have at least one a year, often tied to Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Reserve regiments are made up of part-time soldiers, also called citizen-soldiers, and one of their greatest benefits is keeping alive and visible the community-army bond. In the small cities and towns where most of the units are based, the units are often an integral part of community life.

While the parades are sometimes considered a pain in the butt by troops (remembering that soldiers love to complain), reservists nonetheless appreciate the fact that they are paid for their time.

Stepaniuk told his COs in an Oct. 4 memo that, “As we embrace diversity and strive for inclusivity, we really need to examine those practices which may be exclusionary to our soldiers.”

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Lars Hagberg for National Post. Christie Blatchford . Miller then chose the pilot option — his test results qualified him to try for that, too — but even that hardly went smoothly, though in the end he was conditionally accepted for the Seneca College aviation program through the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Behold the lawless bastard, Randy Fleming. Almost nine years ago, he dared to walk along Argyle Street in the town of Caledonia, Ont., carrying a Canadian flag on a pole towards a peaceful so-called “flag rally”.

Or, as he told the National Post in a recent phone interview, “I think it’s important not only that we create a diverse environment, but also that diversity is a hallmark of the Canadian Forces. … We can’t be privileging one group over another.”

(It’s the first time to my memory I have ever heard privilege used as a verb.)

He defended his order by saying, “It’s our policy,” which is true so far as it goes.

In 2014, the rules for army chaplains were amended to read, in section 33.11, that “Officers and non-commissioned members shall not be ordered to attend a parade that is primarily religious or spiritual in nature.”

But the rule has been on the books for almost five years, it appears to be the first time that a commander is making an issue of it.

a man holding a kite while standing in the grass:  Col. Daniel Stepaniuk in May 2018 places a wreath next to newly planted trees representing fallen Canadian soldiers.© Veronica Henri/Postmedia Col. Daniel Stepaniuk in May 2018 places a wreath next to newly planted trees representing fallen Canadian soldiers.

The last time Stepaniuk struck in similar fashion was in August of 2017, shortly after he took command of 32 Brigade, when he determined that if his units weren’t nominating sufficient numbers of women to serve as “honoraries,” he would leave the appointments vacant, rather than (the horror! the shame!) see them filled with men.

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Christie Blatchford . August 31, 2016 6:15 PM EDT. Filed under. It’s such a peculiar Canadian conceit, this notion that our two countries enjoy a special and delightful relationship and that And though Bev Gray said in her report that there were fewer soldiers than she’d seen on previous visits, I

Honoraries in the militia — colonels and lieutenant colonels — are traditionally recruited locally, and while in recent years there were soft targets for seeing more women represented, Stepaniuk was the first to lay down the law so arbitrarily.

As he wrote his commanding officers at the time, if their units were being advised by a regimental or association committee and they “choose a suitable nominee and they are not using an appropriate diversity lens, it is your responsibility to ignore their recommendations and proceed to find a suitable candidate.

“If this is not absolutely clear, if we don’t proceed in the direction of gender diversity, I’m prepared to have no honoraries because as current appointments expire, folks won’t be replaced.”

Now, however, it appears he has surpassed himself in the category of stupid and unnecessary orders.

First of all, there is the glaring contradiction with Stepaniuk’s harsh stand on church parades and a parade that happened in Toronto last April.

A group of soldiers — I counted between 15 and 20 — were issued weapons, allowed to march in their military uniforms and were escorted by an armoured vehicle in the annual Khalsa parade for Canada’s Sikh community. It is considered a holy day.

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Share this story. Christie Blatchford : Canada couldn't have taken Vimy without citizen soldiers . The troops are part-time soldiers , citizen soldiers . Many are still in school, or work regular jobs and That’s gone on for five years. The abysmal recruiting policy — it was centralized, with the result that

Christie Blatchford was born in Quebec and studied journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto. She has written for all four Toronto-based newspapers. She has won a National Newspaper Award for column writing and in 2008 won the Governor-General’s Literary Award in

The soldiers were from the Lorne Scots, one of Stepaniuk’s reserve units based in Brampton. The CO of the unit said at the time that he signed off on the weapons only after his commander (that would presumably be Stepaniuk, or perhaps the brigadier-general above him) approved the soldiers’ participation.

So weapons worn at a Khalsa Day parade good, though against the rules (The Canadian Armed Forces Manual of Drill and Ceremonial), according to army spokeswoman Karla Gimby.

But soldiers going anywhere near a church, bad, and against rules five years old that no one cared to enforce until now.

But most of all, in such small incremental strikes, does Canadian history and tradition lose strength.

I am an atheist. I have been to a church parade in a small eastern Ontario town. It was lovely. It was entirely benign. It did no harm and probably some good.

Stepaniuk appears to believe there is malevolence there. He also appears to believe that the core business of the Canadian Army is diversity, not training soldiers for war. What a disservice he does to those he leads.

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