07 May 2012



Certain allegations have been made across the veterans community regarding Our Duty Inc and Jeff Rose-Martland.  These allegations are 100% but for the sake of those who have questions, here are the answers:

1 - Our Duty was formed in August 2010.  It was incorporated in Newfoundland and Labrador in July 2011.  During its existence, it has raised no more than a few 100 dollars.  These is no financial statement because a) 2011 would be the first tax year one was required and b) we didn’t have any finances to make statements about.

2 - Our Duty is not now and never has been a veterans organization.  From first concept, it have been a CITIZENS organization.  We advocate to improve veterans benefits because veterans have a social contact with citizens.  Our Duty represents the other part of that contract.

3 - Despite being staffed solely by volunteers, Our Duty and Jeff Rose-Martland have achieved significant accomplishments.  Jeff Rose-Martland was named to the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman Advisory Committee.  He has also been PR and Communications for the group and has been interviewed multiple times, nationally and locally.  In March, Our Duty released its first major report: a critique of the 2010 VAC Client Survey.  That report gained the attention of both media and politicians.  Our Duty and Jeff Rose-Martland have also consulted with, advised, and represented organizations and individuals.  As well, Jeff Rose-Martland served as Communications Director for the 2010 NL Canadian Veterans National Day of Protest and for Fabien Melanson’s hunger strike in June 2011.  He continues to represent Cpl Melanson to Veterans’ Affairs.  ALL OF THAT HAS BEEN DONE WITHOUT FEES, CHARGES, OR FUNDING.

4 - the ourduty.org website was caught in a mass malware site hack last month.  This one: http://www.pcworld.com/article/254071/google_warns_20000_websites_that_could_be_infected_with_malware.html

As soon as we became aware, we notified members via Facebook and Jeff Rose-Martland posted the info to his personal blog, which he has been using as a back up until we can get the site fixed.  See here: http://viewfromtheedgeoftheworld.blogspot.ca/2012/04/broken-soldiers-epilogue.html dated 23 April. 

AS WE ADVISED AT THE TIME: you can still access ourduty.org provided you type the address into the browser bar.  It is when you use a search engine, particularly Google, that you get the malware. 

5 - This will be our final word on the matter.  Our record speaks for itself.  We are the ONLY citizen group working on the issue of veterans benefits.  We have been dedicated and diligent and scrupulous in our work.  These allegations are patently false and we will be seeking legal recourse.

We regret to inform you all that, effectively immediately, we have ceased operations pending legal advice.

What Is Your Support Worth?

Do you support the troops?  Do you care about veterans?  Wear red on Fridays?  Have a yellow ribbon on your car?


Let's take it to the next step: digging in and helping one specific veteran.

I've got one: a guy who  served in Croatia, who helped rescue the Drin Hospital patients, who has a number of injuries, especially PTSD.  Veterans Affairs made an error in 2004 and deprived him of his pension for months.  By the time he got what he was owed, his house was in ruins, his finances in tatters, and he'd attempted suicide.  Eight years later, after a high-profile hunger strike, he has a letter of apology from VAC.  Until this month, he had been homeless.  His home is still  in ruins and his finances still in tatters.  He still owes a mortgage on the uninhabitable property, which is in foreclosure.

It was his grandparents home.

As if that wasn't enough, we have discovered a very active campaign has been working to discredit him.  A few people have been contacting potential donors and telling them his plight is all a scam.

It isn't.

Every word of his plight is true and can be checked by anyone.   Google: Fabien Melanson Veteran *

$5000 gets his property back in his possession.  That's where we start, now.

So the question I have is this:

Will you help me with this one veteran?

The entire time I've been trying to throw him a rope, others have been reeling it short.

Will YOU help rescue just one veteran? Please?  You wear the red every week, you wear the ribbon with pride, you talk about heroes... will you do something to help one?

Or is that all just talk?

Donation info:

Anyone can help, every donation counts.  If 5000 give a loony, this vet gets his house back from the lawyers.  If 2500 people skip coffee, we can do it.  If 500 people skip the drive-thru... you get the idea.

Paypal/email transfer to fabien@ourduty.org or poca@ourduty.org


Donations can be made to TD Bank (direct or wire transfer)
Transit #: 05023
Institution #: 004
Account #: 6418137
Name: Jeff Rose-Martland for Fabien Melanson

Cheques & Money Orders
Payable to: Jeff Rose-Martland for Fabien Melanson

Send to:
Fix Fabien's House
4 Neville Pl.
St. John's, NL
A1E 2E7

We will accept everything from copper pennies to gold bars.  But please, no rubber cheques.

*there's another Fabien  Melanson who is a musician and all over the net.  Include 'veteran' to find the right one.

05 May 2012

Forces Barred from Benefit Debate: CDS

UPDATE:  The release below was written on 24 September 2010, in the lead up to the first Canadian Veterans National Day of Protest.  The Office of the Chief of Defence Staff had advised the Forces members might face criminal charges if they participated.

In light of Cpl. Steve Stoesz's being charged for speaking out on DND's plans to scale back mental health services, I thought it would be a good time to re-post. - JRM

Forces Barred from Benefit Debate: CDS

While politicians wrangle over support for disabled veterans, future beneficiaries are banned from the debate.  Members of the Canadian Armed Forces are forbidden to comment on the programs designed to assist them when they are injured.  Flying in the face of sensible policy development and common sense, disability benefits are arranged without input from future stakeholders.

According to the Chief of Defence Staff, soldiers may not even express an opinion.  In an email obtained by ourduty.org, CDS Staff Officer Major Raymond Farrell explained “No member of the CF, including the CDS, may give the impression, even unintentionally, that he is taking sides on an issue before parliament.”  Doing so could result in disciplinary action - up to and including charges under the Nation Defence Act - for conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline.  With this threat, the Canadian Armed Forces are effectively muzzled.

Public consultation is farcical when the public cannot comment.  If the Forces cannot even accidentally hint something is good or bad for fear of prison, then committees will never get meaningful input.  Parliament will implement any benefit program it wishes; the troops cannot object. 

Worse than that, Forces personnel must support any such program, right or wrong.  In that same email, the CDS office states, “Nor may [a soldier] embarrass the Government of Canada.”  Troops are barred from participating in rallies, protests, or political activity.  A subsequent message from Major Farrell indicated that Forces staff could face charges even if the participant was off duty and out of uniform.  There’s no escape from these heavy-handed laws.  Requesting that personnel be granted release to follow their conscience as civilians, an appeal to Chief of Defence Staff, General Natynchuk, resulted in the answer, “the CDS will not make an exception either way.”

These directives ensure not only that Forces will not be consulted, but that they must support any plan developed.  In this case of take-it-and-like-it, the message from the CDS is clear: Shut Up, Soldier!

By Jeff Rose-Martland, founder of OurDuty.org 

NOTE: The above released prompted John Ivison of the National Post to pontificate on the essential reason for the laws as they stand. My response can be found here.



Forces personnel are subject to the National Defence Act AND the Queens Rules & Orders.  Both address the issue of speaking out.

National Defence Act

S129. (1) Any act, conduct, disorder or neglect to the prejudice of good order and discipline is an offence and every person convicted thereof is liable to dismissal with disgrace from Her Majesty’s service or to less punishment.

Queens Rules and Orders

 (1) No officer or non-commissioned member shall make remarks or pass criticism tending to bring a superior into contempt...

(2) No officer or non-commissioned member shall do or say anything that:

(a) if seen or heard by any member of the public, might reflect discredit on the Canadian Forces or on any of its members; or
(b) if seen by, heard by or reported to those under him, might discourage them or render them dissatisfied with their condition or the duties on which they are employed.