Paddler sheds light on PTSD service dog funding
Good luck to veteran Trevor Petersen as he paddleboards from the Balmy Beach Club to Ottawa to raise awareness for post traumatic stress disorder and funds for the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Meanwhile, I know of more than 200 veterans with PTSD and other operation injuries that can’t get out of bed or leave their room, let alone be well enough to take on such a herculean challenge as Trevor’s.
These veterans would have a chance at a functional life if they were able to obtain their physician-prescribed psychiatric service dog, however there is no available funding to assist them. The Ontario Provincial Command of the Royal Canadian Legion recently and abruptly put an end to assisting veterans with service dog acquisition, based on the notion that there is no national service dog standard.
While that may be true, we do have a world-class service dog standard available that can be used as an interim measure, as veterans wait in agony for two years for the government to adopt the standards. Seems odd to me that an organization such as the Royal Canadian Legion, who are sworn to support veterans, turn their backs on our young veterans who are most in need, particularly when an obvious resolution is so readily available.
I have written the national president about this issue twice, and written or spoken with a variety of ranks such as the district commander. None of my letters have been acknowledged. When asking if there is an appeal or deputation process or an ombudsman for dispute resolution when a young veteran is denied help, the impolite answer I receive is that their word is final.
I will remember this during their annual Poppy Campaign, and that’s saying something given I am an executive member of the Legion!
Meanwhile, calm winds and flat waters for Trevor – but the storm rages on for those brave young veterans who suffer beyond our comprehension.
Clarity needed for path congestion
As a Beacher for 27 years, I enjoyed the boardwalk as a jogger, a runner, and now as a walker. I see increasing congestion as strollers, runners, bikes, skateboards, etc. share the boardwalk and bike path, where some cyclists travel up to 40 km/h.
Country children learn to walk on the left side of the road facing traffic. They can move out of the way of a vehicle coming toward them. Those walking on the right cannot see traffic approaching behind them.
Most people on the bike path don’t understand this. Many tell me that I am on the wrong side, not always politely. It would help to have signage on the bike path encouraging walking on the safe side.
Report off-leash dogs, reader writes
There’s a new, easy way to report illegally off-leash dogs. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line of “Off-leash parks.” State the time and place you saw the illegally off-leash dog. The bylaw enforcers will stake out the place in the near future.
Even though our area has world-class dog parks, it’s now routine to see off-leash dogs even on Queen Street. It’s not a victimless crime: silent droves of people now avoid our public areas out of fear of illegally roaming off-leash dogs, particularly Kew Gardens and Ashbridges Bay Park. I’ve read of at least two children attacked on the boardwalk already this spring by off-leash dogs.
No one is above the law. Help take back our parks and make them safe again by reporting all the incidents you see.
Don’t let them win; turn them in!