Members and Biographies

MembersTop of Page

BiographiesTop of Page

Biography: Pierre Allard Top of Page

Colonel (Retired) Pierre Allard retired from the Canadian Forces in 2001 with more than 35 years of service.

He is a graduate of the Institut Supérieur de Défense in Bruxelles, Belgium, received a BA in Political Science and History from the University of Manitoba and a Certificate in Organizational Communications from l'Université du Québec. He has recently completed an MA in War Studies at the Royal Military College.

Pierre joined Dominion Command of the Royal Canadian Legion as a service officer in 2001 and has been Service Bureau Director since 2003. In April 2011, he was awarded the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Society of Canada's Brett Yerex Exceptional Advocacy Award in recognition of his role in raising awareness of the link between military service and ALS.

Biography: Heather J. Armstrong Top of Page

Commander (Retired) Heather J. Armstrong served 25 years in the Canadian Armed Forces followed by 10 years in various senior civilian positions in Military Personnel Command at National Defence Headquarters. She is a graduate of Saint Mary's University (Bachelor of Commerce) and of both the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College and the NATO Defense College in Rome.

Heather is a Governor on the Board of the Commissionaires Nova Scotia serving on both the Veterans' Support Committee and the Human Resources Committee.  She is the past President of the Naval Officers' Association of Canada (Ottawa branch), a member of the Order of St George, the Naval Association of Canada, the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust and the Association of Canadian Logisticians.  In May 2014, HRH Prince Charles presented Heather with the Spirit of Military Families Coin award for making a noticeable and significant contribution to the well-being of military families throughout her career.

Biography: The Reverend James H. Brown Top of Page

LCdr (Retired) The Reverend James H. Brown is a Roman Catholic priest, ordained in 1995, Archdiocese of Ottawa. He was born in Toronto and grew up in Scarborough, where he attended primary and secondary school. He graduated from Trinity College, University of Toronto, with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Master of Divinity (MDiv) in 1980.

James joined the Reserves, 7th Toronto Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA) in 1971 and transferred to the Regular Force Chaplain's Branch in 1985. His military career took him all across Canada, serving with all three services. He was deployed with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and Army, having served in Afghanistan from January to September 2008. While serving with Maritimes Forces Pacific (MARPAC), he was the Admiral's advisor on Aboriginal affairs.

James completed courses in conflict resolution and alcohol and substance abuse, and Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD), and was active on the Defence Aboriginal Advisory Group. In 2005, he was selected by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to be the Chaplain for the Aboriginal Spiritual Journey to the cemeteries and battlefields of WW1 and WW2.

He was married in 1982, and he and his wife have three grown children, and one grandchild. James retired from the position of 1st Brigade Chaplain and the CAF in February 2013, and currently resides with his wife in Fairview, Prince Edward Island (PEI).

Biography: Stacey de Savoye Top of Page

Stacey de Savoye is a Registered Social Worker and has worked for many years as a Child and Family Therapist for Military Families.

Her specialization is in loss and bereavement and after several years working in the NICU at Sick Kids and Pediatric Oncology in Kingston, she switched to working with military families (serving and retired) and recognized that the mental health of military families needed to be acknowledged and addressed. She focused on the unique needs of military family life such as detachment issues, anxiety (particularly in children), mental health concerns related to deployment, addictions, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression. She provided brief therapy to military spouses and to their Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) spouse, children of military members, parents of military members, veterans and, at times, to Royal Military College (RMC) cadets.

Stacey is a graduate of Queen's University (Bachelor of Arts Honours), McGill University (Bachelor of Social Work) and The University of Toronto (Master of Social Work).

Her most important roles, however, include being a supportive spouse to her husband who is currently serving in the Royal Canadian Navy and co-raising three young resilient boys through the transitions of military life.

Biography: Brian Forbes Top of Page

Brian Forbes is a founding partner of the Ottawa law firm Forbes Singer Shouldice. Much of his law practice is devoted to Veterans' matters and to representing disabled individuals.

Brian has a vast knowledge of Veterans' legislation and has extensive experience in making presentations to the various adjudicative tribunals and appellate bodies which govern the Pension Act and ancillary legislation. He was on the Board of Directors of the Perley Hospital and the Perley and Rideau Veterans Health Centre as well as a member of the Canadian Forces Advisory Council and the New Veterans Charter Advisory Group.

He is the Secretary-General of the National Council of Veterans Associations in Canada and has been the Association Solicitor for The War Amputations of Canada since 1975. He is also Chairman of the Executive Committee for The War Amps and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Canadian War Museum.

Biography: Larry GollnerTop of Page

Brigadier-General (Retired) Larry Gollner retired from the military in 1993 after 37 years of service.

After leaving the army, Larry settled in Victoria, British Columbia. He became actively involved with Veterans' issues after Canada's first casualties were incurred in Afghanistan. At that time, he became the Director of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) Voluntary Patricia Program, a Veterans-helping-Veterans program. Larry joined the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association and became actively involved with the New Veterans Charter implementation. He also served as Colonel of the Regiment PPCLI from 2006-2010.

Biography: David M. LeBlancTop of Page

David LeBlanc is a retired Superintendent of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). He served both in Saskatchewan and Manitoba over the course of his 36-year policing career and acquired expertise in many facets of this line of work, including Serious Crimes, Drug Investigation, Aboriginal Policing Services and Administration.

David participated extensively in the development of the Alternate Dispute Resolution Program both nationally and in Manitoba. In particular, he received training in Mediation and Interest Based Negotiations (IBN). The latter involved the program's roll out and the training of all employees in IBN within Manitoba. He also was trained and participated on Adjudication Boards for disciplinary charges under the RCMP Act as well as being appointed an Adjudicator for grievances under the same Act.

For the past 25 years, David has been a facilitator and trainer for Multicultural Awareness and Aboriginal Awareness. David was part of the RCMP Senior Executive Team for Manitoba and today, he is the National President of the RCMP Veterans Association.

In addition to this extensive involvement within the RCMP community, David is also heavily involved in local community activities, including the local Women's Resource Centre, assisting in relocating abused and distressed families.

David and Joyce, his wife of 48 years, have raised two sons and are now enjoying their three grandchildren.

Biography: Jim Lowther Top of Page

Jim Lowther is a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces with 15 years of service.

During his career he deployed to Bosnia, serving two tours in 1996-97 and served onboard the HMCS Halifax as member of the Boarding Party during Op Apollo.

After his release, Jim volunteered in the community, and it was in this role that he encountered his first homeless veteran and felt strongly that he needed to do something about it. He and his wife founded VETS Canada, and Jim found his new purpose in life.

Jim lives with his family in Dartmouth, NS and in his spare time, he enjoys playing his guitar which he credits with helping him cope with his PTSD. Jim is also a volunteer coach with the Dartmouth Bandits Lacrosse League and the Dartmouth District Minor Baseball Association.

Biography: Ken HebbardTop of Page

Ken Hebbard retired from the Canadian Forces in 1998 with 25 years of service, mostly with the Forces' medical services.

He is presently a regional vice-president and partner with a financial firm and has a strong understanding of pensions, protection, and investment strategies. He works closely with many of the Veterans organizations in Central Ontario.

As a philanthropist, Ken represents Veterans, the community and business partners to raise funds for a variety of charities.

Biography: Bruce HenwoodTop of Page

Major (Retired) Bruce Henwood served in the Canadian Forces for 24 years, retiring in 1998.

In 1996, Bruce Henwood was awarded the Land Force Commander's Commendation for his actions in Croatia, where he was severely wounded in 1995, and for his determination in his recovery. He was instrumental in having the Canadian Forces disability insurance program overhauled, providing tangible compensation to all soldiers severely injured in the line of duty. He was presented with the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal and awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his actions in changing the military's compensation plan and his work in support of disabled soldiers.

Bruce is a past president of the Royal Alberta United Services Institute and for five years, he chaired the now-defunct Special Needs Advisory Group, which provided advice to Veterans Affairs Canada on the needs of seriously disabled Veterans. He continues to provide advice to Veterans Affairs Canada and The War Amps of Canada.

Biography: Gary E. Insley Top of Page

Gary Insley served for over 30 years in the Canadian Forces.

He has served as an academic Ombudsman for more than 9 years in Victoria, British Columbia. He holds an MA in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University. He has published several articles on Ombudsing and has been very active in the international Ombuds community as a trainer, presenter, and conference coordinator.

In 2004, Gary received the Ombuds Service Excellence Award from the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds; he is the first Canadian to receive this award.

Biography: Dr. Hugh Milroy Top of Page

Dr. Hugh Milroy, OBE, Ph.D. was with the Royal Air Force for 17 years.

Dr. Milroy is Chief Executive of Veterans Aid, a leading frontline charity in the United Kingdom for Veterans who are homeless or in crisis. Under his guidance the charity has become the national "accident and emergency unit" for the UK Veteran community, focussing not only on the homeless but also on those Veterans who are socially excluded and vulnerable to homelessness. The modus operandi he introduced has dramatically lowered the rate of recidivism among clients. He is also the national Chair of the Ex-Service Action Group on Homelessness.

In June 2011, Hugh was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his unique contribution to the well-being of Veterans.

Biography: Andrea NewtonTop of Page

Sergeant Andrea Newton (retired) served 14 years in the Canadian Forces throughout Canada and Washington.

Andrea then went on to complete a Management Systems Diploma from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).

Currently a small business manager in North Vancouver, British Columbia, her former experience includes administrative and finance management of a life skills and vocational training centre in Vancouver's downtown eastside for multi-barriered clientele, and finance coordination for a First Nations SchoolNet connectivity program serving rural and urban British Columbia First Nations Schools.

Andrea's volunteer involvement includes roundtable discussions with parliamentarians, Veterans groups, health professionals and Veterans in support of the Veterans' community.

Biography: Luc O'BomsawinTop of Page

Luc O'Bomsawin served in the Canadian Forces for eight years.

Luc is the President and Director of the Quebec chapter of the National Aboriginal Veterans Association and the Quebec representative for the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador.

Luc advocates for Aboriginal Veterans and their families, especially those living in remote communities with little access to health and home care services. He maintains communication with his area Members of Parliament in pursuit of fair treatment of Aboriginal Veterans.

Biography: Dr. James Popplow Top of Page

Dr. Jim Popplow's 31 year background in military medical affairs includes a short-service commission as a maritime patrol radio-navigator and, after completing a BSc, BEd and MD at Queen's University, further service as a senior flight surgeon in the Canadian Forces Health Services.

His civilian medical experience includes the position of senior medical advisor in environmental health for the Manitoba Provincial Public Health Branch followed by a return to his present position as the aeromedical standards and clinical services flight surgeon in 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters, Winnipeg. Jim has experience with operational, occupational and environmental medical advice to address veteran's health concerns.

Biography: Jeff Rose-MartlandTop of Page

Jeff Rose-Martland is a writer and the founder of Our Duty Inc., an organization dedicated to promoting citizen responsibility and addressing issues faced by Canada's Veterans.

Despite having no ties to the military, police, or government, he was inspired to become involved and works tirelessly on behalf of Veterans.

Jeff has experience working on the frontline of a contact centre, and has authored a book and lectured on the subject. He is a skilled policy and implementation analyst and understands service delivery issues.

Biography: Dr. Heidi SveistrupTop of Page

Heidi Sveistrup is a professor and researcher in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa. She was a member of the Research Implementation Committee and a member of the first Board of Governors for the Canadian Institute of Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR). She continues her involvement with CIMVHR as a scientist.

Biography: Muriel WestmorelandTop of Page

Muriel Westmoreland is an occupational therapist and retired professor of Rehabilitation Science. Her clinical work and research focused on return-to-work issues for persons with disabilities.

She was a member of the Veterans Affairs Canada–Canadian Forces Advisory Council, and the Chair of the New Veterans Charter Advisory Group from 2007 to 2009.

Muriel's experience includes work with the Ontario Human Rights Commission related to workplace accommodation violations. She is active in her community where she currently sits on the Board of a community health centre and has been an advisor on rehabilitation and long-term care issues.