From the Offices of the Colonel Commandant, Branch Leader, and Branch Chief:
This is a friendly reminder that one of the key initiatives of the Branch Fund (which draws money from P070 donations) is the Distress Signal programme which aims to provide financial support to any Branch member in need. Remember this support system if ever you encounter a member who could use some help due to any circumstance – including the recent outbreak of the Corona Virus. The Branch Leadership assesses that the outbreak of COVID-19 – and the mitigation strategies in place – yield the potential to cause financial hardship and duress on some of our members above normal circumstances.
While the Branch Fund has limited capital, we will assess and prioritize all forms of requests for assistance with the intent to help as many Branch members as possible, and for as long as there are funds available.
The process for requesting money via the Distress Signal initiative is simple, and can all be done in as little as one day:
- 1st – Raise a request on behalf of the member and forward an e-mail to the Branch Adjutant (Major Blair Christie at [email protected]) and / or the Branch Chief (CWO Gilles Philibert at [email protected]). The e-mail need only the basics of verified information …
- The particulars of the member (rank, name, unit);
- The specifics of the request; and
- The contact details for both the requesting authority in the chain-of-command and the member in duress.
- 2nd – The Branch Adjutant and / or Chief formats and reviews the message, and submits it to the Colonel Commandant and Branch Advisor for deliberation.
- 3rd – If approved, the Branch Adjutant arranges a cheque or e-transfer. He will contact the member and the chain-of-command to advise once all is done. A message confirming receipt of the funds is required to close out the Distress Signal event.
In the Context of COVID-19, we envision this system as a ‘bridge benefit’ used to provide immediate relief to a soldier, sailor, or aviator while other – more lasting and substantial – emergency relief systems arrive. Examples scenarios include …
- there is a protracted time delay in receiving approved funding from other support initiatives, and there is a need for emergency relief until the supporting finances arrive;
- if all other programme options noted below – under the Federal Government or DND/CAF – have been exhausted; and / or
- the benefits noted below have concluded (e.g. the four-month CERB) and there is still a requirement for assistance.
We also wish to remind you that the Federal Government and DND/CAF have numerous support systems in place to provide financial support, including several specialized programmes to deal with issues related to COVID-19. Please apprise those in your chain-of-command of these benefits and resources, and help direct them to those in need of help during these unforeseen times. The following list is not exhaustive but is offered here as an example of some of these support programmes:
- Government of Canada:
- Canadian Forces Morale & Welfare Services (CFMWS):
- SISIP Financial:
- CAF Connections (Call 1.800.866.4546):
- Veterans’ Affairs Canada (VAC):
Trusted Information Source:
The link above will direct you to a media source operated by the CAF and Federal Government. The latest orders, directions, and SITREPs from the office of the CDS are contained within, but your respective chain-of-command will continue to provide specific direction and guidance as required.
Stay safe, take care of yourself, and engage the Branch Leadership should ever you encounter a member in need.
|BGen (Ret’d) Kevin O’Keefe
|MGen Francois Chagnon
|CWO Gilles Philibert