Head of wounded soldier support system abruptly resigns

A high-ranking soldier charged with taking care of the most severely mentally and physically wounded soldiers has abruptly resigned, ahead of a planned overhaul of the system.

See Full Article

Col. Gerry Blais, director of casualty support management, did something sources say is very rare in the military: he emailed his resignation and immediately left.

Part of his resignation letter states: "There is a great deal of change ahead and I do not feel that I am prepared to lead the unit into this new method of operation.”

The military is characterizing Blais’ departure as a retirement.

The Joint Personnel Support Units (JPSU) system Blais oversaw helps soldiers either heal and return to their units or prepare for medical release.

But JPSU has faced plenty of criticism. A 2013 military ombudsman report found inadequate levels of front-line staff, although Blais argued staffing was sufficient.

An internal review in 2015 said soldiers transferred into JPSUs were upset about losing the social support of their home combat units.

One soldier described being in the JPSU system as being placed in “social Siberia.”

Blais also faced criticism after asking wounded soldiers to sign a gag order that barred them from criticizing senior officers or disparaging JPSU online.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan confirmed earlier this month that a reorganization is about to begin.

Maj.-Gen. Derek Joyce, who has co-chaired the steering committee overseeing the issues at JPSU, said that Blais did "an absolutely outstanding job taking care of our ill and injured."

With files from CTV’s Mercedes Stephenson and The Canadian Press


Latest Canada & World News

  • Obama speaks with Turkey's president about ISIS fight

    World News CTV News
    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a rally in Gaziantep, Turkey, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016. (Yasin Bulbul, Presidential Press Service, Pool via AP) Source
  • Trial set for Red Deer woman accused of sexually assaulting four-year-old son [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    RED DEER, Alta. — A trial date has been set for a central Alberta woman accused of sexually assaulting her four-year-old son. The woman, who is 43, was arrested in June at a licensed daycare in Red Deer where she worked. Source
  • 2 charged with trying to bring guns into Disney World parks

    World News CTV News
    ORLANDO, Fla. -- Authorities in Florida say two guests who tried to carry guns into Walt Disney World theme parks have been charged with carrying a concealed firearm. The Orange County Sheriff's Office says 61-year-old Michael Langston of Louisiana was arrested at Epcot, and 23-year-old Baleigh Turner of Alabama was arrested at Disney's Animal Kingdom a short time later on Monday. Source
  • Attawapiskat without permanent mental health workers, months after suicide crisis

    Canada News CBC News
    Permanent mental health resources are still missing in Attawapiskat, Ont., six months after the remote James Bay reserve's chief and council declared a state of emergency over a surge of suicide attempts, according to the North East Local Health Integration Network. Source
  • Manitoba teen in fatal crash donates organs helping 45 people

    Canada News CBC News
    A Manitoba teen who died after being critically injured in a collision near Steinbach, Man. has helped 45 people through organ donation. Tyler Klassen, 16, lost control of his vehicle while passing a car on the gravel Hanover Road West on Oct. Source
  • Teacher's aide allegedly traded naked photos, had sex with daughter's underage friends

    World News Toronto Sun
    A suburban Detroit teacher’s aide allegedly seduced her daughter’s male friends with booze and oral sex, cops say. The boys were 15 at the time. Police say Bridget Caplin, 41, was caught by an online security service called We Tip, who reported an educator was having a sexual relationship with the underage boys. Source
  • No 'patient zero' in HIV epidemic, new research finds

    Canada News CBC News
    At the height of the AIDS epidemic sweeping across North America, a 1987 New York Post headline screamed: "The Man Who Gave Us AIDS." That man was Gaétan Dugas, a gay flight attendant from Quebec who had died of the disease three years earlier. Source
  • Accused Oklahoma cop killer could be dead

    World News Toronto Sun
    OKLAHOMA CITY — Authorities say the Oklahoma man who has been wanted since Sunday in a string of violent crimes, including the killings of two relatives, had a hit list purporting to target several more people. Michael Dale Vance Jr. Source
  • Liberals to introduce incentives to retrofit homes, rules for more net zero new homes

    Canada News CBC News
    The federal government wants existing homes to be more energy efficient and for developers to build more net zero homes. Very shortly the Liberal government is expected to introduce changes to the national building code that will require builders to include more net zero homes — buildings that produce as much energy as they use — in housing developments in the next 15 years. Source
  • Canadian flight attendant cleared as ‘Patient Zero’ in AIDS pandemic

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A new study has cleared Quebec flight attendant Gaetan Dugas as “Patient Zero” in North America’s AIDS pandemic. The study conclude the AIDS virus was lingering in North America long before HIV-positive Dugas touched down in New York City in 1979 and unwittingly spread the disease to partners, who spread it to others. Source