Respect Forum meetings bring together people from health and social services, all levels of government, universities, community organizations, and peer support organizations. Participants have the opportunity to talk about their organizations, the services they provide, the challenges they face, and their research and community engagement activities — paving the way to explore possibilities for collaboration. By-invitation-only Respect Forum meetings have been held semi-annually since the fall of 2016. With support from Veterans Affairs Canada’s Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund, the Respect Forum golds semi anual meetings in locations across Canada, from Victoire BC to Saint John’s NL. In addition we maintain an online directory of organizations dedicated to improve mental health and quality of life of veterans and emergency workers as well as their loved ones.
To create a network among organizations who support veterans, emergency responders, and their families in meeting the array of challenges, such as transition, mental health issues, and housing instability by promoting collaboration that improves the delivery of services.
In its fight against such phenomena as PTS and homelessness, Respect Forum activities are designed to promote collaborative approaches to service delivery, knowledge sharing, and knowledge development.
There is no membership in Respect Forum and all participants are the guests of the organizers. Each meeting requires an invitation.
Respect Forum meetings bring together people from health and social services, all levels of government, universities, community organizations, and peer support organizations. Participants have the opportunity to talk about their organizations, the services they provide, the challenges they face, and their research and community engagement activities—paving the way to explore possibilities for collaboration.
Lieutenant-General (Retired) Guy Thibault
Lieutenant-General Guy Thibault retired from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) on 8 August 2016 after 38 years of loyal and dedicated service to Canada, the CAF, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. He held a wide range of command and staff appointments within the Army, and at National levels. Upon promotion to Lieutenant-General in 2011, he served as the first Canadian Chairman of the Inter-American Defense Board (IADB) in Washington, DC. This international organization is an entity of the Organization of American States and is the oldest regional defence cooperation organization in the world.
Three projects have been, in part, an evolution from the RF in Montreal. These are:
The committee monitors and evaluates the functioning of the Respect Forums as it relates to:
a) The neutrality (non-advocacy) of the Respect Forums
b) The invitation of prospective participants and the disinvitation of disrespectful participants
c) The implementation of communications with disinvited participants if required
d) The selection of Respect Forum facilitators
e) The functioning of the Respect Forums and the respect for participants privacy
f) The promotion of valid collaborations
g) The Reporting to participants and Founding Members
h) The implementation of the Fundraising Prospectus
Twice per year, following the Respect Forum meetings, the committee is to be assembled by telephone to review Management’s assessment of performance for the past Respect Forums and the plans for future forums.
The number of vacancies will be determined every two years and the necessary criteria to fill those vacancies will be identified by conducting a review of the committee composition and its continued reflection of balanced representation as articulated in the Terms of Reference.
This policy may be amended at any time and from time to time by the Board after appropriate consultation.
The Respect Forum Management, Forum Facilitators and the Governance Committee in the commission of their decisions and duties will subscribe to and promote the following values and principles at the heart of all Respect Forums.
The Respect Forum Program was established to promote relationship building and collaboration. In the complex landscape of service delivery to those suffering from PTS and possibly homelessness, competition between providers exists. The Respect Forums do not play a role in facilitating competition between participants vying to be the resource of choice. Only through collaboration, where and when it can happen between stakeholders, will we as a community find and fill gaps and achieve our common mission.
The following three key principles will ensure that every participant will be offered continued participation:
The Respect Forum Governance Committee will review complaints from participants and/or reports of inappropriate behaviour provided by the Respect Forum Facilitators and will determine an appropriate course of action ranging from coaching a participant to disinviting a participant for behaviour deemed by a majority of members of the Respect Forum Governance Committee to be out of alignment with Respect Forum values.
The Respect Forum Management directs the nature and format of communications delivered to the public and any or all stakeholders by the facilitators.
Public Communications will be undertaken centrally by the Director of Communications and the Social Media coordinator.
Facilitators are only responsible for the preparation of the Respect Forum report using the model provided. Site specific forum reports will include a brief summary of the highlights of the meeting, information regarding any presentations that were provided and a snapshot of the participants small group workshops. Where permissible contact information of the participants will be provided in the report.
The Respect Forum Governance Committee will ensure that external reports are provided to the stakeholder participants following each Forum.
Following the Spring and Fall sessions a comprehensive national report including the survey results, developed by the executive of the Respect Forums will be provided on the Respect Forums website at https://respectcanada.org
Respect Forum representatives in the commission of their duties will subscribe to and promote the following code of conduct. The purpose of this code of conduct is to provide general principles of ethical conduct to guide Respect Forum staff, Co-ordinators and Facilitators in meeting their duties and commitment to the Respect Forum mission and values.
All Respect Forum Facilitators and Coordinators must:
Stephen (Steve) Gregory, MSM has led IsaiX Technologies Inc. since 1989, a firm specializing organizational development and technology for sales. In addition, he sits as a director on the boards of two TSX-listed public companies.
In 2006 he co-founded the “3rd Battery of Montreal Artillery,” a charity which supports cadets and veterans. In 2015 he co-founded The Respect Campaign, which facilitates a national networking initiative involving forums in more than 20 Canadian cities. This network promotes collaboration among stakeholders who support the mental health of our men and women in uniformed service. In various capacities, he has assisted in raising over $3 million for the families of our troops and various community outreach initiatives.
Steve and his team of dedicated volunteers, organized 325-km marches across Sicily in 2013 and 2018 in honour of those who fought and died on all sides during Operation Husky, the Allied campaign in Sicily in 1943. Three Op Husky documentaries are now broadcast in Italy and Canada, keeping alive the memory of the fallen and the history of the Allied campaign. In 2023, Steve and his team of Sicilian volunteers will open the Walk for Remembrance and Peace (Il percorso per il ricordo & la pace), a 325-km fully mapped walking trail with accompanying historical descriptions, from both the local Sicilian perspective and that of the Canadian soldiers during the summer of 1943.
Steve is the former Honorary Colonel of the 2nd Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery and has been presented with Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and commendations from the Minister of Veterans Affairs and the Commander of the Army for his work in support of our troops and veterans.
James Ostler served for 36 years in the Canadian Armed Forces as an officer in the Royal Canadian Dragoons, an Armour Regiment in the Canadian Army. He served operational tours in West Germany, Bosnia, Israel/Palestine and Egypt. He received his Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) for service in the pursuit of peace in the Middle East and a second MSM from the US Government. He retired from the CAF in March of 2017. Immediately following his release from the CAF, he joined the Commissionaires, Kingston & Region, as the Director of Business Development. He held this full-time position for five years. He then became an independent contractor with the Calian Corporation, providing simulation support to major Army training activities (part-time). He is a cancer survivor. He is married to Michelle. He is passionate about nature conservation, running, and assisting veterans with their successful transition to life after the CAF.
Drew Burgwin is retired after forty years in Emergency Health Services, beginning in Halifax, Nova Scotia, continuing through Calgary and, finally, British Columbia. He spent twenty years as an Advanced Care Paramedic followed by twenty years in management positions in quality improvement and education. He graduated from Royal Roads University with a Master’s in Leadership in 2000. He is currently the Western Region Coordinator for the Respect Forum, supporting facilitators in their efforts to conduct Respect Forum meetings in seven cities across western Canada.
Robert Thibeau, CD is former Canadian Army Captain and a proud Métis. He enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) at the rank of Private and began his military career in January 1972. His 38 years of service saw him serve with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and was a paratrooper with the Canadian Airborne Regiment. He has two operational deployments overseas, Cyprus in 1978 and Bosnia in 1997.
In 2002 after attaining the rank of Sergeant Major, he was commissioned to Captain where he began working with his indigenous culture within the CAF.
Robert is the National President for the Aboriginal Veterans Autochtone and works to improve Indigenous Veterans issues and ensure equality of benefits and treatments. In addition, upon release from the CAF in 2009 he created an Aboriginal company designed to conduct awareness training and Indigenous cultural training for Indigenous courses of the CAF. He has established a network of highly respected Elders and teachers, some of which are Veterans, and with these extraordinary people delivers a very comprehensive training program.
Gisèle Fontaine served just shy of 37 years in the Canadian Armed Forces. She started in the Reserves as a CELE Officer for almost 3 years, then transferred to the Regular Force as a Nursing Officer. She eventually became a Health Services Operations Officer (HSO), changing her focus from nursing to operational health services planning and executive management of health services, projects, and corporate programs.
She had the privilege of commanding the CAF medical and dental services schools and the CF Health Services Centre Ottawa – which included orchestrating it’s relocation to the Montfort Campus and operationalizing its new partnership with the Montfort Hospital.
Her deployments include short assistance visits to Mogadishu Somalia and Kandahar Afghanistan, and much later in her career, deployed as a Colonel to Kabul for a year.
There she led a multinational team advising on rebuilding the Afghan army and police medical and dental education system, for which the Meritorious Service Cross was awarded to her.
She was selected to be part of the special team to address Sexual Misconduct in the CAF, and helped create the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC) and effect CAF-wide policy changes.
She completed her career as the Chief of Staff to the CAF Surgeon General. She retired in February 2018, took a well needed pause, then worked as a senior consultant with DND assisting in the development of the CAF culture change strategy on sexual misconduct and the CAF
victim support strategy.
In 2020, the pandemic changed her path unexpectedly, bringing her back to nursing, assisting with COVID-19 screening and immunizations efforts, and later working as a care manager in the home care sphere.
She more recently joined the Respect Team as the Women’s Outreach Coordinator.
Gisèle is a Registered Nurse (RN) with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO), a Certified Health Executive with the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL), a member of The Order of St John, and a Fellow with the US-led Federal Health Care Executives Institute Alumni Association (FHCEIAA).
She stays connected to the military family by volunteering as the Vice President Nursing Sisters’ Association of Canada – Ottawa Branch, helping support our military nurse veterans, and by being a member of the Royal Canadian Medical Services Association.
She has a strong passion for service, and continues to contribute to the health and wellness of those in need, especially fellow veterans.