Former premier Robert Ghiz helping raise funds for veterans

Dave Stewart
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Allan Callard, right, a member of the Charlottetown Legion, recruited former premier Robert Ghiz earlier this year to lead fundraising efforts for a True Patriot Love Foundation dinner in November 2015.

Gabriel Mercier of North Rustico has gone from dealing with explosives to milking cows.

Mercier and his wife are making the transition from life in the military, having served all over the world, to owning and operating a dairy farm operation.

He credits the True Patriot Love (TPL) Foundation, a national organization, with making that transition a bit easier.

TPL is a charity that honours the sacrifices of members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans and their families in both times of peace and conflict.

It funds programs and research in areas of mental health, physical rehabilitation, family support and veteran transition.

“It helped us make the transition to civilian employment,’’ Mercier said. “It was a great experience...instead of just giving you money they help you to move on with your life.’’

TPL has had fundraising dinners in other cities across Canada to come up with money to run these programs.


Allan Callard, a member of the Charlottetown Legion, is trying to change that.

A tribute dinner will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at the P.E.I. Brewing Company on Kensington Road in Charlottetown.

Cavendish Farms has jumped on as the presenting sponsor with the aim of getting more corporate support.

They want to raise $50,000 for the foundation and invite veterans and their spouse or partner to the dinner at no personal cost to them.

This dinner has been held in other major cities before but never in P.E.I.

Callard said he needed a heavy hitter to drive the fundraising effort so he reached out to former P.E.I. premier Robert Ghiz, who accepted.

Businessman and Guardian columnist Campbell Webster is also helping out.

“I think Robert is fantastic for this because of his networking, all the people he knows and he’s well aware of the True Patriot Love Foundation,’’ Callard told The Guardian. “I think it’s something where his input is going to be absolutely phenomenal.’’

Callard added that it’s also about honouring and recognizing what those who have worn the uniform have done for their country - as well as those who held the fort back home.

Ghiz joked that he’s got a bit more free time these days but quickly turned serious about the task at hand.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for us to help veterans and their families in the province,’’ the former premier said. “We wouldn’t enjoy the freedom we do today if it wasn’t for them so I hope it’s going to be a fairly easy sell in terms of trying to help raise money for this worthwhile cause.’’

Money raised at the dinner will go to P.E.I. veterans and their families.


Organizations: P.E.I. Brewing Company, Canadian Armed Forces, True Patriot Love Foundation The Guardian

Geographic location: Charlottetown, P.E.I., Kensington Road Canada

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Recent comments

  • Jack Frost
    September 03, 2015 - 10:59

    Is Ghiz engaged as a lobbyist or volunteer? Either way, his reputation is somewhat tarnished, and his arrogance still fresh in peoples' minds. Wonder if this was suggested by people eager to restore his reputation as he awaits an appointment should Trudeau win the next election. Most people harbour neither respect nor love for the man, who is now to be paid a gold plated pension for his "service" .

  • Island Veteran
    September 03, 2015 - 07:22

    Excuse me April, but YOU read the article again, in particular the second paragraph! Veteran in need also has some interesting comments about Ghiz also.

    • April
      September 03, 2015 - 11:43

      @ Island Veteran You commented about Callard medals and that his medals didn't reflect his serving around the world. The second paragraph is about Gabriel Mercer of North Rustico serving around the world, not Callard who is pictured!

  • reality
    September 03, 2015 - 05:03

    just how stupid are these promoters ?? Ghiz has been a laughing stock and is widely hated on PEI

  • Veteran in need
    September 02, 2015 - 19:23

    I am a Veteran who was a provincial employee who had a unique problem because of PTSD that was undiagnosed until years later. They weren't prepared for this and didn't care. I tried all the way up the ladder to Premier Ghiz and he refused to see me. Sounds like he is socializing on the backs of Veterans especially inviting people at $150 a plate. Caution on this one people.

  • Island Veteran
    September 02, 2015 - 18:03

    This is an "over puffed" article! To start with if Callard served "all over the world" how come his medals do not reflect it. Second point, why is he wearing a Nfld "Crow's Nest" tie? The cause he and Ghiz are supporting is one that should be supported, but not by the likes of the present group.

    • April
      September 02, 2015 - 23:16

      @island veteran. Read the article again. The Callard man is not the person claiming to have served all over the world.

  • kim p.
    September 02, 2015 - 17:31

    I do think this helps you all. And, it is true.

  • Bill Meeker
    September 02, 2015 - 16:58

    Bill, every time you comment you prove you have no clue. All you want to do is complain and point to some imaginary conspiracy perpetrated on some group or another. Did you read this story before posting? The veterans who attend will not have to pay a dime. As to the $150.00 ticket price, what is the point of giving away the tickets free if the point is to raise money for the veteran's charity? The more money raised, the better off the veterans and the charity will be hence the high ticket price. It will help the vets.

  • Brutus
    September 02, 2015 - 16:56

    He should just donate some money with the fortune he made from PNP looks like Ghiz is trying to be a hero all of a sudden. Islanders don't be fooled by this headline worst premier ever in history of PEI

  • Not done with us yet
    September 02, 2015 - 16:12

    Why can't this guy just go away. I know if I left the province in the state he did I'd never show my face here again. Now he's back pretending to be some kind of caring least Wes has the sense to lay low. Give your head a shake Robert and go away.

  • Karl Proude
    September 02, 2015 - 15:05

    Maybe a very good cause, however I like many Islanders, am sure would loose their appetites if they had to eat a meal in the same room as Robert Ghiz. Sounds harsh maybe, but let's print how many other harsh comments you receive about this man.

  • Veteran in PEI
    September 02, 2015 - 15:00

    As a veteran (aged 70+) the first question I'd ask is "How much is Ghiz gonna try to skim?" Then I'd ask ... Wasn't the PNP enough for him?

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    September 02, 2015 - 14:23

    The goals are great, but I put it to you that at $150. per plate, only the PNP recipients will be able to afford to attend. Many (most) veterans are among the very poor. So obviously the fund raising dinner will only be for the professional, the political class, and above. So in effect, the poor veterans are begging from the very wealthy. What is wrong with this picture, this concept? Why are our fighters, our warriors, being treated so badly?

  • OH MY
    September 02, 2015 - 14:21