Photo: Left to right, the Legion’s Saskatchewan Commander Carol Pederson, TryCycle Founder John MacBeth, Governor General Mary Simon, His Excellency Whit Fraser., C.C.

The founder of TryCycle Data Systems, invited guests, and distinguished members of Canada’s military and veteran groups, had the privilege of meeting the Governor General of Canada at Government House in Regina, Saskatchewan.

“It was a great honour to be among a group of highly skilled, dedicated service men and women; people who put their lives on the line for our country. Then, to shake the hand of Her Excellency, the Honourable Mary Simon, a woman who’s such an outstanding role model, was amazing,” said TryCycle’s Founder John MacBeth.

The momentous occasion took place at the residence of Saskatchewan’s Lieutenant Governor Russ Merasty. It marked the Governor General of Canada’s inaugural official visit to the province of Saskatchewan on April 22, 2024, a day that many will remember as their first time seeing Governor General Simon in person.

At the event, MacBeth connected with members of the Canadian Air Force, Army, Navy, RCMP, members of the Snowbirds from 15 Wing Moose Jaw of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Legion President Saskatchewan Commander Carol Pederson.

“The Royal Canadian Legion is extremely grateful to the Government of Saskatchewan and Canada for their generous assistance through the Veterans Service Club Support Program as well as TryCycle Data for creating The Burns Way,” Pederson said.

The app will allow veterans to communicate with peer advocates who are trained to listen and provide guidance and support. Those with serious needs will be steered toward professional care, says TryCyle.

“The benefits of peer-to-peer support in your mobile device will greatly benefit those who have been shut in because of post-traumatic stress and other complications facing veterans when they return home. We know mental health plays a huge role in living healthy lives, and this has been something many veterans struggle with. We hope the Burn’s Way will help them address those challenges,” said Pederson.

Joyce Burns, the widow of the late Earl Burns, was also in attendance. Earl Burns served with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry; a Canadian Army regiment headquartered in Western Canada. He died fending off an attacker on September 4, 2022, in the James Smith Cree Nation stabbing massacre, saving his wife, grandchildren and others in the community.

MacBeth says Earl Burn’s heroic story inspired the app’s name. The namesake speaks to the company’s goal of bringing together all veterans, Indigenous, non-Indigenous, and minorities, regardless of race or disability. He says the app aims to improve veterans’ mental health and puts them in control of their wellness journey.

“We are committed to improving the lives of those who served our country at home and around the world in the name of freedom and democracy. The Burns Way is a tangible resource for veterans that will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for those in need,” MacBeth said.

The Burns Way is a non-profit entity. TryCycle says it is designed to be “a judgment-free space where veterans can feel valued and openly discuss their issues.” Discussions are deleted automatically and are never recorded or collected.

The app will create new jobs for veterans as peer-support advocates. Once funded, The Burns Way will initially hire up to 250 peer advocates and has plans to expand.

The Burns Way is supported by the Royal Canadian Legion, the Saskatchewan First Nations Veterans Association, the Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones, and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations.