For Immediate Release
August 12th, 2008


McTeague Welcomes Senate Committee Report on the Deplorable Medical and Financial Treatment of Wounded Canadian Armed Forces Soldiers and Reservists Upon return to Canada

OTTAWA – Dan McTeague, M.P., welcomed the report of the Senate National Security and Defence Committee on the sad reality that greets Canadian wounded soldiers and reservists upon return to Canada from Afghanistan. 

“The Senate report joins a growing list of observers who have already recognized the medical and financial tragedies that befall our returning wounded  soldiers and reservists who have so proudly served Canada in Afghanistan. Regrettably, the Conservative government remains oblivious to the inequality that still exists in the level of health care and financial assistance made available to wounded soldiers and reservists when they return home. There shouldn’t be any questions about the quality of assistance Canada’s wounded receive. In an ironic twist, the report points out that our soldiers may actually be getting better health care overseas than what they get in Canada. Moreover, while stating there are some good health care facilities in Canada, the report notes that the level of care is not uniform across the country.  The report further cites that the federal government has transferred the costs of looking after our soldiers to provincial and territorial governments.  It is pathetic for the federal government – one  so steadfast in having Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan in the first place – to abandon our wounded to various levels of health care.  The federal government should get past its bottom line mentality and make sure quality health care is provided to all of our wounded”, said McTeague.

“While the report states that the federal government and the Department of National Defence must provide appropriate funds for military care, or ensure that the provinces are able to do so, one questions why there is any debate about our wounded soldiers and reservists receiving a high standard of care wherever they are in Canada. If the provinces can’t provide that level of treatment, the federal government must step in and make sure that quality care is provided it. It is that simple”, added McTeague.

“I am pleased that the Senate report touched on the glaring disparity in financial compensation paid to wounded reservists in comparison to the benefits and pay received by regular members of our armed forces.  I have raised this matter on several occasions with the ministers of National Defence and Veterans Affairs and I believe that it is unconscionable that there would be any disparity or inequality in the pay and benefits provided. There must be equal and fair compensation provided to all of our soldiers irrespective if they are reservists or a regular Armed Forces members. A failure to provide equal compensation to both is unacceptable to Canadians who recognize that reservists and regular members face the same threats to their lives in Afghanistan. I continue to call upon the federal government to honour the commitment to our reservists and regular force members who are giving so much for Canada”, concluded McTeague.


-30-

For further information contact: Dan McTeague, M.P.
Constituency: 416-287-0110
Ottawa: 613-995-8082
 

 

© 2008 Dan McTeague. Reproduction without prior written consent is prohibited.