Let’s Not Overlook the Needs of Suffering Veterans

Ottawa - February 7, 2013

Yesterday, the Minister of Veterans Affairs released the report of the independent Scientific Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Health, which was formed to review and assess the information available on the health effects and potential exposure of Canadian Forces (CF) personnel to depleted uranium (DU).

My first impression is that the review has been conducted thoroughly and objectively. As some of you may know, the Committee has concluded that it is unlikely that Canadian Forces members have been exposed to levels of depleted uranium that could be harmful to their health. However, the committee has also acknowledged that “there are many Veterans suffering from persistent symptoms following deployment or military conflict which, although not linked to specific exposures such as DU, can cause considerable suffering.” 

Annex F of the report, Chronic Symptom-based Illnesses Following Wars, starts with the sentence: “A condition frequently reported after military conflicts is characterized by persistent symptoms for which physical examination and laboratory testing is often unrevealing.” The acknowledgement that some Veterans are suffering from symptoms that science cannot currently explain is important.

What must not be forgotten here is that many CF members go on mission healthy but return from duty ill for unknown reasons. That is a fact that must be acknowledged by Veterans Affairs Canada. The needs of these suffering Veterans must be addressed even if science cannot explain the cause of their symptoms. 


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13036 Laking RT said:

Friends have given money to contribute to a fund of my husband's choice in his memory. There are so many of them, worthy and well-publicised that I feel the need for a moore educated eveluation. Throughout his life, in and out of the service he kept up a family tradition of 'paying forward', helping people caught between a rock and a hard place. No one of them ever forgot, nor did their friends. Where to best accomplish this with their gifts and my own? Friends in Alberta went to "True Patriot Love", it seems to support other funds rather than individuals?

February 28, 2013 5:05 PM

Gord5467 said:

“Life-sustaining drug denied by Veterans Affairs Canada, Blue Cross saved my life”

February 15, 2013 9:20 PM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman

Please call the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman at 1-877-330-4343 (toll free number) to discuss your case.

February 22, 2013 4:41 PM

Claude said:

Un evaluation totale de l'etat de sante devrait etre pris en consideration. Non seulement pour les conditions pensionnees mais tout les autre maladies dont le veteran souffre.

February 14, 2013 1:34 PM

Harmonie said:

Est ce que cela veux dire que les vétérans qui ce retrouve très malade depuis 1990,1991 après avoir servis au Gulf,certain invalide, vont être pris en considération et finalement reconnus invalide,non pas juste par les rente, la CSST mais aussi reconnue invalide par Anciens Combattants Canada ????

February 14, 2013 9:25 AM

concerned said:

I am increasingly concerned that we are not supporting our veterans with the financial and emotional supports they and their families need in their last decades of life. Thanks Guy for pointing these things out. Is there a link to the financial cuts they have endured in the last decade?

February 13, 2013 11:56 AM

Office of the Veterans Ombudsman

Thank you for your comment. There is no specific link that you can access to see how each successive federal budget has impacted programs and services for ill and injured Veterans and serving members of the Canadian Forces and the RCMP. The Veterans Ombudsman has detailed the priorities of his Office to ensure the fair treatment of current and former members of the Canadian Forces and the RCMP in his annual report, which you may find useful http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/reports-rapports/annual-annuel-2011-2012-eng.cfm.

February 20, 2013 9:39 AM