Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Another drama in the Canadian Forces

A young soldier who had served in Afghanistan and who, upon his return to Nova Scotia, was suffering  from PTSD just killed his mother, his 31year old wife and his 10 year old daughter and then took his own life. This event once again brings to the forefront the question of the adequacy of the support offered by the Canadian Forces to those soldiers who acted under stressful conditions. What a sad event.


  1. You are right. It is infinite sadness. As a veteran myself, it touches me. My thoughts are with them.

    Now from a legal standpoint, I understand from the press that the individual is a veteran and no more a service member. That means that it would not be a CAF Board of Inquiry (BOI) but likely an inquiry conducted under the Fatality Investigations Act, SNS 2001, c 31 provincial legal regime. Although such a provincial inquiry is not legally binding - even more so as it pertains to federal departments, its recommendations are usually followed.

    Still according to the press, his aunt reports the individual sought help but did not properly receive it. That a claim that undoubtedly the inquiry will investigate.

    We will see if the inquiry would reveal a systemic problem in the CAF or Veteran Affairs Canada (VAC) that increases the risk of such tragic events. For the moment, I think it's too soon to draw any inference.

    1. Here is an extract from an article of Lee Berthiaume of the Canadian Press, reported yesterday in The Time Colonist (Victoria,BC) on the systemic issues raised by this tragic events:

      OTTAWA - Canada's military watchdog urged the federal government Wednesday to do more for soldiers forced out of the Canadian Forces for medical reasons after an Afghan war veteran and three family members were found shot dead in Nova Scotia.

      Ombudsman Gary Walbourne wants Ottawa to ensure injured military personnel have all the necessary benefits and supports in place before they are forced to turn in their uniforms — recommendations he made back in the fall.

      "There should be no member of the Canadian Armed Forces released until all benefits and services are in place," Walbourne said in an interview.

      "That means pension, back benefits, health care. If we had had that type of a stance, I wonder what the outcome would have been.

      "Would it have been different? We're speculating; we don't know. But there is opportunity in the system. Somebody's got to make some decisions."


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