Letters: DND cuts disappoint

Cuts made to those who are vulnerable and mentally ill distress Legion

At the same time that the Deptartment of National Defense (DND) has admitted that the numbers of suicide incidents in the Canadian Forces have risen, how is it possible that the department is eliminating the jobs of medical professionals involved in suicide prevention and monitoring of post-traumatic stress disorders? They are actually reducing the number of epidemiologists and researchers who analyze mental health issues.

This government has previously asserted that dealing with such health issues is a priority. How can the government announce on the one hand that it appreciates the sacrifices made by our veterans and then turn around and cut the services and research efforts needed to treat those same men and women, at a time when they need it most?

The Legion is extremely concerned with this move, especially with the increase of suicide incidents in the Canadian Forces. The full extent of the cases of mental illness, arising from the heavy operational tempo in the Balkans and Afghanistan, has not likely been felt yet.

The government and Canadians have sent these men and women to deploy and serve in these missions abroad and therefore have a moral obligation to ensure they are properly cared for once they return. The announced cuts give the government a failing grade. Without operational research in this area, Canada will be forced to resort to reactive treatment while abandoning the proactive education and prevention of mental illness to our troops.

It is unacceptable that these cuts been made on the backs of our most vulnerable and mentally ill soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen. There is no better way to demonstrate their commitment to support the men and women who serve their country then by not making these cuts.

Patricia (Pat) Varga Dominion President Royal Canadian Legion

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP arrest man in stolen vehicle, seize handgun

Vehicle was reported stolen from Duncan on July 18

The Trading Post in Langford is up for sale

For sale sign and retirement sign spotted Tuesday

Premier John Horgan hints at daylight saving changes after record-breaking survey response

B.C.’s largest public consultation saw more than 220,000 residents respond to time change survey

Victoria Police issue warning after man left dangling from raised Johnson Street Bridge

A man bypassed safety measures and became stranded as the bridge lifted

A sunny day ahead for Tuesday

Plus a look ahead at your week

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Weather Network’s anti-meat video ‘doesn’t reflect true story’: cattle ranchers

At issue is the video’s suggestion that cutting back on meat consumption could help save the planet

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Wrestling legend finds his wedding dance groove in B.C.

Professional wrestler Chris Jericho posted on social media that he was in Penticton recently

Coroner investigating after body recovered from Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Overdoses overwhelming in B.C. Interior

Part two: Who’s affected by the current opioid crisis

Kelowna cab driver charged with sexual assault

RCMP received a report May 28 alleging a taxi passenger had been sexually assaulted by a cab driver

Tubing world record broken on Vancouver Island

But record for length of tubes linked together still has to be confirmed

Most Read