Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Hello, everyone. I am pleased to be meeting you today.
Colonel Maurais, I too was very impressed by what you said. In today's secular society, we rarely talk about the spiritual aspect and the need for all individuals to believe or not believe. I liked what you said about also serving non-believers. I myself served in the army, where I met other young people who did not believe in anything in particular, but what we did all believe in was loving and serving our country, and I think that is fantastic. Thank you so much for what you are doing.
By the by, I just want to mention that the chaplain of the 6th Field Artillery Regiment is a great chaplain.
Ms. McIntyre, I sat on the committee in 2015 and 2016. Even back then, we were already studying all the obstacles that Canadian Armed Forces members face in transitioning to civilian life. Both the national defence ombudsman and the veterans ombudsman told us it was time to take action and stop carrying out studies on this issue.
Given all your years of experience in this field, Ms. McIntyre, why do you think we are still having trouble eliminating transition barriers? We can assume it is not merely, or necessarily, a question of public policy or money. If that is indeed the case, and it is not a question of public policy, money, or respect, what is it? What is still blocking the way today? Why can't we ensure a harmonious transition?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
In your work, do you think that the current or former governments, whichever, and senior officials are communicating or have communicated with you as an expert, to seek your advice on how to improve the transition? Have you been asked to share your thoughts?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Ms. McIntyre, I have another question for you.
In the United States, unless I am mistaken, the burden of proof is reversed. If someone has a psychological or physical problem, it's up to the U.S. government to prove that it is not real.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Does it work the opposite way in Canada? Is it the soldier who has to prove to the state that he or she has a problem?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Yes. Is it up to the soldier to prove that he or she is injured or sick?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
It seems to me that I've read more than once that in the United States, the burden of proof is completely reversed. What are your thoughts on that?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I have 20 seconds left.
Colonel, the table at the end of your brief says that a distressed person believes life has no meaning or purpose. I do not quite agree with that. The philosophers Camus, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche said life has no meaning, yet they had a very positive world view. It's possible to believe that life has no meaning and still be happy. I just wanted to make that comment.
Many thanks to you all.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair, for giving me the floor.
I want to welcome Ms. Heber and Ms. Rolland-Harris and thank them for being here today.
My first question was provided by the person I'm replacing today, Cathy Wagantall, a very honourable woman.
Many veterans have repeatedly told us that a number of their brothers in arms committed suicide after taking mefloquine, an antimalarial drug. One of the veterans who wrote to my colleague, Ms. Wagantall, told us that he personally knew 11 veterans who committed suicide and that all 11 of them had taken mefloquine.
In the 21 years covered and of the 239 suicides recorded, how many of the brave men and women had been in malaria zones?
Do you have this information?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
In other words, you don't know how many of the 239 people took this drug.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay. I understand.
Ms. Heber, at the Department of Veterans Affairs, could we obtain an answer by making an access to information request or by simply asking the minister?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Of the 239 veterans who completed suicide, as the words have to be said, how many of them would have taken the medication mefloquine? Can we find this type of information through ATIP or through a question during question period?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Perfect. Thank you for that insight into National Defence.
A year ago, when I was on this committee as the Veterans Affairs critic, on May 9, 2016, I filed an Order Paper question. For the region of Quebec City, I asked what percentage of persons had financial prestations for each physical and mental illness—for example, knees, hearing, and so on.
Interestingly, for one year, 2015-16, in the Quebec region, 8% of the claims for money concerned post-traumatic syndromes, 2% deep depression, 1% anxiety, 1% lack of sleep, and 1% alcohol and drug abuse. Overall, almost 13% of the claims for money were put forward by people suffering from mental health issues that we could probably sometimes connect to suicide.
Of the 15 members, or sorry, I think it's 14, who committed suicide in 2015, how many of them were in the process of claiming?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
We're talking about financial benefits here.
I forgot the word in English, but how many of those 14 veterans were on prestations financières or asking for one, or filling out some papers?
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