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Results: 1 - 15 of 34
View Bob Benzen Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Madam Chair, and to all of the witnesses for being here today.
Thank you to all our military personnel for your service to Canada.
Admiral Bernatchez, thinking about paragraph 98(c), it seems to me that we should maybe break it up into two parts. Part one would be pre-deployment and pre-battle, where someone who inflicts self-harm is charged with a criminal act because they're trying to avoid duty.
The second part would after deployment, after they have been in battle and seen the horror and the carnage of battle. They are now at a point where they are suffering a mental health issue. At that point, maybe they inflict self-harm. I don't think those two things are equivalent. One is trying to avoid duty and one now is a complication from being in battle.
Can you give your thoughts on how paragraph 98(c) maybe should be revised? How can we look at this differently?
View Bob Benzen Profile
CPC (AB)
That's excellent. I think that would be very, very helpful, making it very clear so that the stigma of a suicide, especially after battle....
There's a worry that people won't come forward for mental health help, and I think that, if we remove part of that stigma, which is that they're going to be charged with a criminal offence with very high penalties, they may be more likely to come forward and do that. So thank you for that answer.
Professor Rotunda, in the States, you talk about the military's having a category of self-harm without the intent of avoiding service. Is that used a lot in the United States? Is it working, and is it allowing more people to come forward and get mental health help?
View Bob Benzen Profile
CPC (AB)
No, I think you did. I think you enlightened us a little bit more and you're moving us in the right direction. Thank you.
View Bob Benzen Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Madam Chair, and to all of the witnesses for appearing today and for your valuable testimony.
Colonel Wright, we've heard some testimony, and we know that in past cases when a CAF member dies by suicide, the family has great difficulty in getting information from the military. In some cases, it takes years to find out some of the details of what happened.
Can you talk a bit about what the military can do to break down some of those barriers and shorten the time frame, so that these loved ones.... In a way, they're suffering mental health issues too, because they can't get this information. We're sort of compounding the problem, and making it worse. How could we help them get more information?
View Bob Benzen Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you.
The Canadian Forces ombudsman had a recommendation that the families meet with the commanding officer to discuss the events leading up to the events surrounding the suicide. Is that happening routinely now all of the time? Has that been implemented?
View Bob Benzen Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you.
In the Road to Mental Readiness there were 15 objectives, and one of them talked about suicide contagion and minimizing it, and the communication surrounding it so that it can be handled properly.
Could you talk a little bit about that concept of suicide contagion and what the leadership is doing to minimize that from happening?
View Bob Benzen Profile
CPC (AB)
Excellent. Thank you.
View Bob Benzen Profile
CPC (AB)
Mrs. Fynes, your opening remarks were very amazing. I thank you for them. It's touching, and I thank you for what you've done in terms of advocating for your son and for all the military members.
I'm interested in the journey that you've gone through in getting the information to learn what's happened to your son. As a parent, I know that I would want to know everything and that I would want to know every detail. I would want to know as soon as possible. I'm sure that all the other parents and families feel the same way. Can you talk a little bit about how the information...? Did you receive it easily? Was it difficult? Do you have all the information so far? What would you change in terms of getting all this information that you need?
View Bob Benzen Profile
CPC (AB)
No, it was a very good answer.
View Bob Benzen Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Chair.
Thank you to all the witnesses for appearing today. It's really appreciated.
Mr. Shimooka, you mentioned in your opening remarks that we have a new global era of competition, marked by increased modernization of the military and lots of new technical advances.
Can you give us some sense of what other militaries are doing in terms of this modernization and advancement and tell us if the Canadian military is keeping pace with that, and also how COVID-19 may be affecting our ability to do that?
View Bob Benzen Profile
CPC (AB)
You gave me some sense of what we need to do to modernize. I think you're saying we can't do everything, but we need to pick some niches, some areas.
You mentioned something about waiting until 2026 to get this air defence, and you talked a lot about technological advances and technological products that we're buying now but that aren't being delivered for six, seven, eight or 10 years. By the time we get them, they will already be out of date.
With COVID-19 we've learned that we have to be quick and nimble, and we have to change on the fly. Is there something from COVID-19 that we can take as a lesson to shorten the procurement time to get our products to us quicker?
View Bob Benzen Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank you to all the witnesses.
Professor Leuprecht, you said a lot of very interesting things in your opening comments, and I'd like to follow up on a few. Clearly, with the pandemic, and all our other military commitments overseas, dealing with forest fires and whatnot, there's a high demand for the Canadian military. Yet, it doesn't seem we have enough resources. You talked a bit about the government's need to increase defence spending from 1.3% to 2% of its budget.
Can you talk a bit about that?
View Bob Benzen Profile
CPC (AB)
That definitely means we should be doubling our spending, and going from $20 billion to $40 billion.
View Bob Benzen Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Chair.
Thank you, witnesses, for being here today and for your service to Canada.
The chief public health officer has said recently, in fact just yesterday, that our daily cases of COVID-19, which are around 5,000, are about to double to 10,000. They could double again to 20,000 and maybe skyrocket to 60,000 by the end of this year.
I wonder if that is consistent with the medical intelligence branch's modelling and predictions. Is that what you guys are also seeing happening?
View Bob Benzen Profile
CPC (AB)
As the medical intelligence unit collects its data from outside the country and it sees how COVID-19 might be mutating, for example, it brings that information back into Canada and shares it with Health Canada. Is that what you're saying?
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