NDP Defense Critic Jack Harris: the Petawawa mental health system is broken

Question Period: May 3, 2012

by Jack Harris on Friday, May 4, 2012 at 7:42am ·

Mr. Jack Harris (St. John’s East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, I wish the Conservatives cared more about the mental health of Canadian Forces than about covering their tracks on the F-35s.

A report on mental health services at the base in Petawawa described the situation as a crisis. It says: “They should not have to fight for services or wait in the desert of their minds hoping help will come soon”. The situation will only get worse when the government closes a mental health facility on July 1 and cuts other front line mental health workers.

Will the government reverse this plan and give our forces members the help that they need and deserve?

Mr. Jack Harris (St. John’s East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the report states that the Petawawa mental health system is broken, struggling to provide even basic care, with people waiting four months just to see a medical professional. I quote:

“Our soldiers who fought for the freedom of children, mothers, fathers, grandchildren, and all others in faraway countries are worthy of quality mental health services.”

However, the situation is not unique to Petawawa. After a year in which suicides of Canadian Forces members nearly doubled from the previous year, and with so many suffering from PTSD, how can the government cut Canadian Forces mental health services with so many men and women requiring this assistance?



1 Comment

Filed under Canadian Politics, Community Rights, Human Rights, International Politics, Political Accountability, Security Issues

One response to “NDP Defense Critic Jack Harris: the Petawawa mental health system is broken

  1. Dick Hartnett

    Comments are correct in that CF could not less about their soldiers. I became so discussed with the handling of my file I returned the medals I earned over my career of 34 plus years. My case was a seriously flawed harassment charge that has almost destroyed my life. Working for the CF Pers Support Agency they accepted at first blush that those charges were legit as they filed by one of their own HR Mgrs (CFB Gagetown). There should have been a Situational Assessment to determine if the charges were real. There were about 50 charges from a very troubled HR Mgr none of which were founded. Yet this CF Agency saw fit to shove me under the back of the bus. Their lawyer was disbarred by the Upper Law Society of Canada and the entire agency knew this. She had destroyed a number of other good people. They lost their means to support their lives and their families. I fought my case and hired a lawyer. I requested to meet with various Srn Mgrs within the agency as well as the CEO, the Chief of Military Personnel and the Chief of Defence Staff. Not of them would meet to discuss my situation. In fact in my letter to the CEO I sated he could have his staff attend and if I could not convince him I screwed over then I would walk away from the this matter for once and for all. Still I was not granted an audience.
    So what I have learned from all this is why people kill. There are members of the CFPSA HQ who know my 34 yrs work in uniform and know it well. I served hard and in an honest fashion. I was awarded praise on a number occasions for my work including the MMM, the first CF Coach of the Year award and became a Grand Knight within CISM organization. So my number one question “why did no one stand up for me” ?

    Shortly after the charges against myself this same troubled employee laid similar charges against two other Snr Dir who worked with me at CFB Gagetown. Yet the red flag never went up. One was dating her and broke things off, then bam .

    Here are a few things that I maintain went south of border with my file. I was called to a meeting with my boss and told I was a respondent on the 19th of Dec 2002. I asked what I was charged with ie. what are the charges? He told I would receive the charges in a few days. I waited more than 3 months (24 March 2003) for those charges. This was pure torture, nothing less. When I did receive the charges they were dated 21 Jan 2003. This tells me they had only here-say up to that point. So the question who and how was the SA done. This HR Mgr taped our telephone conversations over a number of months. I did not become aware of this until I read the final report. I mean how was I to defend myself if a portion of the evidence against was made known to me.
    Ect, etc, etc.

    I was able to get the Military Ombudsman was involved. I finally received a letter yesterday (this took forever) where they recommend this CF Agency forward me a letter of apology.

    At any rate I will never recover from this and feel as though I was left wounded on the battlefield.

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