Canada to build new military support centres

Services will range from medical support to career counselling


 

The Canadian government will build a series of support centres at military bases across the country, Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced at CFB Trenton on Friday. Five new centres where military personnel and their families can receive a range of services from medical support to employment counselling will be opened in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec. Currently, nineteen such centres operate across the country. The government will spend $6.9-million in infrastructure costs over three years and $4-million in annual operating costs, with the aim that the centres will be open in two years. “By consolidating and coordinating these many services, we have taken a giant step forward in improving the care that our Canadian Forces receive and deserve,” said MacKay. MacKay also acknowledged the trauma suffered by personnel at CFB Trenton following the crimes committed by former colonel Russell Williams.

CBC News


 
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Canada to build new military support centres

  1. Why not!? It's much more important than injecting money into health care to better treat our cancer patients….

  2. This is so useless and pointless. I can't believe we elected such a government.
    What possible use do we have for "military support" centers, billions of dollars in fighter jets, etc?
    Canada is supposed to be a peacekeeping nation, and WAS respected as such until this conservative
    government took power. It's just sad the current state we're in.

    • So useless and pointless? Tell that to the military members and their families these centers will benefit. At least Harper's government is doing something to help military members who suffer from injuries due to their commitments in international operations. Chretian's government totally turned the cold shoulder to any problems troops suffered in our "peacekeeping" operations, for example the Mudak Pocket. That was totally unacceptable.

      Peacekeeping still means spending money on the military, supporting the troops, effective training. Peacekeeping IS NOT A MEANS TO CHEAP OUT ON THE MILITARY like previous governments. Any politician that sends troops into an operation has the obligation to see that they are properly equipped, trained and supported once they come home.

      So is it so useless and pointless? I think not

    • You have to establish peace before you can keep it. Remember Rwanda and other places? Is that what you mean by peace keeping? Just watching and doing nothing while people are slaughtered? That was one of the lowest history of Canadian Military, it even haunts and push many to depression for having their hands tied. That kind of idealism makes one pukes.

      • It takes some real moxie to put yourself , physically, between killers and their victims. Not many soldiers willing to do that, even if they are armed. You need saints.

        Now shooting scumbags, that's something else.

    • up your's a-hole

  3. Jails and Military Support Centers. Welcome to the New World Order.

  4. Canada is a peacekeeping nation but world is not. We have a huge land mass but nothing to protect this nation. We cannot afford to have presence in everywhere we need fast jets to reach places in time to protect people and land

    • Yes, because all them terrorists want to colonize our wonderful tundras up there, take over our igloos and steal all of our maple syrup. Come on, get real. We have a huge land mass and what, 5% of that is actually habitable? If Russia or america wanted to take our oil fields, do you really think a couple of puny fighter jets will help us? Clearly you've bought into some conservative propaganda.
      If we really wanted to "protect the people and the land" as you say, we should be spending on healthcare and infrastructure, not on jets and military installations that serve no purpose.

    • Since it's so big, having a second engine in the suckers might have been a good idea, too.
      It's some distance between runways. That one flames out and they WON'T be up there all day.

  5. The Conservative Feds in those provinces just got out of Employment Programing under the LMDA transfer agreements. It cost millions in transferring staff to the province and was done to make employment programs provincially run and eliminated duplication of services. Now they are going to spend millions getting back into an area that is already available to ALL unemployed Canadians at no charge. What a waste of money!!

  6. Don't forget that under the Harper government, our stance in Afghanistan was changed from peacekeeping to combative. That's where the real issue of young canadian coming home in body bags is, not whether or not they have the right equipment. How many thousands of americans have died in the middle east, and yet they are one of the best equipped and trained militaries in the world?
    And besides, we shouldn't be cleaning up after America's mess in the first place. They go and "liberate" Afghanistan, and grant them a false democracy, and leave. We are left to deal with the post-war anarchy. Good deal for America.

    • You are blinded by your ideology. It was during the Liberal's that Canadian Military was sent to Afghanistan for combat not peace. There was no peace to keep, it was war and still is. You should read more and take your blinders off.

      • They were sent out to reconstruct a country devastated by 30 years of war. That's what Canadians wanted done.

        The notion of one last little bit of military deconstruction being necessary occurred after they arrived. That demolition exercise has lasted for the past 7 years. Rebuilding Afghanistan may still be in the running but we'll need to buy some new tanks, or another couple of C-17's, first.

        Genertal Rick wanted blood, the boys wanted some bang-bang and the Tories were delighted to be 'fighting' overseas, as well as at home. It gave them an excuse to 'have to' spend some money they didn't have and wouldn't have spent on anything else – and forget about all that ballyhoo of balancing a budget..

        • Talking is so easy and cheap when we are safe in front of our computers. Do you honestly believe that our military should just standstill to be peacefully/blissfully target boards? Haven't you heard that constructions in Afghanistan needs security as they and their works are targets too? The Taliban does not want progress in Afghanistan as it will defeat their purpose of subduing the population for their own purpose. Afterall for religious zealots, progress as happiness is considered evil.

          • Ariadne you seem to be laboring under the delusion that using a gun to help people is a positive thing for both parties. It ain't necessarily, or usually, so. In like fashion I've known some religious zealots and they were very happy people, progress didn't seem to bother them whether they were involved in it, or not. I've known some irreligious people who weren't happy, or progressive and would give you 'the willies'.

            How can you 'subdue a population' that elected you the last independent government of a country? The Taliban may have some negative views on dope addiction and dirty dancing but we spend billions trying to stop one of those 'evils' too, don't we? They may demol;ish 'heritage they don't like, that upsets us. We demolish their homes that we don't like (sitting empty) and we expect them to be grateful? They were the folk who brought peace back to Afghanistan after a nasty civil war. They are, in some cases, considered 'heroes'. They want us and our pals to leave. They want their country back, to make of it what they (collectively) will.

            Afghanistan isn't Canada. Maybe sometime soon, some of those Afghans who lived here, with all our enlightenment, can go home and share the good news. I hope they won't need field artillery, or tactical bombers to 'help' . For the time being, however, I don't think many Afghans are listening to our advice, or heeding it – a gun has such an off-putting effect.

          • It is one thing to disagree with the decisions made by our leaders but to punish the military for doing what they are commanded to do is something else. Had I been given a say, I would have said not to continue the mission in Afghanistan, let its own people work it out. As they are already there at the behest of our country, then we damn well better support them. That is the very lest we can do for placing their lives on the line.

          • If it's a choice between supporting our military in an unjust war, or not, I won't be supporting the military, or any government that pursues this course..

          • My reason for not supporting the continued mission is different from yours. Fo me, if Afghan people wanted democracy badly they have to reach for it themselves like Tunisia or Egypt. Freedom and Democracy will mean more to its citizenry if they fought for it themselves than have it handed to them. As for the military, they go where our government tells them to do. Unjust war? Shouldn't you tell that to Islamist Psychotics? This war is sanctioned by UN which by the way is comprised of many Muslim nations. You get confused with Iraq and Afghanistan. We did not go to Iraq, we went were UN pointed us where to go.

        • Actually Popsiq, Mr. Chretien sent our troops to help the Americans rid Afghanistan of al qaeda and Osama bin laden.

          • This isn't about Canadian SF units embedded with the US invasion forces at the outset. That was the extent of 'Canada vs AQ': it was hush-hush and 'unofficial' for they were there before the war was declared. Since then it's been Canada vs the Taliban, or somebody we think look a lot like them.

            If you'll check all the blather at the time of the 'official' deployment was about 'reconstructing a new Afghanistan'. The need for security was perceived only after the troops initially set up around Bagram and Kabul. Had there been an indication of 'killing scumbags', it would have been unlikely the Libs would have gone along.

            At the same time the Americans were applying a 'positive mental attitude' to turn 'a victory over AQ' in the south, into a shooting war with the Pashtun. It wasn't long before Canada was called to their aid, around Kandahar and Panjwai – we've been fighting 'evil' (not AQ) there ever since.

            As far as safely sitting at a keyboard while our military gets shot at for trying to help. I'd say I deeply regret that they had to go round the other side of the world for that. Or to help the most powerful military on earth try to dominate some goatherds. Don't tell us, if the situation was reversed and the Afghans were over here kicking in your doors, that you'd leave the 12 guage in the closet and just let them 'help you' all they wanted. I don't know about you but I don't think I'd be working on the computer either.

            As it is, I think we (Canadians) are dead wrong – worse than the Americans – at least they had a smoking hole some Yemenis and Saudis put in Manhattan to point at. We've been killing Afghans and wrecking the place, more so this past summer than ever, for no reason at all. And that might be a part of the difficulty some of our soldiers have to work their way through.

  7. Derek

    So useless and pointless? Tell that to the military members and their families these centers will benefit. At least Harper's government is doing something to help military members who suffer from injuries due to their commitments in international operations. Chretian's government totally turned the cold shoulder to any problems troops suffered in our "peacekeeping" operations, for example the Mudak Pocket. That was totally unacceptable.

    Peacekeeping still means spending money on the military, supporting the troops, effective training. Peacekeeping IS NOT A MEANS TO CHEAP OUT ON THE MILITARY like previous governments. Any politician that sends troops into an operation has the obligation to see that they are properly equipped, trained and supported once they come home.

    So is it so useless and pointless? I think not

  8. With the nightmares they have been facing in those hell holes, it is even more important to have support and help when they get back. We at least owe them the help we could give them so they could function back in society and enjoy their family after the sacrifices they have done in the name of our country. It should have been done a long time ago.

  9. This is an excellent idea, setting up a "one stop shop" right on the base. With all the cases of PTSD being identified it is important to get help and having counselling available right next door should make a big difference. This could lead to support groups where soldiers and their families can share their experiences and learn how to cope from each other and save money in the long run. Can't imagin doing a tour of duty in a place where you really don't know who the enemy is half the time. Good on MacKay for looking after the troops.

  10. That makes a total of 24 centres now. But why the need for 5 more at this stage of the game – 7 years after the deployment for action in Afghanistan and long after the glut of those retiring from service? If there was a real need for this, why was it either unnoticed, or ignored, until combat operations were being wound down?

    If this is representative of the kind of 'support' veterans in need can expect, welcome to the needy veterans' world – a day late and a dollar short. As in times past, there is NOTHING sadder than a sick soldier.

    • Well Popsiq, you are right. The medical services should definitely been in place long before this. The employment counselling will be needed more than ever now as combat operations wind down. Foot solders are not exactly trained to do a lot of jobs that are in high demand or pay particularly well.

    • Well, look how the Veterans Ombudsman was treated by this government. MacKay has some nerve at this point. And how many times is he going to announce help and not deliver it. Shame on him. This has more to do with an election than concern for the troops.

      • Popsiq, you are so right. 'Thumbs up' for your comment. Mackay, Minister of Defense, is just going through the motions. It is the responsiblity of DND to provide the medical / support for our soldiers and they are constantly cutting back. They don't even respond to a mother writing a letter.

        Fact: Reservists volunteering for the mission are not adequately trained for what they have to do. They sign up for one thing only to get there and end up doing foot patrols within a week of arrival. Enormous stress from the start – to the very end.

        'Decompression' in Cyprus and back in Canada is a 'joke.'

  11. Not all military support centers are effective. As a member of the military family, I would rather the government force DND to provide more / adequate counselling for returning veterans. The military social workers that I have encountered can be simply described as 'substandard.'

    • I am curious, do military families get counseling also? Pardon my ignorance, as returning military personnels might probably be sensitive to sudden and rush movements from people around them, would that create problems with how they cope with their family especially with children? And also, as the nightmares they faced there may affect their behaviours and interactions with others, will that spell out trouble to their families also? Shouldn't counselling extend to families as well?

      • Up till a couple of years ago, military family members were provided with an 800 number to call which activated an automatic voice system to determine where you were calling from. At that juncture, you are 'connected' with a social worker in your area that will either make an appointment with you in person or via a telephone call. To make a long story short – they let you babble for twenty minutes then ask you, "So how does that make you feel?"

        That is the 'positive' side of what DND provides. If you are a returning veteran, you get a 'personal' call from a 'substandard' military social worker, providing you with phone numbers to call 'whenever you need help.'

        Seriously.

        Try not to LOL. Three years later, I can still manage up a 'snort.'

        • It sound more like a self serve, or a bouncing board. I hope you do not have to punch so many numbers before reaching a real person at the end of the phone line. The frustrations of getting help alone, will drive anyone to drink. It might be more cathartic in going back to the battlefield than asking help on that end.

          • @ Ariadne: Very interesting comment. I have thought that many times myself and as a mother – I find that very disturbing.

  12. Arianna, what kind of counselling are the social workers providing or not providing?

    • Please see my above post.

    • From personal experience, here in Calgary, the military social workers are providing our returning veterans 'phone numbers to call if they want help.'

      Seriously.