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North Island-Powell River MP questions government about female veterans

MP Rachel Blaney rose twice during question period to discuss women veterans
North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney (left) in Gallipoli, Turkey in 2022. Photo courtesy Facebook/Rachel Blaney

Federal NDP Veterans Affairs critic Rachel Blaney asked parliament to improve supports for women veterans.

Blaney rose in parliament on Nov. 9 to ask the government to enact better supports for women veterans.

“When women were invited into all military occupations in 1989 and submarine services in 2001. They entered an environment not made for them,” she said. “Trailblazers, these women endured through discrimination and lack of support. And the physical and mental outcomes they dealt with were not documented. Now as veterans they are often underserved because of lack of documentation. When will this government honour women and make it right?”

Parliamentary Secretary for Veterans Affairs Randeep Sarai responded to her question, saying that “It’s important to listen to the stories of women veterans and for our government to ensure we are addressing their needs.”

He said that the independent parliamentary committee on veterans affairs is doing a study on this issue, and that the government will act on the results of that study.

“We urge all parliamentarians to put aside any partisan politics in order to take time and listen to those women and hear what they have to say so that we can make their lives a lot much better in the future,” he said.

Blaney rose in parliament earlier this week as well, asking the minister to commit to “ensuring the participation of women veterans in Remembrance Day commemoration this year.”

“Women veterans will be attending commemoration services this week,” she said. “Many of them will be asked if the medals they are wearing belong to their husband or their son or their father. Too often they feel invisible and diminished when they should feel acknowledged and respected for their service. This must change.”

Sarai responded, saying that “I can surely assure you from on behalf of the minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Ministry of Defense that women will always participate in Remembrance Day ceremonies, and their participation is a must.”

RELATED: North Island-Powell River MP wants women veterans included in development of mental health treatment guidelines

Federal study will help women veterans — NDP Veterans Affairs critic

Marc Kitteringham

About the Author: Marc Kitteringham

I joined Campbell River Mirror in early 2020, writing about the environment, housing, local government and more.
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