The decision by the liberal government to not compensate a Veteran for an injury sustained while on duty on the basis of gender is just plain wrong.
What was particularly distressing to the Veteran was the nonsensical answer from the Liberals that hiring more bureaucrats would somehow make up for this poor decision. This has nothing to do with hiring more bureaucrats or opening empty offices. This decision needs to be fixed.
In 2005, Cpl. Terra Jantz suffered a severe back injury in her line of duty. She was medically released and is in receipt of a medical pension from Veteran’s Affairs.
According to Terra’s medical specialist and her family doctor, as a consequence of her injury, she suffers from a painful condition referred to as an atonic bladder. Sometimes referred to as a flaccid bladder, in her case the condition developed as a consequence of her severe back injury. The back injury impaired the ability of the nerves in the bladder to relay the proper signals to the brain. This causes a build-up of urine that requires her to self-catheterize, a painful and expensive procedure she must follow the rest of her life.
Based on the bureaucratic opinion that because women are more susceptible to bladder infections, and a bladder infection and this condition must be related, she was denied a pension for this disability based on a previous bladder infection.
In 2017, this is totally unacceptable. Cpl Jantz should be assessed on the medical nature of the disability, not on some antiquated notion about gender.
Edited Hansard February 14, 2017.
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Conservative): Mr. Speaker, Corporal Terra Jantz is a Veteran who is being denied a benefit for a disability. Her specialist and her family doctor say it was caused as a result of her military service. As a condition of her disability, she must self-catheterize, which is something she will have to live with for the rest of her life. She is being denied this benefit on the basis that her disability is a medical event common to women. When did the Prime Minister decide that being a woman in the military is cause enough to deny a benefit to a veteran?
Mrs. Sherry Romanado (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, ): Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to ensuring veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members, and the RCMP, as well as their families, have the support they need, when and where they need it. While we cannot comment on individual cases, I can tell members that our government takes the security and well-being of our veterans very seriously. That is why, in budget 2016, we committed $5.6 billion in financial supports for veterans and that is why we are reopening the nine offices closed by the previous government, hiring 400 front-line staff, 360 of which have been hired to date.