Committees of the House

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley for his intervention and for his suggestion. I do think there is more common ground. I think the veterans affairs committee demonstrated that.

Something that I will note is that even he fell into the mistake that some made when he talked about Service Canada and treatment at Service Canada for people. “Treatment” is the wrong word. It is not providing the front-line treatment, but is helping the veterans access the range of treatments.

Our veterans affairs committee heard from two veterans who I have known for many years and admire. Both happen to be from the member’s province, British Columbia. They are Chris Linford and Tim Laidler. Both are involved in programs directed at operational stress injuries. Tim Laidler is at the Veterans Transition Network, and Chris Linford and his wife are running the COPE program, which is for families.

What our government has realized in recent years, particularly on mental health, is that there is not one single solution that fits the needs of all veterans. We are finding in some cases that they need the equine therapy that Can Praxis and others are offering, the Veterans Transition Network peer counselling, or the family-based COPE program. We need a variety of options for our veterans, and most of the time that is going outside of Veterans Affairs to providers in health care or in veterans’ advocacy fields.

We have tried increasingly to fund these programs, either on a pilot or a permanent basis, to make sure there is a variety of programs to help the diverse needs of our veterans with mental health concerns.

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