Yet another report highlighting the gaps in support to military families—this time from the Department of National Defence’s Chief Review Services—has been hidden from public scrutiny, according to Joyce Murray, Liberal Critic for National Defence and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra.
The report, Evaluation of Military Family Support Programs and Services, was completed in January 2013, but was suppressed until a year later when it was quietly buried in an obscure online location.
“This is yet another example of government mismanagement and lack of transparency,” said Murray. “Instead of trying to fix the very real problems facing military families—such as a lack of available childcare and difficulty accessing medical services— this government chose to bury the report and hope the problem goes away.”
In spite of the Conservative government’s claims of support for military service members and their families, DND’s own internal audit has found that “current spending does not adequately address key gaps in support to military families.” The audit also notes that the available services do not explicitly address “high need areas and/or do not address them to a depth that will effect a significant reduction in support gaps in these key areas.”
According to Murray, “Stress on families increases stress on Forces members, which is especially harmful when members themselves struggle with operations-related stress and mental injuries. When the government knows about specific problems that need to be addressed, they have a duty to act. Instead, they appear to have chosen to delay acknowledging problems and to hope they escape notice. This neglect is simply unacceptable.”