Friday, Dec 8, 2017
Armed Forces News
Keeping Our Troops Happy and Healthy
Rangers look for benefits
By Byrne Furlong, Ministry of National Defence
Members of 1 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group practice traditional Inuit games on Exercise VICTORIA RANGER during Operation NUNALIVUT 2015 on April 5, 2015 in Tahoe Lake, Nunavut. Photo by Belinda Jeromchuk, Joint Task Force (North) Public Affairs.
he Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement regarding the Ombudsman Report on the Canadian Rangers: A Systemic Investigation of the Factors that Impact Healthcare Entitlements and Related Benefits of the Rangers.
“I would like to thank the Ombudsman for his recommendations. After thoughtful review, I accept this report and have asked the Canadian Army to work with the office of the Ombudsman in addressing all of its recommendations," said Sajjan.
“The Canadian Rangers are a vital component of the Canadian Army’s Reserve Force and play a valuable role in remote and isolated communities across Canada. Every day, the Canadian Armed Forces rely on their expertise for training on missions and on operations in the North. In recent years, the Canadian Rangers have continued to demonstrate their value by helping facilitate numerous search and rescue operations and by coming to the aid of the communities they serve during periods of crisis and grief," he said.
“I appreciate that the Ombudsman has recommended areas where we can further improve the Canadian Rangers access to health care entitlements. In the Government of Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, we committed to ensuring the healthcare needs of the Defence Team are well-supported. The Canadian Rangers, as part of the Defence Team, are an important asset, and Defence leaders have an duty to look after our members’ wellbeing. Therefore, we are putting measures in place to continue to ensure that the Canadian Rangers are well supported, physically and mentally, so they can carry on with the critical duties and tasks that we ask of them," noted Sajjan.
“The Canadian Army is already looking at ways to remove barriers, and improve the support and care for the Canadian Rangers, a process that commenced in the spring of 2015. This review will lead the way towards better administration and operational support to our “eyes and ears” in the North and remote locations. The recommendations of the Ombudsman will serve to inform this review and ensure our way forward to helping the Canadian Rangers find “made in the North” solutions to these challenges," exlpained Sajjan.
“In Defence, our people are our greatest asset. We have a fundamental moral obligation to continue to work towards finding solutions that better ensure their wellbeing,” concluded Sajjan.