Thank you, Chair.
One of the privileges of being a member of Parliament is that in my short 10 years so far, I've had the opportunity to meet with many first responders and men and women who serve in our armed forces. As you know, within all the ranks of the first responders within our armed forces, great strides have been made over the last several decades in recognizing PTSD, or what they now like to call operational stress injuries.
When I speak to members, whether they work in the ambulance service, the fire service, or the police, they now recognize that early detection of PTSD and early treatment are very necessary to stop the cascading problems that can happen later on. Really, this is about an investment in a valuable member of their crew. It's an investment in a valuable employee who has an incredible skill set, who puts his or her life on the line to help ordinary Canadians.
In light of that, they recognize that if they don't make those investments first and foremost at an early stage, the costs later on, whether it's in a broken marriage or acting out at work, can be quite tremendous in some cases. These first responders, by the way, volunteer to do their jobs. They willingly entered their service. In light of that fact and in light of the incredibly important role that juries and jurors serve, would you not agree that the state has an incredible obligation to support you should you need it?
To those who may argue that it's a cost issue and who quibble over the cost of this, would you not agree with me that this is really an investment in you for your service, so that when you return to society, the later-on costs, whether in a failed relationship or in the costs that you have to deal with personally...? Would you not agree that we have an obligation here? This is our acknowledgement of the service you've given.
I would like to hear from each of you, because I strongly feel that we need as much testimony from you as possible when we're reflecting back on this testimony to make our recommendations. You occupy this unique spot in our society of having experienced something that no one around this table has experienced.
Again, I would like to hear the thoughts of each of you on that particular point, the obligation the state has to you individually for your service.