Mr. Speaker, the government ordered the Canadian forces to fight in the gulf war. The troops went there fit and healthy but some were exposed to chemical fallout and more than 200 returned with serious multiple chronic disabilities.
Specific medical diagnosis may be difficult but reports from the United States, Britain and other participants confirm that we can no longer deny the exposure to toxic chemical rain after air strikes and engineers destroyed Iraqi chemical weapon production and storage depots.
The government promised these troops would receive the benefit of the doubt but six years after the war, many claims are still locked in the regulatory maze and some are simply giving up. Those with less than 10 years' service with no recognition of disability do not quality for pensions. Losing their health and career under these circumstances only to face a bureaucracy which refuses just treatment is devastating.
I join with the National Council of Veterans Associations in calling for government to start the recognition process by providing a basic pension for these deserving gulf war veterans.