Mr. Speaker, the merchant navy vets are on the ninth day of their hunger strike to get compensation and equality with other vets for their role in World War II. The vets on the hunger strike have already lost approximately 12 pounds and there is still no response from this government.
In April the minister promised to introduce legislation by June 1998 to make merchant navy vets equal with other vets in the regular armed forces. He has broken that promise. That is why these brave individuals who put their lives on the line for peace and freedom that we enjoy today began this hunger strike.
Merchant navy vets were denied many of the benefits afforded World War II vets. All they seek is fair compensation and equal treatment. They gave the Minister of Veterans Affairs the benefit of the doubt. They approached him in good faith and unfortunately he has not extended them the same courtesy.
It is our hope and the hope of all Canadians and other vets that the government will do the right thing and offer the vets—