Mr. Speaker, few finer examples of Canadian wartime success and magnificent effort can be found than in the annals of the battle of the Atlantic during which merchant seamen sailed the enemy infested sea to keep the Allies supplied. Canada's merchant navy of World War II kept England alive while the Atlantic war tide turned toward victory in 1943.
Now, fifty years hence, Canada's merchant navy veterans are still held hostage to unresolved concerns. Determined veterans threaten to fast on the steps of this House to garner government will to correct what has been wrong for far too long. Merchant navy veterans are not seeking great wealth, only the respect and benefits given their armed forces brethren, to be recognized as war veterans, to have prisoner of war status, to have compensation for years of denial of equality and to have recognition on ceremonial days.
The minister must respond to our merchant navy—