Madam Speaker, I want the 265 sailors aboard the destroyer, HMCS Iroquois , which departed Halifax Harbour for the Arabian Sea yesterday, to know that our thoughts and our prayers go with them.
Twelve years ago Canada sent other brave men and women into the gulf war to drive Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. They knew they had a duty to perform. They went willingly and they went bravely.
When they returned from the gulf war we soon discovered that all was not well. Medical terms we had never heard of before started cropping up, such as gulf war syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder, and appeared to be affecting many of our returning vets.
While our American allies have come a long way in helping their vets deal with gulf war syndrome and other disorders, many of our own gulf war vets say that Canada is lagging sadly behind in looking after them.
Let us give a clear message, demonstrated by our actions, that Canada will do its duty to look after the needs of our veterans after they return.