Mr. Chair, it is a real honour to be the member of Parliament for Newmarket—Aurora. Aurora is the home of one of Canada's oldest military organizations, the Queen's York Rangers.
The brave men and women of the Canadian Forces put themselves on the line every day to protect Canadians and their interests. We know all too well that the vital work carried out by our sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen is often very dangerous. Many times when we send members of the Canadian Forces into harm's way, they do not always come back unscathed.
The history of this issue has been long and difficult. During the 1990s, cuts to the Canadian Forces budget left many soldiers neglected and without care. As well, taboos surrounding the topic of mental health existed strongly, even only 10 years ago. However, we have clearly made strides.
The effects of trauma on the human mind are well documented and can be traced to such injuries as anxiety, major depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder and even death. Yet despite the severity of these injuries, the stigma of mental illness is sometimes so strong that Canadian Forces members, like many Canadians, are often unwilling to admit that they are injured. This has increasingly led to unfortunate effects on members' lives. We owe it to our military personnel to ensure they get the care and support they need.
The government has done a great deal to improve the quality of care and support our men and women in uniform--