Author Topic: Military families living in mould-infested homes: Ombudsman  (Read 1726 times)

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Military families living in mould-infested homes: Ombudsman
« on: April 19, 2012, 02:08:04 AM »
Military families living in mould-infested homes: Ombudsman

By Daniel Proussalidis ,Parliamentary Bureau

First posted: Thursday, April 19, 2012 12:13 AM EDT | Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2012 12:25 AM EDT

OTTAWA - Facing cries for help from families of Canadian soldiers, military ombudsman Pierre Daigle said he is stepping in to help.

QMI Agency has learned Daigle has launched a top-to- bottom review of Department of National Defence policies that affect soldiers' family life.

"We're going to be talking to military families and looking at the care and treatment they have received throughout their experience with the Canadian Forces," said Daigle in a statement posted online Thursday morning.

Among the issues he'll examine will be decrepit housing on military bases.

Daigle said he was shocked by what he saw when he visited a soldier's wife who had seven kids.

"It was the cleanest house I've ever seen," Daigle told QMI Agency. "But you know what? Every week she was scrubbing the mould from the window with a toothbrush to make sure that it will not affect the health of her kids."

The ombudsman said he'll also look at policies that force military families to uproot themselves more than a dozen times over the course of a soldier's career.

Daigle said frequent moves are especially hard on a soldier's wife or husband.

"They live the career of their spouse and they've got to go," he said. "If they've decided not to go to give stability (to their family) then this opens another area of complication. They're alone with kids."

Frequent moves - often to a different province - can disrupt a spouse's career, cause kids to fall behind at school, and leave families struggling to find a family doctor.

He also points to the stigma around post-traumatic stress disorder, as another issue the military has to re-examine.

Daigle said soldiers still don't ask for help often enough, leaving family members as "first respondents."

His review should be complete by winter of 2013.
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