Number of Suicides of Soldiers in TheatrePublished on 23 November 2011 Hansard and Statements by Senator Roméo Dallaire (retired)
Hon. Roméo Antonius Dallaire:
Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Tomorrow, there will be a celebration to recognize the work of our sailors and airmen and airwomen who participated in the mission in Libya. Given that I was a member of the Canadian Army, I am looking forward to going and seeing pilots participating in a parade since we do not often see them at this type of event.
However, my question pertains to the missions that preceded the mission in Libya. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not keep track of how many soldiers and veterans commit suicide. Do the commissions of inquiry responsible for reviewing the circumstances surrounding the deaths of soldiers not recognize that soldiers who commit suicide often do so following a trauma they experienced during military operations? Should these soldiers not be counted among those who were identified as being killed in theatre? If these individuals were added to the 158 soldiers killed, the number of deaths would increase to about 200.