OTTAWA -Today, Larry Maguire, Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris seconded the Honourable Laurie Hawn, PC, CD, MP for Edmonton Centre, Private Member's Bill entitled the Canadian Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Former Members Personal Information Act.
"Since I was first elected I have been in constant contact with local veterans and retired RCMP members. I believe this legislation is long overdue and I will work with all Members of Parliament to ensure it is passed into law," said MP Maguire.
This bill addresses a problem frequently heard from veterans: that they cannot access their own medical files in order to access benefits to which they are entitled. This bill enshrines their right to that information in law and puts the power to request that information and share it with the Department of Veterans Affairs where it belongs: in the hands of the veteran.
This bill enshrines in law the following key items:
- A member of the Canadian Forces (CF) or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), when they are leaving either force, shall be given a certified copy of their medical records, and a copy of their medical record must be sent to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Former members of the CF or RCMP must, upon request, be given certified copies of their medical records.
- Upon request, current members of the CF or RCMP shall have their medical records transferred to VAC three months prior to their leaving either force.
"As a former fighter pilot, I like to take action. One of the main reasons I got into politics was to take action and make sure that Canada's veterans would be well cared for and, in fact, better cared for. This bill does exactly that. This bill will put in law a veteran's right to access their medical records," said MP Hawn.
"I would also note that today, April 9th, is a unique day to table a bill to help veterans. Today is Vimy Ridge Day, the 97th anniversary of that historic and nation-building battle. I can think of no better day to table legislation to further help veterans get access to the benefits they deserve," said MP Hawn. "We as a country owe them so much, and they deserve more than we can ever give. While this commitment will be written in legislation, my commitment to our veterans goes deeper than that: it's written on my heart. Lest we forget."