Wounded Canadian Soldiers are being forced not to criticize the military
Canada wounded vets told not to criticize
Sat, 21 Sep 2013 15:31:19 GMT
Canadian soldiers wounded in service are being required to sign a form agreeing not to criticize the military on social media sites, a report shows.
The report was published on Friday by the Canadian daily Ottawa Citizen, which received the form by offended military members regarding it as a threat to their right to speak out about the Department of National Defense and Canadian Forces’ failure to take care of those wounded in service.
The disclosure of the form has caused a quick reaction from the country’s opposition, the National Democratic Party (NDP.)
“To single out ill and injured soldiers and require them to sign this form is tantamount to saying, ‘Don’t complain’, ” said NDP parliamentarian Jack Harris, adding, “I call on the minister of defense to take measures to ensure that all our ill and injured soldiers are getting the help they need, rather than being muzzled.”
The form was introduced in March of this year and states that any military officials within the Joint Personnel Support Unit (JPSU) will be held responsible for not only the comments they have posted online but also the content of others which they have “tagged” on various sites.
It also told injured soldiers not to disclose “your views on any military subject” and not to “write anything that might discourage others or make them dissatisfied with their conditions or their employment.”
This comes as some of the wounded and their family members have publically discussed the military and government leadership’s failure to help those injured while in service.
Retired air force officer Sean Bruyea said wounded personnel use social media to speak with each other as well as to raise issues affecting them.
“The public deserves to know how these people are being mistreated and about the failure of the senior leadership to take care of them,” said Bruyea, adding, “This is just an attempt to shut them up.”
The JPSU came under fire in August when the Canadian daily revealed that the unit had extensive problems, with soldiers and staff speaking out about lack of resources and concerns that some of the support centers are dysfunctional.