May 29, 2007
Statement by the Minister of National Defence
OTTAWA, ONTARIO-- The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement:"Canada's New Government has been unwavering in our commitment to supporting all members of the Canadian Forces and their families. It is therefore with considerable distress that I note recent media reports regarding families of deceased Canadian Forces members who may not have received full reimbursement for normal funeral and burial expenses. If confirmed, this would indicate that my direction was not followed and I can assure that this will be dealt with accordingly and corrected as soon as possible.I cannot imagine the pain a family feels after losing a loved one who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.I want to reiterate that any family eligible for support for funeral expenses shall receive the appropriate reimbursement.I have directed Defence officials to contact military families who lost a loved one, to ensure that these families received all of the support to which they are entitled. It is unfortunate this is required.Our Government stands behind our service members and their families. We will give them what they need and deserve. The guidelines regarding funeral and burial benefits for CF members put in place in 1999 are being corrected and updated to reflect current realities."