Nova Scotia

Peter Stoffer has questions about military mental health funding

NDP MP Peter Stoffer is pleased to hear the federal government is committing $200 million over six years to address mental health issues among Canadian Forces members, but says the devil is in the details.

Stoffer says the fact the government is talking about mental health issues is a good thing

NDP MP Peter Stoffer would like to know where the funding for Sunday's mental health announcement is coming from. (CBC)

NDP MP Peter Stoffer is pleased to hear the federal government is committing $200 million over six years to address mental health issues among Canadian Forces members, but says the devil is in the details.

“What we’d like to know is, is this new money going in or is this recycled money from other areas of [the] defence and veterans affairs [departments]?” Stoffer told CBC News.

Recently, veterans learned that the federal department responsible for their care and benefits was unable to spend upwards of $1.1 billion of its budget over seven years.

The official opposition critic for veterans affairs says the fact the government is talking about mental health issues is a good thing.

“It’s good the government is starting to realize this is a very serious issue and to be able to have those new facilities across the country in order for the men and women to get the help they need,” said Stoffer.

Stoffer says he also would have liked the announcement to apply to members of the RCMP.

Part of the money will go toward a new 'Operational Stress Injury' clinic in Halifax.

"Opening in the fall of 2015, the clinic will bring high-quality, specialized mental health services and support to veterans in the Halifax area," Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino said.

Stoffer says the timing of the announcement is to get ahead of the auditor general’s report on mental health in the Forces which will be released Tuesday.

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