NDP calls for action on Valcartier’s forgotten Cadets

The NDP is calling for justice for survivors of the 1974 grenade explosion at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier that killed 6 cadets and wounded 60 more.

“For almost four decades, these cadets have been ignored, silenced, forgotten,” said Official Opposition Defense critic, Jack Harris (St. John’s East).

Joined at a press conference by two survivors of the explosion, Harris welcomed Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces’ request to the Minister of Defence to re-open this case.

“We are urging Minister Rob Nicholson to allow this investigation to move forward so that survivors finally receive recognition and redress,” said Harris. "Four decades later many former cadets are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and need help."

More than three months ago, the Ombudsman, Pierre Daigle, wrote to the Minister of Defence requesting a pre-mandate authorization to investigate this case. He has yet to receive a response.

“We strongly support the Ombudsman’s request. Minister Nicholson’s agreement is essential for moving forward with an investigation that can set the record straight,” said MP Nycole Turmel (Hull-Aylmer), whose riding is home to one of the survivors.

“In addition to the victims’ families, soldiers at the Valcartier base - as well as the people of Quebec - will be marked forever by this tragic event. It is past time to get to the truth of what happened” said NDP National Defence Deputy critic MP Élaine Michaud (Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier).