Financial recognition and health care support for victims of the 1974 accidental grenade explosion at the CFB Valcartier cadet camp

News Release

March 9, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan today announced a comprehensive program of financial recognition and health care support for the victims of the 1974 accidental grenade explosion at the CFB Valcartier cadet camp. 

The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) recognize that those affected by this terrible tragedy have struggled with the long-term effects on their health of the trauma they experienced and regret that it took this long to formally recognize and address this tragedy.

In recognition of their pain and suffering, all former cadets in the room at the time of the explosion and non-professional first responders involved immediately after the explosion will be provided with a universal benevolent payment. Victims are also eligible to apply for an individualized benevolent payment for both physical and mental injuries sustained as a result of the incident. Estates of the cadets who tragically perished in the incident and of the victims who have passed away since are also eligible to apply for elements of the program. In addition, all incident-related health care costs, not funded by provincial health care systems, for former cadets in the room at the time of the explosion and non-professional first responders involved immediately after the explosion will be covered by DND and the CAF for the remainder of their lifetime.

Quotes

“The cadets and families affected by this incident were the victims of a tragic and unique set of circumstances. These former cadets were under our care at the time and some have struggled – and continue to struggle to this day – with the long-term effects of the trauma they experienced and the actions taken by the military in the aftermath of the incident. For this, we sincerely apologize. The financial recognition and health care support we are announcing today are long overdue, and will ensure that the victims are finally offered some measure of comfort, while getting the care they need and deserve.”
 
Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister

“We want to ensure that the victims of this past tragic incident are well taken care of and are recognized for the pain and suffering they endured. As a result of this incident, the Cadet Program underwent significant changes. I can assure you that the Canadian Armed Forces takes its responsibility to protect the youth in its care very seriously, and the first priority in all cadet activities is the safety and welfare of cadets.”

Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Acting Vice Chief of the Defence Staff

DND and the CAF continue to urge former cadets who were in the room at the time of the explosion and non-professional first responders involved immediately after the explosion to contact us at 1-844-800-8566 or 1974@forces.gc.ca.

Quick Facts

  • On July 30, 1974, an accidental grenade explosion killed six cadets and injured dozens more at the CFB Valcartier cadet camp. In July 2015, the Minister of National Defence committed to ensuring that affected individuals would have access to health care and compensation, where appropriate.

  • The development of the program was informed in large part by discussions with victims of this incident and their representatives, with the intent of coming to a mutually acceptable program for affected individuals.

  • In recognition of their pain and suffering, all cadets in the room at the time of the explosion and non-professional first responders who were involved immediately after the explosion will be provided with a universal benevolent payment of $42,000. It is estimated that approximately 155 individuals will be eligible for the payment. Estates of the six cadets who tragically perished in the incident and of those who have passed away in the years since are also eligible to apply for this benevolent payment.

  • In recognition of loss, an additional benevolent payment of $58,000 will be provided to the estates of the six deceased cadets– for a total of $100,000 for each of the six estates.

  • Affected individuals are also eligible to apply for an individualized benevolent payment for both physical and mental injuries sustained as a result of the incident. This payment will be determined based on individual circumstances, up to a maximum of $310,000 (including the universal benevolent payment).

  • The estates of former cadets who have passed away in the years since the incident are also eligible to apply for this payment.

  • Additionally, to ensure that the health care needs of those affected by this terrible tragedy are met, DND and the CAF are paying for all necessary incident-related health care costs incurred by affected individuals, not funded by provincial health care systems, for the remainder of their lifetime.

  • Peer support and resiliency training is also being offered to those who wish to receive additional services from the CAF and extended to their spouses and children. Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed in the event that travel is required to take part in these sessions.

Associated Links

Contacts

Jordan Owens
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
(613) 996-3100
Email: jordan.owens@forces.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811
Email: mlo-blm@forces.gc.ca


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