Compensation forty-one years after 1974 Valcartier base tragedy

Compensation forty-one years after 1974 Valcartier base tragedy

Valcartier (Quebec) 30 July 2015 – Back in 1974 a tragic accident took the lives of 6 military cadets on the Valcartier military base for which the government at the time never took any action to compensate the families of the victims.

Unlike the military personnel who were at the scene at the time, the young cadets families never even received an apology. Of the 6 young cadets who died, aged 14 and 15, there were others who were injured and have lived with their scars ever since.

The accident involved the unexpected explosion of a hand-grenade that was mixed in with other used or spent weapons, during an information session as part of their training. All military personnel, including the instructors who were injured by the blast, were compensated through normal military channels.

Now, 41 years later, after several reports and studies were made and published, the government of the day has finally decided to have the victims who were injured evaluated and supplied with any physical or psychological help they may need. The families of the children who died will also be compensated in some manner.

At the time of the incident the military did not take responsibility for the cadets as they were considered civilians and not on the army’s payroll. It was also not understood at the time whether or not the families involved could even take legal action against the government, or just accept it as an accident.

The report this week, which went through the channels of the Ombudsman, the Minister of Defence and the Valcartier base itself was well received by the people who were involved and a special telephone line and web page will be set up by this weekend for all those seeking compensation.

An “official” apology however, is yet to come.

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