Statement made on 29 April 2009 by Senator Jane Cordy
Hon. Jane Cordy:
Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Trooper Kyle Ricketts, a Canadian soldier from Newfoundland and Labrador, was critically injured by a roadside bomb on March 8 in Afghanistan. He has gone through a dozen or more reconstructive surgeries. Of course, his parents wanted to be with their son, as any parent would, while he went through the operations.
Mr. and Ms. Ricketts are seasonal workers and they were told that if they came to Ottawa to be with their son, they would be stripped of all their Employment Insurance benefits. Only one of the parents would be entitled compassionate leave, while the other would lose his or her benefits.
Minister Finley personally intervened. She assured the family that indeed, this would not happen and that they would both be able to be with their son and continue to receive benefits. Minister Finley's commitment was the following:
. . . the Ricketts' case has been resolved and they would get their benefits.
Then she added:
. . . it is obvious that Canadian soldiers and their loved ones deserve the best possible care and support when they need it, and this situation is no exception.
The military did fly Sadie and Maurice Ricketts to Ottawa to be with their son. Can the leader update us on what has happened since Minister Finley made her commitment to the Ricketts family?
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