Tuesday , August 3 2021

Messages reveal how Ottawa tried to explain the treatment of PTSD to the man who killed a policeman

HALIFAX – The recently released documents offer insight into how government officials fought to respond to the revelation that veterans' affairs funded the PTSD treatment for a man Halifax convicted of killing a police officer who was not on duty.

Messages received from the Canadian press through legislation on access to information and privacy reveal a multitude of people in the war veterans office – including the deputy minister, political analysts, and communications officers – were involved in shaping the message that was transmitted to the media for Christopher Garibaldi .

The news came out during the Garniy's hearing for the second-degree murder of Catherine Campbell, Truro, NS, a policeman. The court heard veteran affairs that covered the costs of his psychologist, since his father was a veteran, who was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Within the hundreds of e-mails, considering how to respond to flooded media issues, officials discussed a relevant policy and which messages "will support the rationale for involving family members in the veterans' treatment plan."

Trevor Nicholson, a senior political analyst in "Veterans Affairs," pointed out to his colleagues how the department's mental health policy works.

"Who can be included in a veteran's treatment plan or rehabilitation plan … is solely discretion to the decision-maker based on the recommendations of veterans who treat health professionals and in consultation with veterans," Nicholson said in August. 28 e-mail.

Veterans Affairs Canada may involve a family in the treatment of a veteran and / or meet with family members individually to address the mental health impacts of patients on other members of the family unit. "

The following day, to email to nine of her colleagues, official veteran Sandra Williamson wrote that "it must be clear that the entire range of veterans' benefits and services are not offered to family members."

Mary Nicholson, director of health care and rehabilitation programs for veterans, agreed with Williamson's approach.

"I'm sure it's part of your messages, but it's also important to note that family members were given access only to recognize the important part in supporting the sick or injured veterans – part of the welfare framework," wrote she e-mailed August 29th.

Even Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs, Walt Natynczyk, and Deputy Foreign Minister Lisa Campbell met on what the department told the media.

"(The deputy minister and associate) asked us to update our ranks to include two things … that the focus of providing counseling, etc. The family member is always based on the best interest of the veteran's well-being … and line about which services we can provide and what corrective services we can provide, as well as that there is no duplication or overlapping of these services, "August 29 Communications Officer Stephen Harris wrote.

In a Canadian press release on the Garnier case, veteran affairs say the communication lines are being developed and regularly viewed as part of the everyday work process.

"It's part of the normal business processes to connect with different areas of the department to ensure that the messages accurately reflect the department's policies and activities," spokesman Martin Magnun said in an e-mail.

In September, Trudo's government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye before approving funds and services for a member of the veterans' family – especially relatives sentenced for serious crimes.

Minister of Veterinary Affairs, Seymus O'Reill, told the House of Commons that in future they will not be provided with the benefits of a member of the veteran's family who is imprisoned in a federal facility.

But when it comes to Garni's benefits O & M Reagan has repeatedly cited privacy considerations for refusing to discuss the case, indicating that the order will not be retroactive.

The federal government was also apparently awash with letters from the public, as the widespread outrage emerged in connection with the receipt of Garnier's financial aid for the mental state that was caused by the murder.

"Quite frankly, this is anxiety and direct slap in the face, towards veterans, by the liberal government that has already lost much support from the veteran community. Catherine Campbell's parents deserve better than" Canada's Veterans Affairs "and the Canadian government," a citizen, whose name was changed, wrote on August 29.

Another member of the public, whose name is written, writes: "I can only imagine what kind of mental repercussions must come from giving a female policeman to death here at home in Canada. The killer must really be valued for a flood of support from (Veterans Affairs Canada ), while the surviving members of our veterans' families struggle. "

In an email from August 30 to several other veterans' officials, Anonymous Bedard wrote that O'Reill gets "a lot of emails" that respond to the news.

In response to a letter, Nova Scotia Liberal MP Sean Fraser admitted that his initial reaction was disbelief.

"Initially, it was difficult to understand how a person suffering from a PTSD as a result of the murder he has committed should meet the health benefits of Canada Veterans Affairs," Fraser wrote on August 30 in an email attached to the file.

"Despite my first reaction, I want to be extremely careful about how politics can develop in response to the remarkable facts in this case. The system that provides health coverage to veterans and their families is a good and political reaction to the knee in this case the potential to deny the coverage of veterans and members of their families who need them, which I do not believe is the result that someone wants. "

Garnier, who strangled the 36-year-old woman and used compost to remove her body, appeals to his conviction and sentence for second-degree murder.

The verdict brings an automatic life sentence, but Justice of the Supreme Court in Nova Scotia in August ruled that Garnier could apply for conditional release after serving 13 and a half years – less than 699 days during the service.

During his trial, Garnier repeatedly told the jury that he did not remember the use of the large green compost bin to remove the body near the port bridge, where he remained undetected for almost five days.

Garnier also claimed that Campbell accidentally died during a rough sex she initiated after they met at the center of the bar earlier that night.

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