Finding mental health staff for remote military posts a problem

National Defence’s pool of candidates for vacant mental health positions dried up quickly last spring when civilian recrui

OTTAWA – National Defence’s pool of candidates for vacant mental health positions dried up quickly last spring when civilian recruits were told they would have to relocate to far-flung military outposts.

Critics say that underlines the need to recruit uniformed psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors.

A series of briefings and documents, obtained by the federal Liberals under access to information, show how officials scrambled to fill 54 vacant staff jobs amid a high-profile crisis where as many as 10 soldiers and veterans took their own lives within a three month period.

A briefing to Defence Minister Rob Nicholson shows that within weeks of being ordered to clear bureaucratic roadblocks, the department had extended job offers to 40 mental health workers.

Of those offers, 22 were accepted on the spot, nine were held up because of conditions such as security clearance and another nine were refused.

Officials noted in the March 20 briefing that the department had exhausted its potential supply of recruits and those who might be interested were not willing to move to remote parts of the country where the need is sometimes the greatest.

Liberal defence critic Joyce Murray says the problem is the department is putting its emphasis on hiring civilians, rather than recruiting uniformed mental health workers whose job would be to serve is outlying areas.

Just Posted

Physicians urge Ottawa to pay another $21B over decade for seniors health care

OTTAWA — Physicians are calling on the federal government to shell out… Continue reading

‘I didn’t want to do something frivolous’: Sting’s play to make Toronto debut

TORONTO — Drawing Canadian theatregoers to a politically charged musical about an… Continue reading

Japan, EU sign trade deal to eliminate nearly all tariffs

TOKYO — The European Union and Japan signed a landmark deal on… Continue reading

Statistics Canada reports manufacturing sales up 1.4 per cent in May

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales increased 1.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Former Mountie who fired Taser at Robert Dziekanski drops appeal of sentence

VANCOUVER — The former RCMP constable who fired a Taser at a… Continue reading

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Johnny Depp settles lawsuits involving former managers

LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp has settled lawsuits with his former business… Continue reading

Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber falls to Bryce Harper in Home Run Derby final

WASHINGTON — Nationals Park was eerily quiet late Monday when Kyle Schwarber… Continue reading

Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

HONOLULU — An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent… Continue reading

Banff holds blessing ceremony with Indigenous elders before letting bison roam

BANFF, Alta. — Several Indigenous elders were flown by helicopter into the… Continue reading

Research expedition looks at unseen depths of Labrador Sea ecosystem

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Last summer, a team of scientists returned from… Continue reading

Protesters camped outside Saskatchewan legislature taking province to court

REGINA — Protesters camped outside the Saskatchewan legislature say they are taking… Continue reading

British PM accepts key amendments from hardline Brexiteers

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accepted amendments to… Continue reading

‘City of icebergs:’ Study says 100s of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

The statistics in her recently published paper say it all: hundreds of… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month