Canadian government sends dead soldier’s mother one dollar cent

The one cent Canadian government cheque for a dead soldier's family

From The Globe and Mail in Canada:

Dead soldier’s family ‘devastated’ after getting one-cent cheque from Ottawa



Published Tuesday, Mar. 04 2014, 7:18 PM EST

Last updated Wednesday, Mar. 05 2014, 10:09 AM EST

Ottawa tried to settle accounts with a soldier who took his own life two-and-a-half years ago by sending his family a cheque for one cent.

The “release pay” in the amount of a penny arrived last week at the Hamilton, Ont., home of Denise Stark, whose 22-year-old son, Justin Stark, was found dead at his barracks in the city armouries in October, 2011, less than a year after he returned from Afghanistan.

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson railed against the bureaucratic snafu on Tuesday when it was raised in the House of Commons by Wayne Marston, the New Democrat MP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek. …

Mr. Marston said Ms. Stark has spent much time in the past two years sitting through tribunals while the military debated whether her son’s death was work-related.

That is, related to what happened in Afghanistan.

“One cent. After all this mother has gone through, this is inexcusable,” Mr. Marston told the House.

Ms. Stark was too distraught to discuss the cheque with reporters. But “she was devastated,” said Keven Ellis, a family friend and president of the local chapter of the North Wall Riders Association, a motorcycle group that supports veterans.

“She goes to the mailbox. She’s having a decent day. Then she opens up the mail and sees a letter from the government addressed to her son,” Mr. Ellis said. “Right away, her mind starts racing: ‘What can this be after 2 1/2 years?’ She rips it open and it’s a cheque for one cent from our government.”

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7 thoughts on “Canadian government sends dead soldier’s mother one dollar cent

  1. That’s a horrible insult to a grieving mother. Maybe it was a bureaucratic error or a machine fault but honestly how can a government of all be so heartless. I’m shaking my head…



    • Indeed, this may have been a bureaucratic error by someone not at the very top level. However, then it still is an expression of government policies of preferring to prepare new wars over bringing justice for victims of their earlier wars. For years, in court cases against Justin Stark’s mother and probably others, the Canadian government has been in denial that their sending Justin Stark to Afghanistan caused his suicide; in this way hoping to save money from going to Justin Stark’s and other families, and to save their own reputation.


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