Statement from the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff Regarding the 1974 Valcartier Grenade Incident


July 28, 2016 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Lieutenant-General Guy Thibault, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, today issued the following statement:

“On July 30, 1974, tragedy struck at the CFB Valcartier cadet training centre when a live grenade found its way into a bin of inert training grenades. The live grenade exploded, causing the deaths of six cadets and injuring dozens more.

“The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) recognize that those affected by this horrific tragedy have struggled with the long-term effects of the trauma they experienced and regret that it took this long to formally recognize and address this tragedy.

“In public statements issued on July 28, 2015 we indicated that we would be taking action further to the DND/CAF Ombudsman's investigative report into the incident.

“Since that time and over a number of months now, DND and the CAF have been in contact and in discussions with victims of this tragic event and their representatives regarding their health care needs and expectations with respect to financial recognition. Significant progress has been made in addressing the Ombudsman's recommendations.

“As a first step, we immediately began efforts to make contact with all those affected. Medical needs assessments were offered to all affected individuals that had been located to identify their health care needs, both physical and psychological, that are connected to this tragedy, and we continue to receive responses.

“Based on these assessments, the next step will be to develop individualized treatment plans to identify areas of their care where more support is needed — and some of this work is already underway.

“Concurrently, DND has also been engaged in determining suitable financial recognition. This has included a review of compensation in line with jurisprudence in similar situations, as recommended by the Ombudsman in his 2015 report.

“Our work is ongoing and is being done in collaboration with the victims of this terrible tragedy and their representatives. The Minister of National Defence has met with them to discuss our collective progress. We remain focused on ensuring that the health care needs of victims are met, and that they receive the recognition they deserve for their pain and suffering.

“We continue to urge all those who believe they have been affected by this incident to contact us at 1-844-800-8566 or”

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