The military personnel have been deployed gradually from 22 April, and unless a change of size, their mission must end on the 12th of June.
June 3, 2020
Updated June 4, 2020 at 19h18
How much will it cost the military in a CHSLD?
How much is the deployment of military personnel in NURSING homes? What are the benefits of risk get? The ministry of Defence is unable to tell us, the discussions are “still ongoing” about this.
According to the ministry of Defence, as of the date of Tuesday, 1299 members of the canadian armed Forces (CAF) supported the civil authorities in 21 CHSLD in Quebec. The prime minister François Legault speaks rather of 1130 military, of which 780 are really in NURSING homes, 350 other working medium to the outside.
The military operation LASER have been deployed gradually from 22 April, and unless a change of size, their mission must end on the 12th of June.
“CAF members deployed were divided into teams of reinforcement to civilian health care, including a responsible senior medical, personal care workers and support troops. The precise composition of each team is determined by the needs of each institution, the needs identified during the reconnaissance phase. Each institution can rely on the services of between 14 and 60 members, and they collaborate with the medical officers civilians on the spot”, explains by e-mail, a spokesman for the ministry of Defence, Jessica Lamirande.
Impossible to get a breakdown of deployed military members by grade and by category of compensation, this list is not available “at this time”.
“As in all organizations, the salary of an employee is a little different in each case. Therefore, to obtain this information, it would be necessary to go through the list of all deployed members one by one,” explains Ms. Lamirande,
“But it is important to remember that regular Force members are paid their normal wage, whether they are deployed or not,” says the spokesperson of the ministry of Defence.
The costs associated with an operation such as LASER are “incremental”, still shows Jessica Lamirande. “The incremental cost to the department of national Defence is the additional cost for personnel and equipment directly attributable to a transaction of the canadian armed Forces,” defines it.
“In particular, the incremental costs include the additional cost resulting from the deployment of troops and equipment, the continuation of the work of maintenance and providing ongoing support during the conduct proper to the operation which is required, in addition to any specialized training required for the operation”, explains she.
The incremental costs do not include, therefore, not the regular salary of the members of the canadian Forces or the cost of the equipment that they already possess, for example.
And what are these costs? Mystery. As for all the missions of the COLLEGE, they will be calculated 90 days after the end of the mission, ” says Lamirande.
The question of premiums “in discussion”
Other unknown, not the least of which : the allowance paid to military members to offset the risk associated with the specific work they do in NURSING homes. “This approach is in line with the bonuses offered to members during deployments at risk outside of Canada,” explains Ms. Lamirande.
According to the spokesperson of the ministry of Defence, “discussions are still ongoing and no decision has been taken on this issue for the moment.”
Is the expected cost of the deployment of the military in a CHSLD and the amount of risk premiums that may be required to be paid to explain the federal government’s refusal to extend the operation LASER beyond the 12 June? The spokesperson of the ministry of Defence ensures that it is not.
“Since the beginning, our priorities are to provide the required assistance to the institutions of long-term care is facing unprecedented challenges and support the health workers and residents of these institutions,” writes Ms. Lamirande.
In the House of commons, on Tuesday, the prime minister Justin Trudeau has ruled out categorically the idea of extending the presence of the military in the CHSLD quebec until September 15, as claimed François Legault.
On Saturday, The Press reported that the minister of Defence, Harjit Sajjan, objected fiercely to the request from Quebec. According to the minister Sajjan, the military have other obligations that cannot be set aside during the pandemic. They must, among other things, prepare for the season of forest fires, or giving a helping hand to the regions of other provinces that might be affected by the floods, he said.
In an open letter published in particular in the Huffington Post and The Press, the ex-senior officer of the health services of the CAF Dave Blackburn wrote that “the minister of national Defence does not play an honest game, saying that the FCC does not have the enough staff to meet the demands and needs of Quebec.”
“There are 1444 military currently deployed in Quebec. The CAF are an estimated 68,000 regular Force members and 27,000 members of the Reserve. I am convinced that if it became necessary, it would be possible to make a rotation (in the same way that the rotations for other operations) of 1444 deployed military members,” said Mr. Blackburn, according to which “military personnel participating in operation LASER work very hard to fight the pandemic, but it is comparable to other missions.”
“The members of the CAF must absolutely remain deployed in NURSING homes until September 15 or more, and not only because that “Quebec pays its share to the army,” [as underlined by François Legault], but because it is an essential need,” said Dave Blackburn.