Canada's NDP

Skip to main content

March 5th, 2024

NDP veteran’s affairs critic named woman of the year in defence

OTTAWA – NDP Veterans Affairs critic Rachel Blaney (North Island–Powell River) has been named as one of the 2024 recipients of the Esprit de Corps Women in Defence Award. In naming Blaney, Esprit de Corps highlighted her continuous work advocating for measures that improve the lives of Veterans and their families, specifically her work to initiate the first ever parliamentary study on the experience of women Veterans.

“The women who serve our country repeatedly tell us they feel ignored or invisible,” said Blaney. “This study showed the realities of women who serve. People can now see what has been happening to women serving, what it means when they become Veterans, and how much work still needs to be done to uplift women and Veterans. I’m humbled that people feel that I deserve this award."

Recently, Blaney, initiated a study at Veterans Affairs Committee so Parliamentarians could learn about the experiences of women Veterans and give recommendations for fixing the overly bureaucratic and unfair system, using trauma-informed practices and methods, to improve outcomes for women Veterans and for women serving in the military.

“The military in Canada must be a safer, fairer and more equitable place for women who want to enlist. To do that, we must support and listen to the brave women who are already there and give them a safe space to share their experiences,” added Blaney. “But what we’ve seen for decades is consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments completely ignoring the lived experiences of women Veterans. And the Conservatives’ harmful cuts to Veterans services when they were in power made things worse for all Veterans.”

“New Democrats have been fighting to include women’s voices in areas related to the CAF and ensure all those who served, and their families, receive the benefits they need. Veterans deserve better.”

The full list of recipients can be seen online.