Fed 'screw-up': One-cent cheque sent to fallen soldier's mom

Cpl. Justin Stark is pictured with one of the farewell presents he received from his home unit...

Cpl. Justin Stark is pictured with one of the farewell presents he received from his home unit before leaving for a seven-month long tour in Afghanistan in May 2010. Stark died at Hamilton's John W. Foote VC Armouries on October 29, 2011. (MATT DAY/QMI Agency Files)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:30 AM ET

OTTAWA – Defence Minister Rob Nicholson calls it “absolutely ridiculous” that the mother of a dead soldier received just one cent for her son’s military release pay.

Nicholson’s comments came after NDP MP Wayne Marston raised the case of Cpl. Justin Stark in the Commons.

“In 2011, Justin Stark, after completing a seven month tour in Afghanistan, committed suicide in his Hamilton (Ont.) barracks,” Marston said Tuesday. “In the years since, his grieving mother sat through endless tribunals while the military debated whether or not her son’s death was work related. Mrs. Stark has just received an envelope from the military. In it, a cheque made out to her son for one cent.”

Nicholson responded by apologizing to Mrs. Stark and thanking her late son for his service.

“That being said, this is an insensitive bureaucratic screw-up,” said Nicholson. “I have just learned of it now, and I will take steps immediately to ensure that something like this should never happen again.


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