Wednesday, 05 February 2014 06:36

Veteran Affairs office closures don’t seem like a smart move

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With recent suicides of Canadian military people, and 2014 being the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of Canadian’s D Day landing; if ever there was a time the federal government should be recognizing the sacrifices of veterans by providing them with necessary support, this is it.
Instead they closed nine Veterans Affairs Offices. The contempt shown by Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino, to a group of concerned veterans Tuesday, Jan. 28, was shameful.
This incident reveals an administration more committed to shrinking government, than in compassion or indeed using common sense — another example of the Harper regime swinging an ideological wrecking ball first and trying to manage the destruction later.
It seems there are people in the Prime Minister’s Office who couldn’t find their backsides with their own two hands.
In a recent e-mail, Conservative MP David Anderson claimed, “The closing of nine Veterans Affairs offices across Canada allows us to provide greater support for veterans by utilizing every Service Canada Centre across Canada, which numbers around 650 offices.”
Has Mr. Anderson been in one of these crowded offices with its overworked staff lately? It will be, “Take a number and get in line Gramps; there are a couple of dozen passport applications to take care of first.” And what about the trained and knowledgeable staff being lost?  
David Anderson seems a nice guy, so one wonders how he and other Conservative backbenchers really feel when asked to mouth the condescending government line that the Public Service Alliance of Canada “… is manipulating our veterans.”
Don’t insult our intelligence! Veterans are survivors who aren’t about to be manipulated by PSAC, the government, or anyone else.
At Dieppe and Juno Beach, in Korea and in Afghanistan, we asked our soldiers to put their lives on the line. It is Canadians’ understanding that when they need it; we will do for veterans as they have done for us. Accept nothing less from your MP.
Doug Bone, Elrose, Sask.

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