I write to you today as I am deeply concerned by the issue of misinformation that has been presented to our Veterans surrounding the closure of Veterans Affairs offices in various locations in Canada. I am concerned that our Veterans have been seriously misled and may have been provided incorrect (or a lack of) information in order for certain groups to play political games and engage in partisan activity. This letter will set the record straight.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) is the main culprit. PSAC has been deliberately misleading our Veterans, stating that vital services that they rely on will simply be removed and unavailable as a result of the closure of these offices. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is interesting that there is concern over the closure of 9 offices when these closures simply seek to maximize services to Veterans by utilizing the approximately 650 offices nation-wide to provide Veterans with the services they need. This information is something that PSAC failed to provide to Veterans.
This is the same organization that opposes Bill C-11, the Priority Hiring for Injured Veterans Act. This law will give injured Veterans the first opportunity at federal jobs. Veterans have stood up for Canada in good times and bad. The fair-weather friends at PSAC only stand up for Veterans when it suits their political objectives.
Veterans in SDSG who currently require service are aided through my own office or through their local Legion representative. Now they can also be served at Service Canada offices. Services will always be there for Veterans. Furthermore, our Government has been extremely supportive of our Veterans through several initiatives such as the Helmets to Hardhats program, as well as doubling Government contribution rates to the Burial Services Fund. Since 2006, we have increased funding for Veterans by nearly $5 billion.
I have the utmost respect for the men and women in this country who have risked their lives to protect us. Many of them live right here in SDSG. I urge PSAC to respect our Veterans and provide them with the full story. Veterans have fought enough for all of us. They should not be expected to fight PSAC’s political battles as well.
In closing, I would like to assure all Veterans in Canada that the services that they need will always be there for them. I urge Veterans to contact my office should they have any concerns surrounding Veterans Affairs and my office will be glad to work with you.
Member of Parliament