Conservative government slights our veterans

Conservative government slights our veterans Open letter to Ryan Leef, Yukon MP, It is truly saddening to read your response wherein you state the closure of the Veterans Services in Canada does not affect the Yukon. Had you accepted our invitation to t

Open letter to Ryan Leef, Yukon MP,

It is truly saddening to read your response wherein you state the closure of the Veterans Services in Canada does not affect the Yukon.

Had you accepted our invitation to the press conference on November 5 you would have heard first-hand the impact the closures of the nine offices across Canada are having on Yukon veterans.

You would have heard first-hand the difficulties of dealing with crippling post-traumatic stress and that 1-800 numbers and special apps for smart phones do not meet the services our veterans require upon their return from service and war.

You would have heard first-hand from veterans when they state: “Our lives were on the line every single day. And what do we get? Betrayal by our government.”

You would have heard that expecting veterans to travel long distances for services is impossible and that putting veterans on a bus, when most cannot even afford the ticket, is cruel.

You would have heard first-hand “If this government is not willing to take care of your veterans, then you do not have the moral right to send them on these missions into harm’s way.”

Your response invites veterans having any challenges to visit your office to receive assistance “on a range of matters.” A politician who thinks they and their office can provide services to our veterans is irresponsible and heartless.

To be clear, Mr. Leef, any investments to veterans the Conservative government has made have been spread over many years and do not come close to making up for the cuts to front-line services for veterans.

In fact, the Conservative government has cut the budget for Veterans Affairs by $129 million since 2011. A further $132 million in cuts are planned by 2016. In total 784 jobs will be cut including case managers, client services agents, disability pension officers, nurses and administrative staff who process all the claims.

The Conservative government may have forgotten about our veterans, but be assured Mr. Leef, the rest of the country has not, and will never, forget.

Julie Docherty

Regional Executive

Vice-President, North

Public Service Alliance of Canada