Ex-soldiers protest impending veterans affairs office closures
Video: A group of veterans who say they feel betrayed by the government delivered a blunt message in Ottawa on Tuesday, fighting against cuts to services and the closure of Veterans Affairs offices. Vassy Kapelos reports.
OTTAWA – A group of ex-soldiers, some from the Second World War, are trying to step up pressure on the Harper government to halt the closure of Veterans Affairs regional offices.
Offices in Kelowna, B.C., Saskatoon, Brandon, Man., Thunder Bay, Ont., Windsor, Ont., Sydney, N.S., Charlottetown and Corner Brook, N.L., are slated to shut down Friday as part of a move to more online and remote services.
Seven veterans, including Roy Lamore whose service dates back to the 1940s, says he and others feel betrayed by a government that promised to take care of them and younger soldiers.
WATCH: Vets make an emotional plea to keep regional Veterans’ Affairs offices open
Former corporal Bruce Moncur, who was wounded in Afghanistan in 2006, says the online system has increased frustration even among his Internet-savvy friends seeking benefits and treatment.
Filling out forms and navigating the department’s bureaucratic maze has taken him up to a week, he said, when just one office visit would have sorted it out in one morning.
Moncur, who suffered a shrapnel wound to the head, says he believes it’s a deliberate strategy to reduce use of services.
WATCH: Conservatives slammed in House of Commons over decision to shutter Veterans Affairs offices (Jan 28)
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