Hyer Denounces Cuts to Northwest Veterans
Thunder Bay Veteran’s Affairs office to close
May 4, 2012
THUNDER BAY – After decades of supporting those who fought for our country, the federal government’s Thunder Bay Veteran Affairs office is facing permanent closure.
The local Thunder Bay office provides services for approximately 500 Senior veterans, 600 younger veterans, and several RCMP officers. It is also part of the Veteran Affairs mandate to help Survivors and families of those killed in the line of duty. The Thunder Bay Veteran Affairs office alone serves an estimated 3000 people and covers a large geographical area spanning from the Manitoba boarder to Blind River. The regressive decision to close our regional Veteran Affairs office will have serious implications for veterans and their families.
“’Lest We Forget’ seems to have been forgotten by the Conservative Government” said Hyer. “Both Senior veterans and young veterans deserve care and support, not a slap in the face. Local employees have done their best to supply veterans with health care support, home visits, and timely services. Now those who have seen combat will need to battle for services here at home. Not only will Thunder Bay lose 10 good jobs, we also lose our local capacity to serve those who have served this strong country.”
Veteran Affairs claims they will continue to offer ‘full support and services’, even though the local office faces closure. It is suspected this will be done by offering veterans a toll free line they can call, or by referring vets to a web-site. Some concerned elderly veterans, who typically have limited computer skills, could be left behind.
Younger veterans rely on Veteran Affairs for assistance dealing with serious injury, the loss of a loved one, or transitioning into civilian life through job training. “Thunder Bay is home to active and dedicated soldiers who deserve our respect. Closing the doors of our regional Veteran Affairs office shows the opposite. Young veterans coming home from Afghanistan deserve support. They have done their part, and this is the thanks they get from our current government” Hyer comments. “Cuts to Veteran Affairs simply need to stop. Why would the government treat those who have made enormous sacrifices for our country like this? It is unconscionable.”
Mr. Hyer has been a supporter of Veterans and their families, making regular contact with the Thunder Bay Military Family Resource Centre, visiting veterans, and offering support to families. Mr. Hyer will be raising this issue in the House of Commons with the government.
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Bruce Hyer, MP
House of Commons