Letters to the Editor

LETTERS: Conflict over Veterans Affairs

Editor:

Re: Lack of support for our heroes, Feb. 6 letters.

Letter-writer Pamela Lockhart is misinformed about the closure of eight Veterans Affairs offices.

The closure of the offices in medium-sized Canadian cities, such as Kelowna, was done as there has been a decline in the use of these offices as the number of veterans using such services has declined.

However, veterans in these cities can still access the same, helpful, over-the-counter service from a full-time Veterans Affairs specialist at the Service Canada location in their community. In fact, in five of the eight communities, the Service Canada office is in the same building the Veterans Affairs office was in.

Although we’ve closed some underused offices, our government has been greatly increasing services and funding for our veterans. Since taking office in 2006, we have increased funding by over $4 billion. We’ve established or improved 17 operational stress injury clinics and 24 integrated personnel support centres across Canada for veterans recently released from the Canadian Armed Forces. And, through the opening of new Service Canada locations, we have increased by 620 the number of locations where veterans can receive service and support.

Providing a superior level of care and services for our veterans is a high priority for our Conservative government, and we’re continuing to take the positive actions to demonstrate that.

MP Russ Hiebert, South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale

• • •

I totally agree with Pamela Lockhart’s letter to the editor.

And to corroborate her point, I experienced the following.

As a retired RCAF serviceman with 21 years in the service and two tours in Europe, I attended a White Rock audiologist for a hearing test. The audiologist, on seeing my service record, said “Oh, you have to apply to the DVA, they will take good care of you.” Three years and many bureaucratic letters followed.

I was denied assistance. It was an embarrassing and frustrating experience – a waste of time.

I have no respect for this government, as they are not only treating service people terribly, they are changing the face of Canada.

From a trusted and peace-loving country, they are changing us into a mean-spirited country whose word is no longer trusted. We are followers instead of neutral leaders with a strong voice for peace keeping.

This latest move by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in his trip to Israel, is not politically smart. If he wants to encourage home-grown terrorists he is going about it the right way. I would venture to say Canadian tourists may now have to worry more about visiting the Middle East.

By the way, an MP’s pension after six years is $58,000. My pension after 21 years was $150 per month, or $1,800 per year.

Harper should stop downgrading the United Nations; it is the reason we have not had a major war since the Second World War.

John Fortin, Surrey

 

 

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