OTTAWA, Oct. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Veterans were in Ottawa today for the
launch of a YouTube video about why the federal government should not close the Veterans Affairs
offices they rely on for frontline services.
They say the government is betraying Canada's veterans by shutting down
Veterans Affairs offices in Charlottetown, Corner Brook, Sydney,
Thunder Bay, Windsor, Brandon, Saskatoon, Prince George and Kelowna.
Terry Collins, a 47 year-old veteran who served in Bosnia and accesses
services from the Sydney office, is featured in the YouTube video
produced by the Public Service Alliance of Canada. The video was
launched on PSAC's website today.
"I am a young veteran living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder," said
Collins. "Veterans are not dying out - there are hundreds more just
like me who are struggling and need face-to-face services from Veterans
Many veterans - especially those living with serious injuries,
disabilities and mental health challenges like PTSD - rely on these
Veterans Affairs offices for support.
"They tell me that I will need to drive for more than five hours to get
one-on-one services," said Ron Clarke, 73, another veteran featured in
the video who served nearly 36 years in the military and lives in North
Sydney. "What a profound disservice to veterans like me."
The government says veterans in the affected communities will be able to
access services through Service Canada offices, but the staff members
there are not able to provide the services veterans need and are also
"Telling us to drive for hours or rely on the phone or a website for
help is a profound betrayal to veterans young and old. Veterans need
and deserve one-on-one help," said Michael Barnewell, 32, a veteran who
served in Afghanistan and lost his right leg to a land mine.
Yvan Thauvette, president of PSAC's Union of Veterans Affairs Employees
says his members are worried about the clients they serve.
"Veterans deserve better and should not have to drive for hours to
access the services they need and deserve," said Thauvette.
"We will be working with veterans to urge Members of Parliament to speak
out against the closures," said Robyn Benson, National President of
PSAC. "We hope our video will encourage Canadians everywhere to get
For further information:
Shelina Merani, PSAC Communications: (613) 293-9324 MeraniS@psac.com