Fighting for veterans

Veterans need more support from federal government.

Dear editor,

Last summer, in Kelowna B.C., a 92 year old veteran walked into a Service Canada office to apply for war veteran allowance. Leaning on his walker, he waited for 40 minutes before he could talk to an agent. The Service Canada agent told him that he could not help him and that it was impossible to speak directly to a Veterans Affairs employee. The only way to file his request was online using a computer terminal. The old soldier did not know how to use a computer. He drove all the way back home and got on the phone to have his application processed by the department.

We don’t know what happened after that. What we do know is why it happened: the federal government decided to close down VAC’s district offices and replace them by Service Canada offices which distribute general information about the government, but cannot provide the specialized information veterans need.

I am the National President of the Union of Veterans’ Affairs Employees. Our union is supportive of Veterans Affairs Canada’s efforts to improve services to veterans. Unfortunately these efforts are rendered useless by the recent federal budget cuts.

This department has been forced to reduce its workforce by 25%, almost one thousand jobs by the end of 2015. The average case load for a Client Service Agent (CSA) is currently at 800 files. After the cuts, it will be more than 1,400 files. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Veterans Affairs minister Steven Blaney pretend that quality of services will improve. This is simply absurd.

Veterans are the heroes of the nation. They deserve our utmost respect, lest we forget.

Yvan Thauvette, National President

Union of Veterans’ Affairs Employees

 

Just Posted

Survey says: Port Hardy Fire Rescue deserves on-call pay

75 per cent of those surveyed were in favour of financial compensation for the fire department.

VIDEO: Incredible waves spotted at Cape Scott

Lighthouse keeper captures video of huricane force winds

Tyson’s Thoughts: Make Port Hardy great again with a new multiplex in 2018

Population growth means there should be more recreational activities for community members to enjoy.

VIDEO: Stormy weather at Storey’s Beach

Envirnoment Canada has issued a wind warning for Coastal British Columbia

RDMW pens letter asking Pacific Coastal to reconsider cancellations

Board raises concerns over loss of flights to the region

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Kervin’s Corner: Our region’s communities heavily rely on the forestry sector — Let’s not change that for now

“Any transition out of our forest-based economy would take years along with careful planning…”

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Most Read