The MP for Yukon has responded to Yukon veterans concerned about the closure of nine Veterans Affairs district offices across the country.
In a written statement, Conservative MP Ryan Leef says the planned closures do not affect the Yukon. Leef says veterans and their families need help with paperwork, they now have access to the Service Canada office in the Elijah Smith building in Whitehorse.
Leef also says there’s been an increase of $5 billion for services and benefits for veterans since 2006.
That answer doesn’t sit well with Yukon veteran Darcy Grossinger. He says the closures, which were announced closures in the March 2012 budget, mean the federal government is failing people who go to war.
'They earned every goddamn penny of it, and they earned it by serving their country' - Yukon veteran Darcy Grossinger
“People paid a high price for those pensions. They earned every goddamn penny of it, and they earned it by serving their country,” Grossinger said.
“And I'd like to remind Mr. Leef that the increase of spending on veterans in 2006 also includes the increase of injured veterans from something called the war in Afghanistan at the same time. I think his numbers are a little fuzzy.”
Nearly 800 people are being laid off and nine regional offices are being closed in February 2014.
Representatives of the Royal Canadian Legion say injured and traumatized veterans depend on those offices for help contacting medical assistance, counselling and financial services and for help completing paperwork.
Cuts spark protests
This weekend, about 3,000 people took to the streets in Sydney, N.S. to protest the cuts. Similar protests took place in Windsor, Ont. and Corner Brook, N.L.