eyking

Liberal MP Mark Eyking says the federal Conservatives can expect a backlash from the public when Veterans Affairs offices across the country begin to close. (CBC)

A Cape Breton Member of Parliament doubts the federal Conservatives are comfortable with their decision to close Veterans Affairs offices across the country.

Liberal MP Mark Eyking, who represents the riding of Sydney-Victoria, said the protest rally in Sydney over the weekend is a good example of how people feel about the impending closures.

Nine Veterans Affairs offices are set to close across the country in the new year.

Eyking believes there is pressure within the Conservative Party to make changes.

"I would think they would be getting a push back from the grassroots Conservatives now, telling them, 'Look, this is not a go and this looks really bad on us.' It's a shame this is the way they have to operate sometimes but that's the way I see it," he said.

Despite assurances that veterans' needs will be looked after through local Service Canada offices, Eyking believes the protests will continue.

"Well you wait until February comes and these veterans on a snowy day are waiting outside the door of Service Canada trying to get a new pair of shoes or trying to get some of their services — that's when the next big wave is going to hit them," said Eyking. 

"So I would say, if they were half smart, they would in the next three or four months try to do something to minimize what's going to be happening in February. But it's kind of a wait and see," said Eyking.

The Veterans Affairs Department said veterans will continue to receive their full range of services through the various programs it offers, some of which will now come through local Service Canada offices.