Veterans campaign for closing federal offices
Veterans Affairs offices in Sydney, Charlottetown and Corner Brook slated to close
A group of veterans in Cape Breton used Remembrance Day to speak up for a counselling service that they say is important for their region.
The federal government announced in April it's closing the Veterans Affairs office in the community in 2014. Offices in Charlottetown, P.E.I. and Corner Brook, N.L. will also be phased out.
The district offices provide front-line services, including counselling for veterans.
Pat LeBlanc, 47, said the office has played a critical role in his life. LeBlanc served in the first Gulf War, Bosnia and Africa. He now suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.
"I had a relapse a while ago," he said. "I went in there, I was in dire need of some help, and before I left there, I was set up… they care in there."
When the closure was announced, the federal government said veterans will still be able to receive help by phone, online or from caseworkers who will visit the area.
Yvan Thauvette, president of the Union of Veterans Employees, said that's not good enough.
"Some of those clients, when they're in crisis, need to talk to a specialized, informed, or trained employee. Will it be the case in the future? I don't know."
The office in Sydney serves about 3,500 veterans.
Thauvette said as people take the time to reflect on wars past, he hopes people will also take time to write to the government about the cuts.