Windsor council urges Ottawa to save Veterans Affairs office

Windsor council on Monday night unanimously endorsed a motion demanding the federal government reverse its plan to close veterans affairs offices in Windsor and other cities across Canada.

About 30 veterans and their supporters rallied outside City Hall on Monday

Veterans used words like disgrace and betrayal to describe Ottawa's decision to close Veterans Affairs offices.

Windsor council on Monday night unanimously endorsed a motion demanding the federal government reverse its plan to close veterans affairs offices in Windsor and other cities across Canada.

"This city council and this mayor are opposed to the closure of the Veteran Affairs office here in the city of Windsor," Coun. Ron Jones said.

Approximately 30 veterans and supporters of theirs rallied in front of Windsor City Hall prior to the council meeting.

They, like the councillors, wanted to encourage city council to lobby the federal government to reverse its decision to close the local Veterans Affairs office.

Closing the office in Windsor would force veterans to make time-consuming trips to London to receive services.

Ralph Mayville, a 92-year-old Second World War veteran, called Ottawa's decision "betrayal."

"We fought for this damn country and at least they could do something for us," he said. "Keep the office there. We need it. These guys aren't getting any younger.

"We got to travel back and forth to London every time we want something. It's not right."

With veterans looking on, city council passed a motion demanding the federal government overturn its decision to close the office in Windsor.

Larry Costello, 88, also served in the Second World War. He said "it's a disgrace" what the government is doing.

"They let us fight the war for our peace, and now they should appreciate the fact to what the veterans' done," Costello said.

Mayor Eddie Francis is impressed with the vets.

"The show of support that was demonstrated by our veterans is a reflection of how important the office is," Francis said.

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