NAPE calls on Harper government to rescind decision to close veteran’s offices

Cory
Cory Hurley
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Matthew Connolly from Royal Canadian Legion Branch 13 speaks during a protest against closing the Veterans Affairs office in Corner Brook Thursday.

ST. JOHN’S  The closure of Veteran’s Affairs offices will only worsen the looming crisis with our Canadian Armed Forces veterans and personnel, according to Carol Furlong.

The president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) was reacting to the four recent suicides of young veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to Furlong, these tragedies took place only days before federal Veteran’s Affairs Minister Julian Fantino announced Veteran’s Affairs offices in eight communities will officially close their doors to veterans on Jan. 31. This includes the office in Corner Brook. The office in Prince George, B.C. has already been closed.

“Based on recent tragic events, the federal government needs to increase support services to our military personnel, not reduce them. This is an alarming situation that demands immediate attention by the federal government,” Furlong stated in a press release. “In light of the tragic events this past week and the continued call by veterans, both young and old, for the need to maintain the support services offered in these offices, the Harper government must immediately rescind the decision to close these offices.”

The suicide deaths of these military personnel have touched the hearts of Canadians,” the union president said.

“On behalf of the 27,000 members of our trade union, I offer deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of those young veterans who tragically died in the past week and to their colleagues in our Canadian Armed Forces,” stated Furlong.

Organizations: Canadian Armed Forces, Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Prince George

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