CORNER BROOK Gerry Byrne said Tuesday that if his party forms the next federal government it will reopen any Veterans Affairs offices closed by the Conservatives.
Byrne, the Liberal MP for Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte, and Leader Justin Trudeau met with a delegation of veterans from across the country following Question Period in Parliament late Tuesday afternoon. Among them was Paul Davis, a 66-year-old veteran from Summerside.
The veterans are in the nation’s capital lobbying for the Conservatives to reverse their decision to close nine Veterans Affairs offices across the country. It’s a last-ditch effort for the veterans as the offices are slated to close on Friday.
Byrne said the veterans used the meeting to re-emphasize what the offices mean and what there closure will mean and asked Trudeau if he, as future prime minister, would reopen them.
“To which Mr. Trudeau said ‘absolutely we will,’ and he said ‘we’ll go further and make sure that the services that our veterans require and deserve will be afforded to them.’”
Byrne said that’s above and beyond the service of the current offices.
The MP said his party would prefer not to even have the issue as part of its platform document for the next election.
“We would prefer for the government not to do this. We will be continuing to press the current government to abandon these closures and reinstate these services and reinstate these offices.
“But if the offices do close under the Harper government watch, we will reopen them.”