Ex-soldiers protest impending office veterans affairs office closures | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Ex-soldiers protest impending office veterans affairs office closures

Canadian soldiers patrol an area in the Dand district of southern Afghanistan on June 7, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
January 28, 2014 - 7:58 AM

OTTAWA - A group of ex-soldiers, some from the Second World War, are trying to step up pressure on the Harper government to halt the closure of Veterans Affairs regional offices.

Offices in Kelowna, B.C., Saskatoon, Brandon, Man., Thunder Bay, Ont., Windsor, Ont., Sydney, N.S., Charlottetown and Corner Brook, N.L., are slated to shut down Friday as part of a move to more online and remote services.

Seven veterans, including Roy Lamore whose service dates back to the 1940s, says he and others feel betrayed by a government that promised to take care of them and younger soldiers.

Former corporal Bruce Moncur, who was wounded in Afghanistan in 2006, says the online system has increased frustration even among his Internet-savvy friends seeking benefits and treatment.

Filling out forms and navigating the department's bureaucratic maze has taken him up to a week, he said, when just one office visit would have sorted it out in one morning.

Moncur, who suffered a shrapnel wound to the head, says he believes it's a deliberate strategy to reduce use of services.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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