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Sunday, June 23, 2013

New Democrats slam wrong-headed cuts to Veterans Affairs

New Democrats slam wrong-headed cuts to Veterans Affairs
OTTAWA – NDP Veterans Affairs critic Peter Stoffer (Sackville-Eastern Shore) slammed the Conservatives’ reckless decision to eliminate over 800 jobs over the next three years at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“It is disingenuous and irresponsible for the Conservatives to cut that many jobs then pretend that it won’t have a negative impact on the very people this department is meant to help,” said Stoffer. “You simply cannot maintain the same standard of care, or programs and services, with fewer staff.”
Stoffer warned last year that Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) will see a 45 percent staff reduction with these cuts, which will directly compromise their capacity to meet veterans’ needs. Further, an additional 1,295 VAC employees will soon be notified that they are no longer federal employees as the last remaining federally run veterans’ hospital (Saint-Anne-de Bellevue Hospital) is about to be transferred to the province of Quebec. 
“Canada’s veterans dedicated their lives to serving this country and the least we can do is support them when they return home,” said deputy Veterans Affairs critic Sylvain Chicoine (Châteauguay–Saint-Constant). “Cutting services to these men and women when they need it most is just wrong.”

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