Canada’s services to veterans are under attack. Harper’s Conservative government has cut over $113 million from the Veterans Affairs budget, closing 9 offices and slashing front-line positions. Our veterans deserve better. This government is cutting public service budgets across the country, without regard for the safety and welfare of millions of Canadians.
Veterans speak out against loss of front line services
Vince Rigby and Ron Clarke
Vince Rigby served 22 years in the Canadian military. Diagnosed with extreme PTSD, he credits the workers in the Sydney Veterans Affairs office for saving his life.
Ron Clarke spent 36 years in the Canadian Armed Forces. “I retired with a problem with my back. And then later on I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, and then arthritis in the hands and then the arthritis in the spine,” he says.
Michelle Bradley and the workers she represents are on the front lines.
As the National Vice President for the Atlantic Region of the Union of Veterans Affairs Employees, she represents the people who work directly with veterans — processing benefits claims and assisting them with their day-to-day needs.
Robyn Young is only 24 years old, but has already served in the Royal Canadian Navy for eight years. She is currently unable to serve, due to the side effects from surviving both a brain tumour and an unnecessary surgery that has left her with permanent double vision and constant vertigo and nausea.
She has been trying to get help from Veterans Affairs. But the office in Windsor closed last year, along with eight others in Canada.
Robert Cutbush is 50 and served 25 years in Royal Canadian Navy. He is the president of his local Legion in Thunder Bay and extremely active in supporting veterans in his community.
But like many veterans, Rob struggles with PTSD and other mental health challenges.