Four case­work­ers not nearly enough

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS -

Last week, in an at­tempt to mit­i­gate a dis­as­ter which was the clo­sure of the Vet­er­ans Af­fairs Canada (VAC) of­fice in Syd­ney in 2014, Min­is­ter Erin O’Toole breezed into town an­nounc­ing the hir­ing of four new case man­agers for the 140 or so vet­er­ans with se­ri­ous med­i­cal con­di­tions.

For the larger clien­tele, 4,000 strong, there will be new hires else­where for vet­er­ans on dis­abil­ity pen­sions only. The rest must con­tact the Hal­i­fax of­fice, which has the largest clien­tele in Canada at 22,000.

Four case­work­ers will never make up for the in­com­pe­tence and petty pol­i­tics dis­played by the clo­sure of the Syd­ney of­fice.

In­deed, the op­tics of this an­nounce­ment could not be worse. Vet­er­ans ad­vo­cate Ron Clarke summed it best in the Cape Bre­ton by stat­ing: “It’s ob­vi­ous the gov­ern­ment re­al­izes that they’re in trou­ble.”

The cor­rect so­lu­tion is to re­open the Syd­ney VAC of­fice and the eight other of­fices closed in Canada. If Cana­di­ans re-elect a Harper gov­ern­ment, how­ever, that will not hap­pen. LeRoy Peach Port Morien

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