Reopening of Veterans Affairs office 'a win for veterans' in Sydney
Published Thursday, July 7, 2016 12:33PM ADT
Veterans in Cape Breton say they are thrilled the Veterans Affairs office in Sydney will reopen by the end of the year.
The Veterans Affairs office in Sydney and one in Charlottetown are among nine offices that will reopen after being closed by the previous Conservative government in 2014.
“It’s definitely a win for veterans here in Sydney. We needed this,” says veteran Blair MacIvor. “We need the one-on-one support.”
“It was a long hard fight and it was all not necessary,” says veteran Alfie Burt.
Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr officially reopened the first office in Corner Brook, N.L. on Tuesday, while Liberal MP Mark Eyking says the Sydney office could reopen as early as the fall.
“What we’re going to see is a very modern office, not only for our older veterans, but for our modern veterans, new vets, one where they feel comfortable coming in,” says Eyking.
The new Veterans Affairs office will not reopen in the same location as the old one, but officials will not reveal the exact location of the new office just yet.
Eyking says he expects the new building will be unveiled once the renovations are complete. He also says more case workers will be hired to meet the demands of one of the busiest offices in the region.
“They’ll have a case worker that they’ll feel comfortable with, who they’ll know face-to-face,” he says.
Meanwhile, the veterans say the reopening of the shuttered Veterans Affairs offices is vindication and proof that the thousands who protested the closures actually made a difference.
“There was so many people saying it was wrong and yeah, it was wrong,” says Burt.
The federal government says all nine Veterans Affairs offices will be reopened by the spring of 2017.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald