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LETTER: Veterans deserve better treatment

Korean War veteran Kenneth Jeffery salutes after a wreath is laid outside the Wedgeport Legion in Yarmouth County. Because of COVID-19 the veterans wore masks during the ceremony but removed them for this part of the ceremony. TINA COMEAU PHOTO
Korean War veteran Kenneth Jeffery outside the Wedgeport Legion in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. — SaltWire Network file photo

I write regarding the Oct. 13th editorial “Veterans Affairs backlog mind-boggling.”

First of all, thank you for highlighting this issue to Canadians. Veterans and their families do need more than thanks from the government and a grateful public. They need prompt, effective and efficient responses to their needs when they leave the military, and to make them wait for months and sometimes years for basic services and benefits is a national disgrace.

As the people who work with veterans and their families every day, the staff at Veterans Affairs is as disappointed as they are with the delays and backlogs in service. They are also tired of temporary solutions to permanent problems facing veterans when they approach the department. The latest plan is a Band-Aid solution that may alleviate the pressure in the short-term, but like other “fixes,” this one will only cause backups and delays in other services and programs.

It’s time for Veterans Affairs and the Government of Canada to live up to their commitments to veterans and their families. The members of the Union of Veterans’ Affairs Employees are ready and willing to do their part. Provide permanent and secure funding along with the necessary staff resources to treat our veterans with the respect and dignity they have earned. They deserve no less.

Virginia Vaillancourt, national president

Union of Veterans' Affairs Employees

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