Veterans case worker Michelle Bradley says Service Canada sites aren’t what they’re being made out to be
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Veterans case worker Michelle Bradley says Service Canada sites aren’t what they’re being made out to be.
Michelle Bradley says the federal government isn’t being completely honest with Island veterans when it comes to closing the district office in Charlottetown.
Bradley is one of two case workers with Veterans Affairs Canada in Saint John, N.B., who have been tasked with more than 2,200 files from veterans on P.E.I.
That works out to at least 1,100 veterans each.
The federal government has stated repeatedly that while the district offices have closed (they close officially on Friday but the case files have already been transferred) it has assigned one Veterans Affairs employee at a Service Canada site in each of the nine cities affected to help veterans. That site on P.E.I. is at the Jean Canfield Building on University Avenue in Charlottetown.
“That is true but the part that they’re omitting is that it’s a temporary measure,’’ Bradley said Wednesday. “They are telling staff that this is a position that will be there until it is no longer required. What that means we really don’t know.’’
Bradley adds that the employees working at the Service Canada sites don’t have all the necessary training to help veterans.
“Those people are not trained in the complex Veterans Affairs policies and procedures and I can tell you first hand to try and get a veteran services is not an easy task. There are many hoops they have to jump through and eligibility they have to prove and they have to have certain health conditions. It’s a vast, complex system. To expect a Services Canada office to take that on, on top of all the other duties they handle, it’s unrealistic.’’
Island veteran Alban LeClair said he doesn’t even know how to find the person working at the Canfield building.
“She doesn’t even have a phone number where people can reach her,’’ LeClair said. “The only way to reach anybody is to call Saint John and it’s very difficult to get any information from her because all our files, all of the P.E.I. veterans’ files, have gone to Saint John.’’