Case worker says federal government not being honest

Dave Stewart
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Veterans case worker Michelle Bradley says Service Canada sites aren’t what they’re being made out to be

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.

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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.’’

 

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

Organizations: Veterans Affairs Canada, Service Canada, Jean Canfield Building

Geographic location: Saint John, P.E.I., Charlottetown.Bradley Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Kelly
    February 02, 2014 - 13:35

    I wonder if people realize all the cuts to Service Canada We are already not servicing the unemployed and now we will not be servicing veterans - it is shameful.

  • Myrna Geldart
    February 02, 2014 - 11:54

    Where they have closed eight Veterans Affairs buildings, they need to inform us Canadians how much it did cost to run each one , how much they will save by closing and where the money saved will go? With this redirection of services should be for the better not cause distress and poor service.Please let me know how this will benefit the veterans? Or are they helping pay for all of the mistakes of government decisions when it comes to taxpayers money.

  • Myrna Geldart
    February 02, 2014 - 09:43

    I would like to know how many Canadians go to see their MPS about their concerns, from my experience most people will not go to the MP's for help on issues as they do not trust the government so here is where we can cut services instead of cutting the war vets needs as I would rather pay to help the ones who fought for our country and put their lives at risk.

  • Myrna Geldart
    February 02, 2014 - 08:27

    I understand why the government is trying to cut spending as they have wasted our money for 40 years of my life watching politician's but there would be no reason they could not just downsize and have a Veterans office in every Federal Riding for personal service for each veteran to talk to and have all of their concerns met. They would have to determine how many in each riding and place employees accordingly. If one MP can represent the whole riding then what would be wrong with our money taking care of the Vets?

  • Kathryn Buchan
    January 31, 2014 - 17:39

    Eliminating the deficit on the backs of the most vulnerable seems to be what the Conservatives do best. Cutting back on services to veterans is inexcusable. Cut back on cronies going on free trips abroad, on perks to Senators and MPs first.

  • Give Michelle a promotion
    January 31, 2014 - 08:41

    The fact that Ms Bradley came forward to speak on this despite what must have been a risk shows she is what the DVA desparately needs. More Case workers need to do what Michelle has done and stand up for what is right. I'm not a vet but if I were, I would want this woman working for me.

  • c.b.
    January 31, 2014 - 01:16

    I worked on contract as an Occupational Therapist in the Vancouver District Office for 8.5 years, providing "exemplary service" as per the mission statement. I was walked to the door, fired, locks were changed, after I sent an email to colleagues stating that the change in service " would simply save the dept. money

  • THIS IS FOR DAVID MACKINNON
    January 30, 2014 - 20:37

    Tell the whole truth if the Government did not steal all the money out of the EI program. It would be self staining on the interest.It made more on interest then it was paying out.But our so call government for the people just wants to use it as another tax where everybody pays into but nobody can use it.

  • Samuel Brace, CD
    January 30, 2014 - 19:58

    I admire this young lady for her honesty and courage in coming forward and telling readers what is happening with our veterans and the workers at VAC. The truth as I see it is that the feds are attempting to save money on the backs of our veterans. Harper and his MPs are continually spouting the same line over and over about how much they are doing for our veterans but it is all a smokescreen to cover their disrespect and neglect of veterans. I hope more and more people on the inside speak up and I encourage voters to make this government accountable in 2015.

  • don
    January 30, 2014 - 14:25

    tell me when is any government honest? all levels are never able o tell the truth to the people that pays them. that goes for all parties.

  • Marie
    January 30, 2014 - 14:07

    It's a rotten shame that our elected government chooses to do this. Veterans have a hard enough time as it is...after SERVING OUR COUNTRY FOR THAT SAME GOVERNMENT. Instead they choose to make it even more difficult to get any help. Bring back face to face meetings. Why must we deal with recordings and computers to have improper/no service?