A community victory: Windsor veterans office to reopen

Local MPs Cheryl Hardcastle (Windsor—Tecumseh), Brian Masse (Windsor West) and Tracey Ramsey (Essex) are welcoming plans to reopen Windsor’s Veterans Affairs office, but are concerned it won’t happen until spring 2017.

New Democrats in partnership with veterans groups and the broader community have been pressuring successive governments to reopen offices across Canada. Today in Windsor we see the direct result of this advocacy, proving that determination and resolve are effective means by which we can collectively impact public policy.

“This announcement is long awaited and we welcome the improvement to the quality of service our veterans are currently receiving. Quality care and service is the least our country can do to honour veterans’ contributions,” said Hardcastle.

“This office never should have closed and could have been reopened much earlier. Now the government is announcing veterans will have to wait several more months before they can receive proper service,” added Masse.

In July, Hardcastle, Masse and Ramsey hosted a roundtable discussion with local veterans groups, where they heard concerns about the delayed reopening. They wrote to Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr, calling for a quick reopening to avoid veterans having to go another winter without proper local services.

“I commend veterans in our region who have worked so hard for the reopening,” said Ramsey. “But I’m disappointed they’ll have to wait until 2017 for the restoration of local services. The government still hasn’t produced any explanation for the delay.”