Prince George veterans scored a big win in Tuesday’s federal budget. Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, followed through with a Liberal campaign promise to restore funding to veteran’s affairs’ offices across the country. In total, eight offices will be re-opened.
The office in Prince George was closed by the previous Conservative government in 2012. Since then, the Prince George Legion and the City have been lobbying the federal government to re-open its doors.
Service Officer for the Royal Canadian Legion, John Scott says an office in Prince George will mean greater access for local vets. “It means the opportunity for them to talk to real veterans’ affairs case workers and to talk face-to-face with them and get looked after at any time of the year.”
The government now pledges $5.6 billion towards services for veterans suffering from illness or injury. Wilf Peckham is a local veteran who applied for assistance from veterans’ affair a few years ago. “It was ridiculous when they moved it (the office) away because there’s still lots of veterans and service people in the area. Naturally they’re going to need some help and through veterans’ affairs is the way to get it,” Peckham said.
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43 wants the new office to be located at its headquarters on 6th Avenue, but an opening date and location is still to be determined.