NEWS

Veterans Affairs rally in Sydney brings out hundreds

11/09/2013 10:25 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 10:53 EST
Hundreds of protesters are gathering in Cape Breton, N.S., to protest the federal government's plan to close the local Veterans Affairs office.

As part of the March 2012 budget, the federal government announced it would be closing nine district offices, including the one in Sydney. Spending was expected to decrease, said government documents, due to a dwindling number of veterans.

On the Saturday before Remembrance Day close to 3,000 people showed up in Sydney to show their support and listen to speeches.

Protesters waved signs and sang , reported the CBC's Norma Jean MacPhee. The protesters also handed out post cards to send to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

"Telling a veteran to use a computer or a 1-800 number to get the help they need is insulting," said Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis in a news release.

"These men and women put themselves in harm’s way for us and we owe them."

Offices in these cities will shut:

- Charlottetown

- Corner Brook, N.L.

- Sydney, N.S.

- Windsor, Ont.

- Thunder Bay, Ont.

- Kelowna, B.C.

- Prince George, B.C.

- Saskatoon

- Brandon, Man.

The offices are set up across the country to help veterans. The Union of Veterans Affairs Employees said the offices would close on Feb. 28, 2014.

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