POLITICS

Veterans Affairs Hiring Again After Cutting Nearly 900 Jobs

12/10/2014 05:13 EST | Updated 02/09/2015 05:59 EST
CP
OTTAWA - The Harper government is looking to hire staff at Veterans Affairs.

Job notices for dozens of front-line positions in cities across the country have begun appearing at a time when the government is under pressure for slashing nearly 900 staff at the embattled department.

The opposition parties have linked the job cuts to last month's auditor general's report, which said the department made one in five mentally ill ex-soldiers wait up to eight months before deciding whether to fund their treatment.

The Liberals and NDP have also said the delays have contributed to the department's inability to spend up to $1.13 billion of its budget since 2006.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino have defended the lapsed funding, saying budgets are often over-estimated because it's hard to know how many veterans and their families will ask for help.

But in his fall 2012 report, the auditor general warned that Veterans Affairs was doing a poor job of accurately forecasting future client needs, resulting in a service bottleneck at stress injury clinics.

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