01/06/2015 07:38 EST | Updated 03/08/2015 05:59 EDT

Re-Open Veterans Affairs Offices, New Minister Asked

The Public Service Alliance of Canada is calling on the new Minister of Veterans Affairs to re-open the district offices closed by outgoing minister Julian Fantino.

Fantino was replaced as the minister Monday by Erin O'Toole. Fantino returned to the post of associate minister for defence, which he left in 2012.

In a news release following the announcement PSAC, which represents some workers at Veterans Affairs, said Fantino "disrespected and ignored" a group of veterans, including one from PEI, who went to Ottawa a year ago to protest the closure of nine district offices. One of those offices was in Charlottetown.

“The Conservatives need to prove that replacing Fantino with Minister O’Toole is more than just a pre-election tactic to try to placate veterans,” said union president Robyn Benson.

The district offices provided face-to-face contact with Veterans Affairs case workers for veterans. The department has argued that service has not been diminished for veterans, because face-to-face service is still available from trained staff at Service Canada offices. Veterans Affairs has also said it provides help to P.E.I. veterans at DVA headquarters in Charlottetown.

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