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October 28, 2017 2:25 am

Should the Veterans Affairs Office in PG be Reopened?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 @ 3:55 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Where do the candidates stand on veterans?

In part eight of our special election coverage we asked each candidate the following question: What services would you like to see offered (or improved) for veterans? (answers in alphabetical order).

Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies:

Elizabeth Biggar, The Green Party: I think it is horrible how the Harper government has taken away veterans pensions and now does a lump sum payment. It is shameful the amount we pay a soldier in a single payment for an injury. The maximum in Canada is $306,698.21 that could be payed for someone who has lost the function of their lower limbs and is confined to a wheel chair, where in Britain the maximum lump sum is $1,092,348.

I don’t think you can ever put a price on your body, but what we give our veterans is a disgrace. As Veterans ombudsman Pat Strogan put it, “Deputy ministers make more on average in one year than a person who loses two legs in Afghanistan can expect to be paid out for the rest of their life.”

Todd Keller, Libertarian Party: How about paying veterans to help other veterans…they know how to handle their own issues the best. I would find crate ways to fund veterans programs as much as possible however, I would move to bring the troops back home to defend Canada as an alternative to C-51. The Canadian Military knows what they are doing and how to stop terrorist attacks on Canada. Let’s stay out of other people’s conflicts that create these refugee crises.

Matt Shaw, Liberal Party: The Liberal Party and I are very clear on this. We want to see all nine regional Veterans Affairs offices in Canada reopened, and we want to ensure all veterans’ services restored, and in some cases augmented. The way our veterans have been treated by the Harper Government is outrageous. Canada has a sacred moral obligation to take care of its veterans, just as they have taken care of us. This is fundamental to our integrity as a country.

*Note Conservative incumbent Bob Zimmer and NDP challenger Kathi Dickie in the Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies riding declined the opportunity to respond.

Cariboo-Prince George:

Tracy Calogheros, Liberal Party: The reopening of the Veterans Services Offices is the first step of living up to our social contract with our veterans. They need to trust that when they put themselves in harm’s way to defend all of us, we will be here to defend them when they come home. Having personal relationships with expert staff who can help veterans to navigate the programs and services available to them is the first step to determining what they want from us. Choice is important. The choice between a pension or a lump-sum payment, the choice to attend post-secondary or trades training, the choice of how to manage their care and when to seek assistance. These men and women and their families have made sacrifices for all of us. We must offer them our gratitude and our support, and give them the opportunity to tell us what they need as they move back into civilian society.
Sheldon Clare, Independent: Veterans need support where they live. In the absence of reopening a Veteran’s Affairs office, at the very least there needs to be dedicated staff at the government service centers trained to support the needs of veterans. Veteran’s need to be treated with the respect and pensions needed to support and thank them for their service. It is absolutely outrageous that Veterans are told to simply go down to the Legion and seek help there. We need dedicated, specialized staff to provide support to our brave men and women.

Adam De Kroon, Christian Heritage Party: One service I would like to see offered for veterans is the reopening of a Veterans Affairs office in Prince George. As MP I would push for making this happen. Our veterans have given up a lot to serve this country and I think we need to be there for them. Cutting funds for veterans services should be a last resort. There are many places right now where money is being wasted and we can cut funds there instead. There is no need to cut services for our veterans who dedicated their lives to serve our nation.

Trent Derrick, NDP: Canada’s New Democrats have led the way on proposals to improve the programs and services available for veterans and their families. We have been clear about our priorities in the past and we want to see an end to service pension claw backs, reopen shuttered Veterans Affairs offices and widen access to quality home care, long-term care, and mental health care services. The NDP has repeatedly called for the government to repair our country’s relationship with our veterans to one that is based on respect, rather than neglect, by recognizing their sacred social covenant and taking immediate action to enshrine it.

*Further to Derrick’s answer, the NDP on Tuesday committed to re-opening the Veterans Affairs office in Prince George if they form government

Todd Doherty, Conservative Party: It is Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government that increased the amount spent supporting each Veteran by 35%. Meanwhile, let’s remember the Liberal’s record on supporting our troops – a Decade of Darkness.
A Conservative government will continue to make investments to improve frontline services for Canadian Military Veterans.
Richard Jacques, The Green Party: The reopening of all closed regional VA offices and the restaffing of same with health care professionals with an expertise in veteran affairs and services.

Tomorrow’s question: Most communities are facing an infrastructure deficit, how will you help communities in your riding deal with that issue?


Todd Doherty, Conservative Party did not answer the question.

Just in case he did not understand it the first time, here it is again:

“Should the Veterans Affairs Office in PG be Reopened?”

YES or NO.

It is a simple question, not complicated, only two choices.

No waffling, stonewalling, skating around, pointing fingers at others,
no fuzzification, grand standing or baffle gabbing or disrespect for those who deserve an actual answer.

I love the cons spin.. We cut %65 funding. Then gave back %35 of the %65 we cut.so we increased funding by %35.
Heave Steve

This must be why the Harper conservatives were told to avoid debates and the media, Todd’s answer is insulting, they truly must think the people in our riding or idiots. Bob Zimmers answer is better than Todd’s.

Todd using Harper spin is one more reason sending this guy to Ottawa would be another waisted term in office. We have had 22 years of this kind of response. Time for a change.

Let’s send the strongest candidate and stop worrying about the color of the pin.

How can you answer a question when you don’t have all the information.

Its like the City going into all sort of contortions on bike lanes, etc; when they don’t have a bloody clue as to how many people ride bikes in Prince George and where they ride.

We need to know the following.

1. How many Veterans in Prince George over all. How many Veterans in the Greater Prince George District. How many Veterans in this particular area require services. How are the services now being handled.

2. Are the complaints for Veterans Services coming from the Veterans themselves or from politicians, news media, etc;

3. If we re open the Prince George office, should we open offices in Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, Smithers, etc; or do we feel that its **ok** for these areas to get their services some other way, but we in Prince George require **special** services.

This question of service has to be answered for all of Canada and based on need rather than wants. I would like to hear something from the Veterans themselves on this issue.

I think we still want a face to Canada. Veteran affair, Revenue Canada, CPP. We should have access to this, instead of throwing everything on line. We as Canadians deserve better. Prince George is a major center. We service a pretty large area. So it should be the place where people who has questions can do it face to face.

The majority of candidate responses sound good. Unfortunately, politicians on the campaign trail tend to make promises that never see fruition. Just how hard has anyone in Ottawa been pushing for veteran support and services prior to the election?
It is plain to see that our veterans have been getting the short end of the stick by most elected officials for quite a while. They deserve better. I certainly hope that the next govt will change this.

Maybe make cuts to MP pensions in order to support those who risk it all for our country. MPs can save travel expenses by flying on military supply flights, this would also give them some exposure to the troops so that they may understand just what these folks are all about. How many elected officials actually take the time to see how our forces work and live? Many of Canada’s politicians could not march a mile in the veterans boots..but at least they could get close and smell their feet!

Palopu.. how much are you paid for your “opinions” because I cant see anyone being that ignorant to the Cons horrible track record.


This is not a new issue that has only been brought up during the Election. The Harper conservatives have gutted military funding to help balance the books for the Election.

Then you get Bob Zimmers and Todd’s answer, and they both say nothing.

If another party cut military funding to veterans and gave answers like those two minions you would lose your mind demanding change.

And you would be right. It’s time for change.

Palopu… here is a perfect example of why harper cant be trusted..

“Canada’s finance minister says Canada is not in recession now and wasn’t in recession in the first half of the year despite data showing otherwise”

Even though the numbers clearly show Canada in a recession Harper and clowns say it isnt so… and he is supposedly a economist.. FAIL

Don’t beat around the bushes. Answer my questions if you can. The office’s that were closed across Canada ( 8 in total ) were office’s that received 10 or less visits per day. So lets think of that for a moment. They can still receive the services, only from the Services Canada office rather that a stand alone Veterans office.

I don’t agree that all the services we get from the Government should by handled by a 1-800 number, nor do I agree that when I call a private business for a service that I should have to deal with an off shore call centre.

All services in Canada, Government and Private have been bastardized over the past 20 years. All Governments, and political parties, and corporations, news media, etc; are part and parcel of the problem.

We are not getting any bang from our buck from anyone. We now pump our own gas. Check out our own groceries, pay a dollar to pump up our tires, etc; etc; etc;. We are being screwed front and center by Governments and Corporations who have no regard for the average Joe.

Don’t for a New York minute think that you would get a better deal from the Liberals or NDP. That my friends is just fantasizing.

This seems to be a biased question from 250 with no facts. I understand there few veterans serviced in the office on a weekly basis. Veteran’s can see someone from service Canada, phone, and also make appoints when someone from veteran’s affairs travels into PG.

Should veteran’s affairs open an office in the Fort, Burns lake Dawson Creek?

By the way I am a veteran but have never needed the services.


Since office’s were never closed in those areas reopening them would be tough. But if the need to have an office in other areas comes up, then we should look at that as well.

Instead of the Harper conservatives spending 800 million dollars in advertising trying to convince us they are doing a good job. They could have used some of that money to show us they care about our Vets.

Can’t trust Harper

Here we go again. Nobody reads past the headlines. Everyone who has posted fails.

The question posed to the candidates some time ago in writing states: “What services would you like to see offered (or improved) for veterans?”
That is what they all responded to. They would not have known that the headline for today’s article would be: “Should the Veterans Affairs Office in PG be Reopened?”

Those are two completely different questions!!!

Palopu I would like to see any other party do as bad as the Cons.. about time another one was given a turn.. we are spiralling so quickly into the abiss its scarey.. It cant get any worse… Harper really did mean it when he said ” you will not recognize Canada when I am done with it”

I was hoping he meant it in a good way, but obviously he didnt.

And, in case people such as “Prince George” answer that they should have assumed that as some have done before, why would anyone assume that? Both are legitimate questions, but the candidates were not asked both, only one.

Did Todd skirt the issue. Of course he did. Now it is my turn to assume. I assume that Todd and most others have not got the faintest clue what services Veterans actually require, which ones are available, which ones are adequate, and which ones are missing.

These are politicians. They are not senior managers in Veterans Affairs

I am willing to bet that neither do most of the posters here unless they are veterans and have needed some of the services which are provided or should be provided.

Go to the top of this page! What does it say there about the direct question that was asked?

“Should the Veterans Affairs Office in PG be Reopened?”

If you think they should be, answer yes and give your reasons.

If you think the should not be, answer no and give your reasons.

Period. No skating around by NOT answering either yes or no!

This has nothing to do with previously asked questions, bike lanes and other distractions.

The candidate tried to get away by sitting on the fence by sitting on the fence.

As usual we get no answers to how many veterans in the area, how many veterans use the service etc;

All we get is hyperbole from Dave.

Can’t trust Dave.

YES, we need a walk in office for Veterans affairs in Prince George. There are MANY, that do not use or understand the computer system. They are left out in the cold when it comes to accessing information about help they could get and need.
The government on line site is such an impersonal/ hard to understand site!!!


You don’t need to trust me, I’m not running for public office.

The problem is you can’t trust yourself. You defend everything the Harper conservatives do no matter what. If another party had treated our Veterans the same way as Harper you would be calling for their head. Or if any other candidate answered like Todd and Zimmer you would be saying they are puppets. It makes almost everything you say comical.

Maybe they could post the candidates replys with out their names attached. Wait for all the responses and then let us know who said what.

Article in the local Citizen to-day states that the Prince George Veterans Affairs office was said to have (15) fifteen files when it was closed. The office closed in 2012. They do not state if the office handled files from the outlying areas or for Prince George and Regional District only.

In any event you might want to reflect on having an office available on a per annum basis to service 15 files, when most, if not all of this service can be handled by the Services Canada office, locally.

Dave. Veterans in Canada have had problems with Governments since the 1st world war. You would have us believe that the Liberals hands are clean on this file, however in fact you have nothing to back up that insinuation.

Can’t trust Dave.

Palopu:”Dave. Veterans in Canada have had problems with Governments since the 1st world war. You would have us believe that the Liberals hands are clean on this file, however in fact you have nothing to back up that insinuation.”

We should not send them into wars if later on we are not willing to address their war related issues, like Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, pensions, injuries, inability to cope and even suicide.

Your insinuation is that the Liberals have unclean (dirty) hands on this file. Be careful. Veterans have lots of problems with your present Harper government – so I shall logically conclude that the Conservative hands are unclean (dirty)too!

Thanks for the hint!

Prince George. Read into my statement what you choose. The records of Governments all over on the world on Veterans leave a lot to be desired.

I have no explanation for this, other than it seems to be a reoccurring thing. I would suggest that the Conservative Governments record is no better, or worse than others, and just possibly better.

Have a nice day.

Canadian veterans deserve better than just being fitted into world conditions which leave a lot to be desired! It is a lame excuse to cite other countries poor records. We (Canada) can do better! You do not seem to be able to get past unconditional devoted support for whatever Harper’s policies and missteps are! I am not the only one who thinks that way and posts accordingly.

“Can’t trust Dave.”

I trust Dave more than Harper. In fact I do not trust Harper at all.

You have a nice day too!

Has there ever been ANY country, anywhere, where all veterans were completely satisfied with what they got from their governments in return for their services? I don’t think so. There are always going to be those who feel they’ve somehow been shortchanged. And I doubt that’s something any government could change.

socredible has it right. The numbers about the present issue for Veterans in Canada do not take into account other benefits that they receive such as medical etc; So you have to look at the big picture to get the whole story. When you look at everything including the cash payments, you see that Canada does better than most Countries.

Perhaps its time for some people to quit falling over each other to denigrate the present Government and do some research before they start to post.

In part eight of our special election coverage we asked each candidate the following question: What services would you like to see offered (or improved) for veterans? (answers in alphabetical order).

The question WAS NOT the same as the title of the article.

Thanks for putting your life on the line.. welcome back… now go away..

Harpers creto for veterans.

P Val. Get a life.

Palopu sorry for making your BFF look bad … :)

I realize that the only poll, or Pol, that matters right now is the health of Troy Tulowitzki. But man, nobody racks up the negative numbers on this site like Palopu, Socredible and Veritas.

Just an observation. Fire away folks.

Maybe some people just can’t handle the truth, Digitus. For someone seriously injured while in military service, how can they ever be adequately compensated? While they are laying their lives on the line for us when they deploy to a combat area, this is something that they’ve ‘volunteered’ to do. It’s what they’ve trained for, and for the majority of them, what they live, (and are willing to die) for. Perhaps we should be more honest when we recruit for soldiers. Instead of stating, “There’s no life like it.”, (which is a Hell of a lot better than the American military’s, “Be all that you can be.” ), we should say, “Join the Canadian Armed Forces. Travel to exotic places. Meet interesting people. And kill them.” That’s very ‘black and white’. But when, in our attempts to do just that, someone gets a permanent disablement, then we enter that ‘grey’ area. How much is enough? For some, probably most, they realise the government tries to do its best with the constraints that are imposed upon ALL governments. Financial ones, and seemingly unchangeable. For it’s heresy to ever say they could be. For others, it’ll always be ‘more’. They can’t have back what they’ve lost, and there’s no real way to ever compensate anyone for that.

Palopu wrote : As usual we get no answers to how many veterans in the area, how many veterans use the service etc; [?] how many vets in northern , northwestern and northeastern b.c. Would be enough for you to have a place where a vet can get what they want and or need ?

Digitus well this is a left leaning liberal site after all.

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