NDP MPs: Closing Veterans Beds Shortsighted

Peter Stoffer and Irene Mathyssen demand that Veterans Minister keep beds for modern day veterans

OTTAWA – Government plans to close 72 beds for veterans in London Ontario, is both short-sighted and unacceptable say New Democrat MPs Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) and Peter Stoffer (Sackville-Eastern Shore), the NDP’s Veterans Affairs Critic.

“There are a lot of modern day Canadian Forces (CF) and RCMP veterans who could use these veterans’ hospital beds but current government regulations do not allow it,” said Stoffer. “It is disturbing to know that CF and RCMP veterans who have served in peacekeeping and other missions since the Korean War are denied the use of hospital beds provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

Stoffer has repeatedly called on the Minister to open up discussions about the future and continued use of our veterans’ hospitals for modern day veterans.

“We know that many Second World War and Korean War veterans are passing on and as a direct result, the need for their hospital care is declining. But there is a growing need for a similar type of care at veterans’ hospitals for CF and RCMP veterans who served Canada in Bosnia, Cyprus, Afghanistan, and so on. The number of modern day veterans who will require hospital care is steadily increasing, allowing for the continued use of these facilities.”

“As a visitor to Parkwood Veterans Hospital several times a year, I know these facilities and the staff provide excellent care and assistance to veterans with their specific physical and psychological injuries and needs,” said Irene Mathyssen. “Why close beds? Why not keep them open and allow access for our modern day RCMP and Canadian Forces veterans? ”

“I call on the federal government to revisit this decision and allow modern day veterans access to these veterans’ hospital beds,” said Mathyssen. These brave men and women served our country well and deserve access to assistance and the quality care they need.”