It’s been years in the making but Prince George will finally have a Veterans Affairs office again by the end of this month.
“I just got the letter from Kent Hehr who’s the Minister of Veterans Affairs,” says John Scott, Service Officer at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43. “It said, ‘It is with great pleasure that I inform you of the office open in Prince George to provide you better access and proximity for in person services. The Prince George office will reopen on May 25th, 2017.’”
The office will be located at 435 – 299 Victoria Street. Scott says being able to access services in person is invaluable to vets, many of whom don’t know what benefits they qualify for until they get a chance to speak with VA staff.
“There’s actually a lot of veterans in Prince George. There’s actually about 1200 in the Prince George area, all the way up to Fort Nelson. Prince George kind of looks after the northern BC area.”
The federal government committed to re-opening several VA offices, shuttered by the Harper government, in last year’s budget. The announcement that Prince George’s office would reopen this month was made last year but a specific date was not revealed. Scott says local support was key to bringing the office back.
“It’s a wonderful service that’s coming back to Prince George. I’m so grateful for our Mayor and Council and our provincial politicians who stepped up and helped us out to get this here.”
After the Prince George office closed, local veterans were forced to access services over the phone or travel to the Lower Mainland to access in-person services.