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Thursday October 14, 2010

Brantford, ON – After recent findings from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada that “veteran’s personal information was mishandled” New Democrats are strongly pushing the government to apologize to Canada’s Veterans and to take action to change the culture at Veteran’s Affairs Canada.

“There is a ‘culture of no’ at the department instead of a ‘culture of yes,’ and our Veteran’s deserve better,” said New Democrat Veteran’s Affairs Critic Peter Stoffer (Sackville-Eastern Shore).  “Even when asked for a simple apology by our Veterans for a confirmed privacy breach the Conservative Minister says no.”

Stoffer says the only way the Department of Veterans Affairs can restore its credibility is to allow a public inquiry into the department.

“We need to know if the violations stop here,” said Stoffer. “If the government has nothing to hide, it should be working as quickly as possible to let Canadians know how this happened.”

Brant NDP Candidate Marc Laferriere echoed Stoffers comments.  “We should be opening the doors to the services needed for the men and women who have served our country instead of slamming them shut.”

“I’m saddened that our current MP Phil McColeman, who is on the Veteran Affairs Committee, has not said anything publicly about this scandal.  Not a promise, not a plan, not even a statement of dismay,” said Laferriere.  “Our local vets need an assurance that the current government will get to the bottom of this.  It’s a question of leadership.”

New Democrats like Mr. Stoffer and Mr. Laferriere will continue to push for improvements to the living and working conditions of military personnel and their families and will work hard to ensure the rights of our Veterans are protected.

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