Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns has called on the Liberal government to better support veterans through COVID-19. (File photo)

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns has called on the Liberal government to better support veterans through COVID-19. (File photo)

MP Johns calls on federal government to provide support to veterans

‘These organizations are currently facing significant financial challenges’

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns has called on the federal Liberal government to provide support to local legions and other veterans services affected by COVID-19.

Johns said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised help was coming for veterans and that the time is now to act.

“We were encouraged when the Prime Minister promised that help was coming to veterans service organizations during one of his daily updates in June,” said Johns in a press release. “There has been nothing since then and veterans are increasingly isolated and in need of mental health and other services that have been interrupted because of the pandemic.”

READ MORE: Gord Johns hears veterans issues in Courtenay-Alberni riding

Johns’ riding, which includes the Parksville Qualicum Beach area, has the oldest average age in the country. He pointed to that as one of the reasons why legions are important in the area – that the service they provide is especially vital in the region.

“We were heartened by the Prime Minister’s promise last month that the government was working towards supporting veterans service organizations but it has not materialized,” read part of a letter Johns wrote to veterans affairs minister, Lawrence MacAulay on Monday. “These organizations are currently facing significant financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic but are not able to access many emergency services because of the eligibility criteria.”

— NEWS staff

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