Wednesday, January 29, 2014

UPDATED: Never Bait A Veteran

For those of us sickened over the years by the Harper cabal's hypocrisy of wrapping itself in the flag of patriotic support for 'our troops' while essentially abandoning them when they return home either physically or psychically maimed, it was a sweet moment, to be savored and shared widely.

Yesterday, veterans who travelled to Ottawa to lobby against the planned closing of eight more of the regional centres serving their needs were most unhappy with the meeting they had with Veteran Affairs Minister Julian Fantino; Ron Clarke, a 36-year veteran of the Forces, said the meeting was "unbelievable, unacceptable and shameful.

Fantino, a man who bears the look of one on a perpetual visit to his proctologist, was not only very late for the encounter, but also, in his usual arrogance, was unwise enough to start lecturing the vets about their deportment. As you will see in the accompanying video, the former soldiers would have none of that, putting Julian in his place and later, in a news conference, describing the encounter as 'bullshit.'

In their fury, they are calling not only for the termination of Fantino, but also the defeat of the Harper government in the next election should it carry out the planned closure.

All in all, the entire episode was reminiscent of Brian Mulroney's "Goodbye Charlie Brown" encounter in 1986 with Solange Denis.

UPDATE: If the video fails to load, here is the URL for it: http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Politics/Power%20&%20Politics/ID/2433417987/ UPDATE #2: NDP leader Thomas Mulcair has weighed in, calling for Harper both to apologize to veterans and to fire Fantino.

8 comments:

  1. Lorne, I watched live press conference by veterans, after meeting Fantino. Were they ever angry. Also a video of their meeting with Fantino was shown. Veterans really gave it to him.

    So much for Harper's support for troops and his visits to Afghanistan to show that support. It was all for a show and photo-op.

    For some reason I could not watch the video you have posted. Some glitch.

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    1. The CBC player seems to be a bit cranky, LD. Here is the URL if you want to give it a try: http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Politics/Power%20&%20Politics/ID/2433417987/

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    2. Lorne, thank you for the link but for some reason whenever I want to watch video on CBC I get the window, "you need up to date flash player". I have it up to date. There seems to some problem with the site.

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    3. I got the same message several times, then had some success when I switched to Internet Explorer, but that doesn't seem to be working now either, LD

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  2. Utterly disgusting, Lorne. Harper is a vampire. He sucked every last drop of political capital from our dead and broken soldiers in Afghanistan before he realized that war, his war was a loser. Once he had his fill, he turned his back on them.

    These guys, especially the older fellows are completely right. Veterans Affairs was wonderful to my Dad in the final ten years of his life. You carry your wounds to the grave. They usually worsen your incapacity as you age. You need a lot more help, not less, as you grow elderly and can do ever less for yourself. It takes, not just offices, but a lot of really competent staff who understand this reality to meet our obligations to these veterans.

    I used to know a fellow, a former NHL ref, who worked for the V.A. in Vancouver. Part of his job entailed patrolling the alleys of the Downtown East Side looking for "down on their luck" vets who might be entitled to benefits and other assistance. That, of course, was back in the days when vets mattered and we understood our obligation to them. The days before the Conservative technocrats rose to power.

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    1. Well said, Mound. I think your comments help to underscore the contrast between the way things were in Canada under past administrations, and the way they are now under the Harper cabal. One can only hope that Harper's callous indifference to the vets, and his arrant hypocrisy about that indifference, will be duly noted by all Canadians.

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  3. I'll put it simply. Fantino was a rotten cop and is an even worse Minister of the Crown.

    N.

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    1. A succinct and accurate assessment, Neil.

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