Minister Fantino

The recent meeting between the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Julien Fantino, and a group of veterans was government at its worst.

There to protest the closing of nine veterans services offices across the country – to be replaced by the all-purpose Service Canada offices – the veterans group was left waiting for over an hour for their appointment with the Minister. 

Fantino arrived just before the group began a news conference.

There were sharp exchanges between the Minister and the lobbyists. These were shown on the national news. They depicted exasperated veterans shocked at the Minister's disrespect of the meeting, and an imperious Fantino. 

When Paul Davis, a decorated Canadian war veteran, became overly excited and wagged a finger at Fantino, the Minister snapped, "You know," he said, "this finger-pointing stuff doesn't work very well with me."

Fantino went further. "I'm not gonna stand here and listen to that," he said responding to a charge that he had "buswhacked" the meeting.

Bully.

The veterans were obviously exasperated and furious at the news conference that followed. 

Whether it was a good idea or not to close the veteran's service offices was lost in the behavior of a man who should know better, a man who has led two city, and one provincial, police forces.

Power is no excuse for arrogance. Hopefully, this Minister will be a casualty of the war for the respectful treatment of Canada's veterans.

It's a war the Tories appear to be losing.

 

Posted on January 30, 2014 .