QP Live: The government lost a veteran’s vote

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Julian Fantino spent much of last week fending off consistent calls for his sacking. He countered opposition claims that the government is letting down veterans. He was happy for the weekend, probably. He didn’t want to see these words in the Ottawa Citizen this morning.

A recently retired Canadian soldier and national veterans’ advocate has quit the Conservative party over what he says is the federal government’s lack of respect and “spectre of indifference” towards veterans.

Few lost votes sting as much as that one. Paul Wells explained why on the most recent Maclean’s politics podcast. “If there’s anyone likely to be a Conservative voter, it’s an old guy who used to be in the army,” he said, adding a note of caution. “This government can’t get too frequently in the habit of taking its client groups for granted.”

But there’s retired Sgt. Major Barry Westholm, profiled in the Citizen, feeling taken for granted. His words hurt two-fold: he’s a lost vote that used to be a guarantee, and his criticism will single-handedly fuel opposition fury in the Commons. The government could put on a brave face and deny they’ve mistreated anybody, or they could unleash a heck of a mea culpa. You guess which route they’ll choose.

Maclean’s is your home for the daily political theatre that is Question Period, when MPs trade barbs and take names for 45 minutes every day. If you’ve never watched, check out our primer, which we produced with J-Source. Today, QP runs from 2:15 p.m. until just past 3. We tell you who to watch, we stream it live, and we liveblog all the action. The whole thing only matters if you participate. Chime in on Twitter with #QP.

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Few things will, for now, interrupt the opposition’s attacks on veterans affairs minister Julian Fantino. Will the NDP and Liberals take a new tack? Will they stick to the same pointed questions? No matter the queries, Fantino’s response will likely remain the same—that is, deflection and denial of any mistreatment of vets.

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QP Live: The government lost a veteran’s vote

  1. Not this Vet………

  2. Not this Vet………..

    • Says the guy who suggested Romeo Dallaire should “go
      swimming in the canal then you bleeding hearts would have something to
      really feel sorry for him……”

      Yeah, the CPC really, really want you speaking for them.

  3. Lost my vote in the next election, and I am a conservative. But I could see this coming and didn’t vote Harper int he last election either. Lack of “Trust”, watching how governemtn manages Harper and how he doesn’t manage governemtn was enough for me.

    Trouble is with NDP, they are economic nonsense and waste. Promise other peoples money for votes types and supported corrupted bailouts for union buddies. Yep, tax no-pension people for union bloat.

    Then there is Liberals. Trudeau senior slapped my career with a lot of debt-taxes for is economic mess and governemtn bloat.

    Who do we vote for? As none of them really represent a sound economy for the people who are and have supported this nation be they military or not. Work your arse off for a life, pay huge taxes and then discarded, the Ottawa way. Its all about statism greed.

    We need better choices on the ballot.

    • I feel your pain and wish to suggest that you might want to consider that the son is a different person in a different era, facing different issues, than his father. Do you expect your career and aspirations to be based only on what your father achieved, or who he ticked off?

    • Better choices on the ballot – and a better class of people in office.

      I agree with Dave, we only have 3 scraps of rotten meat to pick from, and our choice is which scrap is less likely to do you in, because they all are bound to make us sick.

      We need a National Veteran’s Party – and only those that have served can run for office. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that ex-soldier are better than anyone else, nor am i saying that they will run the Country better. However they do have a Love for Canada that can not be questioned, and the know what it is like to Serve.

      I feel that Veteran’s and those still serving will only be treated fairly by the House of Commons when they have Political Power in it.

      Ubique!

  4. This Question Period just proves how far removed the party in power has become – from citizens who are the voters.

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