I joined my Conservative colleagues in demanding the Prime Minister fire his Defence Minister for lying about his service record, and for defending the largest cuts to the defence budget since the end of WWII.
Repeated to me over the weekend in Petawawa is that honourable soldiers have a term for comrades, who embellish their service records.
It is called stolen valour.
They see no difference between parading around in another soldier’s uniform and wearing someone else’s medals, and the shameful decision by the liberal Defence Minister to claim credit for the bravery of other soldiers.
The right thing to do for the Defence Minister is to offer his immediate resignation.
Listening to that Minister giving an insincere apology for being caught lying clearly shows that the only lesson he has learned so far is not to get caught.
Frankly, that is unacceptable to Canadians.
All his answers in the House of Commons are the same.
Shallow, insincere, devoid of emotion.
Our soldiers need to know whoever the Minister of Defence is, he has their back.
Lying about his service record as a reservist is the same as sticking a knife in the backs of the soldiers who lost their lives.
12 Canadian soldiers were killed in action during Operation Medusa in Afghanistan, the mission the current defence Minister is confused about what his role was.
Lying to Canadians about his role is an insult to the families of those soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice for their country.
It is time for this Defence Minister to resign, or better yet be fired by a Prime Minister who only shows contempt for the members of Canada’s Armed Forces every day he leaves this Minister as a senior member of his government.
Hansard, May 1, 2017
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Conservative): Mr. Speaker, the minister was caught claiming to be the “architect of Operation Medusa”. It was not a slip up, it was intentional because he got caught repeating the story. Canadians deserve to know: why did the minister concoct this story, and how are Canadians supposed to trust this minister?
Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I stated, I am not here, standing up, to make any excuses for it. I am here to be able to acknowledge my mistake, to be able to apologize for it, and to be able to learn from it, so that I can continue to serve the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Conservative): Mr. Speaker, the minister has admitted to concocting stories about his service record. Now he says he is sorry, but only after he got caught. When did the minister decide it was acceptable to start making up stories about his service record? Why did he think it was acceptable to take credit for the work of others? How are the military and Canadians supposed to have confidence in anything this minister says?
Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in addition, I am also not here to talk about my service record. I am here to apologize for my mistake and to be able to learn from it. As I also stated earlier, I in no way intended to diminish the great work of my former superiors and our soldiers. I am able to learn from my mistake and am able to continue to serve, as I have always done and will continue to do, every day as long as I am the Minister of Defence.