‘Show him the door’: Opposition grills Julian Fantino over government legal spat with double amputee
Jake Edmiston and Canadian Press | December 4, 2014 | Last Updated: Dec 4 5:44 PM ET
Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino.
Adrian Wyld / Canadian PressMinister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino.
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Opposition MPs spent the lion’s share of Thursday’s question period grilling Veteran’s Affairs Minister Julian Fantino’s amid a federal government attempt to block a class action lawsuit from an Afghanistan war veteran.
“Instead of making excuses for this failed minister, will the prime minister just show him the door?” NDP MP Irene Mathyssen said. “The truth is that they’re going to court to fight injured veterans.”
Seven plaintiffs are trying to sue the government for changes to their Canadian Forces compensation regime — including Major Mark Campbell, who lost both legs above the knees in a Taliban ambush. Major Campbell says he has been stripped of $35,000 in benefits. But the Attorney General of Canada wants the legal legal action tossed out. The government was in B.C.’s highest court Wednesday appealing a lower court’s approval of the lawsuit.
“There’s been a litany of failures,” Liberal MP Joyce Murray said shortly after question period. “He has no credibility left and I feel strongly that [Mr. Fantino] should be removed.”
Canadian veteran who lost legs in Afghanistan ready for fight of his life: class-action suit against government
With Prime Minister Stephen Harper absent Thursday, Mr. Fantino personally shouldered demands that he vacate his job — a growing refrain among the opposition parties. The minister rarely looked up from his notes, refusing to comment on the case as it was “before the courts.”
“It’s very difficult to get through to people who aren’t listening. My response—” he said, before the opposition drowned him out with taunts. “My concern and it should be the concern of the NDP that in this country we have great concern for due process.”
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau also did not participate in question period Thursday.