The “Sleepy” MP Insults Veteran Group
28 Feb 2012, Artillery Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Jim Lowther, President of Veterans Emergency Transition Services (V.E.T.S.) is furious that Conservative MP Rob Anders grabbed a catnap during a meeting with Military and RCMP veteran organizations. The meeting was arranged by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and hosted by the Officers Mess at Artillery Park, Halifax on 28 February.
“He was late for the meeting and then he naps. I guess this guy doesn’t really give a damn,” snapped the irate veteran.
Members of the Standing Committee on Veteran Affairs were conducting a cross-Canada trip with Halifax as their last stop.
“Sean Casey, Irene Mathyssen, Annick Papillon, and Eve Adams were engaged in the conversation. They genuinely seemed motivated and interested,” commented Lowther. “What happened to Sleepy?” he quipped in an obvious reference to a Disney character.
This is not the first time that Mr. Anders has been caught napping on the job. On Nov 22 2011, Mr. Anders was caught on tape napping in the House of Commons while a colleague spoke.
Veteran groups have complained for years that their concerns fall on deaf ears and this latest gaff is seems to prove their point. The Standing Committee on Veteran Affairs is important to veterans, as it may be the last government body dealing with veteran issues that has any credibility. Veteran Affairs Canada (VAC) lost credibility through the seemingly endless privacy scandal, bad press from mistreatment of Afghan veterans, concerns over the New Veterans Charter, and a disgruntled workforce, which faces budget cuts.
Veteran Emergency Transition Services (V.E.T.S.) is a Canada-wide, non-profit, apolitical, volunteer organization that assists veterans that are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. V.E.T.S. finds temporary shelter, acts as a bridge to services, and monitors policy. V.E.T.S. estimates that there may be 7000 or more homeless veterans in Canada.