Neither Forgiveness nor Oblivion! It is the Screams of Pain and the Anguish of our Children" Julian Fantino apologizes to vets as Mulcair joins call for minister’s firing after ‘unacceptable meeting’
Finally one of the worst Canadian repressors is stepping down from Minister of Veterans Affairs. As Toronto police chief was characterized by its ferocity of creating panic in the residents of public housing, ordering the kidnap and torture of children, criminalizing to people from minority communities, by the persecution and torture of social activists. This former chief of police of Toronto could be compared with the Latin American repressors of the caliber of Manuel Contreras from Chile, (Dina) Neither forgiveness nor oblivion! It is the screams of pain and the anguish of our children" NATIONAL POST. Perhaps that is not surprising. Mr. Fantino was born in Italy in 1942, when the country was under the heel of Benito Mussolini’s fascists. It wouldn’t be until two years later that Allied Forces, including thousands of Canadians, would free the country. News
How Julian Fantino went from star MP to political liability: ‘He has not heard the pleas of our veterans’
Peter J. Thompson/National Post)Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, shakes hands with Conservative MP Julian Fantino on April 7, 2011. (Photo by Peter J. Thompson/National Post) (For Story by /National Post/National) //NATIONAL POST STAFF PHOTO Analysis When Julian Fantino was elected to Parliament in November 2010, he was seen as a star. A former Toronto police chief and Ontario Provincial Police commissioner, the hard-nosed police boss had the credentials to shine in a Conservative government that billed itself as tough on crime. Four years later, the view is very different. When auditor general Michael Ferguson released a critical report detailing the hurdles many veterans still face trying to access mental health services, Mr. Fantino was an ocean away in Italy. His office defended the trip, which marked the 70th anniversary of the Second World War’s Italian campaign. But some questioned whether Mr. Fantino was running from the auditor’s findings. Or worse, whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper had decided to keep him out of sight. Some see Mr. Fantino’s performance at Veterans Affairs as spectacularly disastrous. Footage of a nasty exchange with veterans in January, where the minister took issue with a finger-jabbing soldier before storming out, went viral. So did video of Mr. Fantino being chased down a hallway by the wife of a vet suffering from PTSD in May. Both incidents shadow him to this day.
CNW Group/Veterans Affairs CanadaThe Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, wishes safe travels to Veterans who are part of an official Government of Canada delegation to Italy to mark the 70th anniversary of the Italian Campaign. But those who have worked with Mr. Fantino say those examples don’t do him justice. Four years after arriving in Parliament, Mr. Fantino’s political weaknesses have been exposed and the government is on the defensive when it comes to its treatment of veterans. It could be only a matter of time until he is replaced. On the surface, Mr. Fantino had the hallmarks of an outstanding veterans affairs minister. He ran two large police forces before being elected to Parliament. He performed well as secretary of state for seniors shortly after arriving in Ottawa. Former staff, veterans groups and even opposition critics say he harbours a genuine affection for veterans. Related
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Perhaps that is not surprising. Mr. Fantino was born in Italy in 1942, when the country was under the heel of Benito Mussolini’s fascists. It wouldn’t be until two years later that Allied Forces, including thousands of Canadians, would free the country. NDP veterans affairs critic Peter Stoffer, born in the Netherlands, believes the experience was informative because “our parents were both liberated by the Canadians.” Except the majority of veterans seeking the government’s assistance today are peacekeepers or former military members who served in Afghanistan. Some are still in their 20s. And they haven’t been shy about voicing their anger over the barriers they face gaining support and services. “The majority of veterans are not disabled and disadvantaged,” said former veterans ombudsman Pat Stogran. “The ones who are killing themselves are the ones who are very desperate and being abandoned.” Mr. Fantino, as a police chief, displayed little empathy for those — such as aboriginal groups, gay activists and other subsections of society — who sought to air their grievances through public protests. While some described him as tough and no-nonsense, others saw him as polarizing, insensitive and aloof. “He has no time for political games, or what he thinks are political games,” said one former staff member, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Julian Fantino apologizes to vets as Mulcair joins call for minister’s firing after ‘unacceptable meeting’
January 28, 2014: Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino blamed a Tory meeting that ran long as he apologized for showing up “very late” for a scheduled appointment with ex-soldiers after the group called for his resignation.
Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair, however, says Fantino’s actions are disgraceful. He joined the former soldiers in demanding Fantino step down or be fired after the minister abruptly cancelled his meeting with the veterans, only to then appear at the last minute and apparently insult the group.
“If there is a family of a victim, and he thinks you are not representative of the group and you’re doing this to embarrass me, then he’s going to walk away. And he doesn’t give a sh– what anybody thinks about it.”
Mr. Fantino has been able to push some initiatives to help veterans. He launched a review of the New Veterans Charter, the system through which modern veterans receive benefits. He secured more money for funerals and burials. He championed adding the Boer War and Afghanistan to the National War Memorial.
But he has failed to address the most pressing complaints voiced by veterans, including changing the department’s culture to make it more receptive to veterans’ needs, which in turn has contributed to the recent public relations disasters. And when he is challenged in public, the results have not gone well.
“What will live with him through the rest of his career is that finger-pointing,” said an official with one Canadian veterans’ organization. “That was a really bad day that has literally overshadowed his tenure.”
The official says the incident and others have contributed to an atmosphere of distrust toward the government among large parts of the veterans’ community.
Veterans Affairs was supposed to be a strength for the Conservative government, which had long touted itself as the most pro-military. It has become a weakness under Mr. Fantino’s watch. Sensing blood, opposition parties plan to make veterans an election issue next year.
“He’s been absent since he became minister,” said Liberal veterans affairs critic Frank Valeriote. “He has not heard the pleas of our veterans.”
Recognizing the danger, the government brought in reinforcements: retired general Walter Natynczyk, the former chief of defence staff, became the department’s top bureaucrat last month.