Le Blogue Broadbent

Veterans to Conservatives: "You bushwacked us"

The Conservative government has a big problem on their hands: angry veterans who feel disrespected after Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino skipped out on a scheduled meeting on Tuesday.

After failing to show up, Fantino just made things worse when he showed up just before the four veterans were about to start a press conference on Parliament Hill. The veterans had travelled from all across the country to plead with the government to keep nine veterans offices open.

They didn't like being dissed -- and they told the minister so.

"This finger pointing doesn't work very well with me," Fantino told one of the vets, who had asked for assurances that the offices would remain open.

"Well it didn't work well with us that you didn't turn up at a meeting that you were supposed to turn up to. And don't give me this thing about, 'Something came up.' You bushwacked us," responded veteran Paul Davis.

Watch what happened next:


Fantino, after noticing that newscasts weren't dropping the story, issued an apology on Wednesday afternoon.  

The veterans -- Ron Clarke, Bruce Moncur, Paul Davis and Roy Lamore -- followed up with a statement, saying the apology isn't good enough.

"What the Minister did yesterday was disgraceful. The only thing we want is a commitment to keep open the eight offices and reopen the Prince George office. Veterans have earned that respect."

Davis followed up by telling CBC News that Fantino was a "bully" who had to go.