We can trust the Harper Government to be Harperites, but not everybody is ready to roll over and play dead. BONNIE
MP Foote Concerned about Conservative Cover-Up at Veterans Affairs Committee
Posted on February 16, 2012
|MP Foote Supports Privacy of Law Abiding Canadians|
Member of Parliament for Random-Burin-St. George’s, Judy Foote, is concerned that a recent Liberal motion at the Veterans Affairs Committee may have been swept under the rug by Conservatives in a bid to cover-up any public discovery of wrong doing by the Harper government.
“Last fall it was discovered that the Conservatives tried to bully our veterans in an effort to silence criticism of the Harper government. When veterans spoke up to defend their rights, the Conservative government sifted through their personal records. In response to that action, on November 18, 2011, Liberals put forward a motion in the Veterans Affairs Committee that was ignored by the Conservatives on the committee who have a majority and get to decide the agenda for the meeting. When it became clear that the Conservatives had not stopped snooping into the private files of our veterans, Liberals again moved the motion on February 14, 2012. It was apparent the government’s abuse of power and intimidation tactics needed to be openly studied. That is why the Liberal member on the committee called on the government again not to exercise its power in committee by forcing the decision to hold public hearings behind closed doors and rejecting the Liberal motion in a secret meeting. Unfortunately, this week, the Conservatives forced the debate of the Liberal motion behind closed doors into a secret in-camera meeting. The courageous veterans from Random-Burin-St. George’s and the rest of Canada deserve better.” stated Foote.
“The committee minutes show that the motion was not passed during the meeting and is no longer on notice at the committee. I am deeply concerned that the debate on the motion was forced into secret so that Conservatives could vote down the motion and hide the truth from Canadians about how the Harper government is treating our veterans, ” said Foote.
“Veterans from coast to coast to coast have courageously served our country through sacrifice and hardship. The Conservatives must stop violating the rights of our brave veterans and come clean in open and transparent hearings,” said Foote.
Full Text of Liberal Motion: “That, in light of alleged recent breaches of privacy in which political staff from the office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs may have repeatedly accessed the personal records of at least one veteran, the Standing Committee on Veteran Affairs conduct extensive open and public hearings in order to better understand what safeguards currently exist to protect the privacy of veterans; That the Committee provide recommendations to the government to better protect the privacy of our veterans and ensure access to personal or medical records is properly restricted to prevent their use for political purposes or accessed by political officials to intimidate veterans; That the Committee be tasked with finding what “best practices” exists in other jurisdictions to protect the privacy of veterans and that the Committee report its findings back to the House within two sitting weeks after completion of its study.
Media Contact: Judy M. Foote (709) 832-1383