Veterans Affairs minister Julian Fantino must resign immediately as a result of the callous behavior he"s demonstrated against veterans and his government"s controversial decision to shut down eight regional offices, says the president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.
"Julian Fantino"s bullying, disrespect and indifference aimed against our veterans is nothing short of breathtaking," said OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas, commenting on the minister"s late arrival and abrupt departure this week from a scheduled meeting with representatives of the veterans to discuss the closing of regional offices. "The apologies he subsequently offered are phony and the Prime Minister is being derelict in his duties by not demanding that this disgraced minister resign immediately."
Thomas noted that controversy dogged Fantino throughout his previous career as police chief in London, Ont., and Toronto, and his later appointment to head up the Ontario Provincial Police.
"Nothing has changed with this guy," said Thomas. "He is utterly incapable of demonstrating neither understanding nor compassion for those over whom he has authority. We witnessed it again this week when he brushed off the legitimate concerns of our veterans as if swatting away nuisance flies."
Thomas also drew attention to the divide-and-conquer tactics of the Harper government by its antagonistic position that the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), and its campaign to keep the regional offices, is the culprit in the controversy — and not the shocking misbehavior of the minister responsible for veterans affairs.
"I applaud the veterans" determination to defeat the Harper government in the 2015 federal election," said Thomas. "I pledge that OPSEU stands shoulder-to-shoulder with them in this effort."
Warren (Smokey) Thomas