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Veteran affairs minister Julian Fantino: "I've done nothing wrong"

Fantino joined Ben Mercer on Newstalk 1010 this morning to talk about last week's showdown with veterans

Veteran affairs minister Julian Fantino says that he has "done nothing wrong" and asks why he sould resign. 

Fantino joined Ben Mercer in an exclusive interview on Newstalk 1010 Sunday morning to respond to a showdown with veterans and the NDP last week. 

The minister was criticized for showing up 70 minutes late to a meeting with veterans on Tuesday night, who are concerned about the closing of eight veteran affairs offices across the country. 

Fantino had said that he was late because a cabinet meeting went longer than expected.

Critics, including NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, are now calling on Fantino to resign or be fired.

"Will the prime minister do the right thing — apologize himself and fire that incompetent," Mulcair said last week.

Fantino is pointing fingers himself, telling Newstalk 1010 that he blames the anger that followed on misinformation, miscommunication, and also mischief making" on the part of union leaders. 

"They have spread so much misiniformation and out and out false information that clearly has agitated the veterans community," Fantino says. "I would be agitated too if I heard some of these lies that they've been putting out."

He says that 650 Service Canada offices have staff trained to deal with veterans' affairs. He adds that staff are still available to visit the homes of the veterans who cannot travel to the offices themselves.

"This was propelled into sheer politics for the sake of politics," Fantino says. "I feel so badly for the veterans who really have been caught up as the meat in a sandwich in this whole thing."

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW : 

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  1. Jeremy posted on 02/02/2014 09:03 AM
    It's interesting to see how the Conservative governments handles things. The PM can blame Nigel Wright for paying Mike Duffy and now Mr. Fantino can blame unions for getting Veterans upset about the Conservatives closing Veteran Affairs offices. I guess the Unions also made Fantino late for the meeting.
    I did not know we elected a government that has the ability to take zero responsibility ! No worries Vet's, soon you will be able to go to service Canada and talk to someone behind a desk with a line-up behind you Instead of having a Union employee who went to school to study PTS disorder because government wants to treat you with someone making minimum wage!
    1. Peter posted on 02/02/2014 09:24 AM
      @Jeremy Fantino had a reputation as bully when he was in the police service, even his wife is terrified of him. She even polishes his shoes, buttons and belt buckle to make him happy. Feedback was that you never questioned his authority.

      His biggest problem was that he was always more interested in making law rather than enforcing it and it showed, especially at the OPP. He always had new laws he wanted enacted...reminded everyone of Sheriff Arpaio in Nevada. He never did develop a sense of humour, he played favourites, and dressed down officers he didn't like in front of their peers. They had a party hen he left.
  2. John posted on 02/02/2014 04:48 PM
    If Julian Fantino "Did nothing wrong", then why exactly did he apologize?
  3. Craig Welbourn posted on 02/03/2014 05:45 PM
    Sorry, but you missed the point. Completely. And so apparently does Mr. Fantino.

    What sparked the explosion by the veterans, as recorded and played on the news that night, was Fantino brushing off the veterans as he stormed out of the meeting. His attitude was atrocious, that of 'Who do you think you are? You can't talk to ME like that! I'm Julio Fantino. I'm important, and don't you forget it. Keep it up and I'll have you on the carpet for insubordination!' THAT's what he did wrong. And THAT kind of attitude does not deserve a badge of honour.
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