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 :