Sue's Blog

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Minister of Veterans Affairs should resign

The last post asked for a do-over for the 100th anniversary of the Beaumont Hamel ceremony. Following a letter to the Telegram by Minister Kent Hehr - I now believe he should look at another portfolio.

There are a couple of comments made by Hehr that should raise red flags. Prime Minister Trudeau should ask himself if his Minister truly understands the sacrifice, the circumstances, and history of the battle.

Here is the first paragraph in question:

"I felt Mr. Sullivan’s sentiments, recently raised in The Telegram, were serious enough in tone to warrant a direct response here. Can we do better next time? Always. Still, I am very proud of the job that was done and we will continue to work with our partners across Canada and anywhere across the world where Canadians answered the call to honour their sacrifice and bravery."

The Minister talks about partners across Canada. This is Newfoundland history at a time when Newfoundland was not a part of Canada. While Confederation may have taken our waters, our resources, and our fishery we must protest that is take over the reality of our history. If it is going to plan events under Veterans Affairs then do so properly - if not stay out of it.

This ceremony was not about Canadians answering the call - as the Minister puts it - it was and is about these courageous Newfoundland and Labrador souls who fought for freedoms. It is about the extraordinary loss of a real percentage of young men. The loss to families, communities, and our Country.

On this 100th year anniversary the Minister should have been able to claim that we could not have done better. It should have been without flaw in planning and recognition.

Then  Minister Hehr wrote the following:

That said, conversations surrounding logistics of commemorative events such as this should not take place in a confrontational way through the papers. It is important to ensure the focus is on the sacrifice of those who did not return home.

The Minister - responding to the comments of Frank Sullivan - feels that commentary that is critical of the ceremony proceedings - regarding such an important event should be in private and not public.
This one sentiment is diametrically opposed to what these men fought for. Airing complaints, opinions, and yes even disgust in the public is exactly the freedoms that were entrenched from battle, blood, and heartbreak.

Finally the Royal Protocol (flags) and Royal schedules (speeches) being used to excuse the fumbles and ignorance does not cut it.

This Minister should resign.

A "National event" - eh? Oh that must mean Newfoundland the nation. Right?

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