Sound advice for Mr. Fantino

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino

Editor: Imagine, a minister of the Crown walking out on veterans, yes, turning his back on those he swore to represent! Is there no limit on shows of ignorance in my country? Wednesday’s apology is not enough.

Was the man not embarrassed for having arrived so late for a scheduled meeting? What business is there more important to him, and for that matter, to all of us, than to hear veterans exercise their right of free speech?  

I am proud to have worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs and, for several years, before retirement, to have planned the commemoration, in Canada and overseas, of what veterans did to protect our way of life. It is that protection today that allows me to pass on these few words to Minister Fantino:  

 “Walk the steps of the Peace Tower in Ottawa, stand before the open pages of the Books of Remembrance, say a prayer and apologize again! Then stand up to your officials in Ottawa/Charlottetown and question the sense of closing offices that will, at best, save pittance from billions of dollars allotted annually, by taxpayers, to your department. Cancel the ill-advised decision and call the veterans who came to see you to inform them personally of the good news.

We all mean well. However, sometimes advice which comes our way should be marked: Return to Sender!”

Robert Mercer,

Assistant Deputy Minister, VAC (ret’d),


Organizations: Department of Veterans Affairs, Peace Tower

Geographic location: Ottawa, Charlottetown, Canada

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