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Justin Trudeau attends Khalsa Day celebration in Toronto. Photo: CIJnews

Trudeau defends Sajjan: “He has my full confidence”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fended off the calls in Parliament to remove the Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan for breaching the code of honour of the military when he falsely claimed that he was the architect of Operation Medusa in Afghanistan in 2006.

Trudeau described Sajjan’s misrepresentation as a “mistake” emphasizing that he apologized for it and continues to have his full confidence.

Defence Minister made no mistake

People in the military have a name for what Justin Trudeau’s Minister of Defense did – it’s called Stolen Valour: when someone takes credit for the brave actions of another. The Defence Minister has repeatedly misled Canadians. What he did was no mistake. Let’s look at the facts: The Minister of Defence said our allies were okay with pulling our jets out of the fight against ISIS – that wasn’t true. He said our Air Force doesn’t have enough planes to do their job – the Air Force commander said that wasn’t true. And not once, but twice, he misrepresented his military service and took full credit and named himself the “architect” of the largest NATO operation since the Korean War. What he’s done is wrong.

Posted by Rona Ambrose on Monday, May 1, 2017

The following are excerpts from the debate in Parliament (May 1, 2017):

Rona Ambrose (Leader of the Opposition, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, it has been revealed that the Minister of National Defence misled Canadians once again. Not only did he embarrass himself and the Prime Minister, but he also breached the code of honour and ethics of the men and women in uniform with whom he served. He disgraced himself and dishonoured them. Does the Prime Minister still have confidence in his Minister of National Defence?

Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, the minister made a mistake. He acknowledged his responsibility and apologized for it. That is what Canadians expect when one makes a mistake. We own up to our mistake; we apologize for it. That is what Canadians expect from one another. The minister has served his country in many capacities, as a police officer, as a soldier, and now as minister. He continues to have my full confidence.

Rona Ambrose:

Mr. Speaker, it has come to light that the Minister of National Defence has misled Canadians once again, and this time it is a big one. He has not just embarrassed himself and the Prime Minister: he has violated a code of honour and ethics with the men and women in uniform he once served with. He has dishonoured himself, and in doing that, he has dishonoured them. Does the Prime Minister still have confidence in his Minister of National Defence?

Justin Trudeau:

Mr. Speaker, the minister made a mistake. He acknowledged his responsibility and apologized for it. That is what Canadians expect when one makes a mistake. We own up to our mistake and we apologize for it. That is exactly what he did. This minister has served his country in many capacities as a police officer, as a soldier, and now as a minister, and he has my full confidence.

Rona Ambrose:

Mr. Speaker, it is beyond an apology at this point. No one has questioned the defence minister’s bravery as a soldier. This problem happened when the defence minister himself intentionally misled Canadians about his own service record as a soldier, not once but twice, in 2015 and again two weeks ago. He is a senior member of the government and of cabinet. How can the Prime Minister allow him to remain as Minister of National Defence when he continually misstates the facts?

Justin Trudeau:

Mr. Speaker, when someone makes a mistake, Canadians expect that they admit it and that they apologize for it. That is exactly what the minister did in this case. This minister continues to serve his country, as he has throughout his career, whether as a police officer, as a soldier, or now as Minister of National Defence, with an extraordinary capacity. This minister has, and will continue to have, my full confidence.

Rona Ambrose:

Mr. Speaker, let us look at the facts. The Minister of National Defence said that our allies were okay with pulling our jets out of the fight against ISIS, and that was not true. He said our air force does not have enough planes to do its job, but the air force commander said that was not true. Also, he misrepresented his military service. He took full credit and named himself the architect of the largest NATO operation since the Korean War, and that was not true. How much more does the Prime Minister need to hear before he understands why our men and women in uniform have lost confidence in the—

Justin Trudeau:

Mr. Speaker, the minister made a mistake. He has admitted it and he has apologize for it. That is what Canadians expect from their leaders. It is what we expect from each other. That is exactly why I continue to have confidence in this minister, who has served this country in exemplary fashions as a police officer, as a soldier, and now as our Minister of National Defence.

Rona Ambrose:

Mr. Speaker, no one will ever take away from the Minister of National Defence’s actual service record, but people in the military have a name for what he did. It is called “stolen valour” when someone takes credit for the brave actions of another. What he did was wrong. Now he has lost the confidence of our men and women in uniform. They need to have confidence in their leaders, especially when they are putting their lives on the line. Will the Prime Minister remove the Minister of National Defence?

Justin Trudeau:

Mr. Speaker, when we make a mistake, Canadians expect us to apologize and to acknowledge that mistake. That is exactly what we did. That is why the Minister of National Defence continues to have my full confidence.

To watch the video click HERE.

After the debate in parliament, Ambrose posted the following statement on Facebook:

People in the military have a name for what Justin Trudeau’s Minister of Defense did – it’s called Stolen Valour: when someone takes credit for the brave actions of another. The Defence Minister has repeatedly misled Canadians. What he did was no mistake. Let’s look at the facts: The Minister of Defence said our allies were okay with pulling our jets out of the fight against ISIS – that wasn’t true. He said our Air Force doesn’t have enough planes to do their job – the Air Force commander said that wasn’t true. And not once, but twice, he misrepresented his military service and took full credit and named himself the “architect” of the largest NATO operation since the Korean War. What he’s done is wrong.



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About CIJnews Staff

CIJnews Staff
CIJnews is an independent, dynamic and reliable online news source that serves the Canadian Jewish and Israeli communities and provides an uncensored platform for the spectrum of voices.

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