OTTAWA– Liberal Veterans Affairs critic Sean Casey made the following statement today about Conservative secrecy at the Veterans Affairs committee:
“Yesterday, I presented a motion to the House of Commons Veterans Affairs committee to hold public hearings into the deliberate invasion by this government into our veterans’ privacy.
The Conservatives have been repeatedly caught sifting and snooping through the personal records of veterans for no other reason than to threaten, intimidate and send the message that they had better stop criticizing the government. The latest victim of the dirty tricks operation is Mr. Harold Leduc, a veteran who served over 20 years in our military and is now a member of the Veterans Appeal Board.
The Harper government promised last year to cease snooping into the personal medical files of our veterans after they were again caught rummaging through the medical records of outspoken advocates Denis Manuge and Sylvain Chartrand. They broke that promise.
The Conservatives forced the Veterans Affairs committee in-camera to debate my motion in secret. The minutes of the committee meeting do not show that my motion passed. My motion is no longer on notice at the committee. I invite Canadians to draw their own conclusions as to whether this is a cover-up.
What is troubling is the across-the-board effort on the part of this Conservative government to snuff out debate, dissent and any form of opposition.
Canadians deserve to hear what is going on when the Conservatives force committees to operate behind closed doors. Rest assured that Liberals will continue to fight for veterans, regardless of attempts by the Harper Conservatives to hide the truth from Canadians.”