Canada’s Conservative opposition wants Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan fired over outrageous claims he made over a 2006 battle in Afghanistan.
Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose called Sajjan’s false claim to be “the architect” of the battle that killed, wounded or captured 1,500 Taliban terrorists, “stolen valor.” In Monday’s House of Commons Question Period, she demanded the disgraced minister be fired for dishonoring the Canadian military.
“What he did was wrong, and now he has lost the confidence of our men and women in uniform, and they need to have confidence in their leaders, especially when they’re putting their lives on the line,” she said. “So will the prime minister remove the minister of defence?”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused to do that, saying Sajjan has his “full confidence,” claiming: “When we make a mistake, Canadians expect us to apologize and to acknowledge that mistake. That’s what he did…”
Amid catcalls of “shame” and “resign,” Sajjan repeatedly got to his feet to address, if not answer, questions about his “mistake.”
Sajjan spoke to reporters outside of the House of Commons before the start of Question Period. He said he was “not here to make excuses. I’m owning it. I’m learning from it and I’ll be a better person for it.”
He repeated that line in the House when he was asked to resign.
Conservative defence critics say this is not the first time that Sajjan has misled Canadians as defence minister. He cites Sajjan’s claims that Iraq concurred with Canada’s decision to cease using its CF-18 fighter jets in airstrikes against ISIS.
Bezan calls the minister a “laughingstock” whose reputation is in tatters.
“Minister Sajjan has lost the trust of our military, our veterans are outraged and Canadians don’t believe him. The minister’s casual relationship with the truth and repeated preference for “alternative facts” has damaged his reputation beyond repair. He’s a laughingstock and our allies won’t take him seriously”, he told the Daily Caller.
“Trudeau must sack his Defence Minister or he’s demonstrating a lack of good judgment. If Sajjan, has any sense of honor left as a veteran, he should do the honorable thing and resign,” he said.
Bezan told the Daily Caller Tuesday that “you can count on” the Opposition continuing the attack. “We will be going after the prime minister and minister of national defence hard today,” he said.
Sajjan’s real role in the battle was as a lieutenant-colonel intelligence officer who served with the Canadian Army reserves. Though his performance in-theatre was highly rated, neither his rank nor his operational role made him a key figure in the battle.