World

Canadian Defense Boss Who Lied About Record Calls Opposition Dishonest

REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

The Canadian defense minister who lied about his record in Afghanistan is questioning the honesty of the Conservative opposition.

Harjit Sajjan, under attack in the House of Commons for claiming he was the “architect” of a prominent battle in the Afghanistan war, said, “I know the Official Opposition does not like to deal in facts when it comes to defence, but there is a fact it cannot ignore: Canada’s defence spending, as a proportion of GDP, was considerably lower when the Conservatives were removed from office than when they came in.”

Conservative defense critic James Bezan brought a non-confidence motion against Sajjan on Monday, citing his diminishing credibility over his war record and other statements that he has made while defense minister.

The motion read in part, “the House has lost confidence in the Minister of National Defence’s ability to carry out his responsibilities on behalf of the Government since, on multiple occasions the Minister misrepresented his military service and provided misleading information to the House.”

Bezan told The Daily Caller on Tuesday, “Nobody trusts Minister Sajjan anymore and all his statements are going to treated with disbelief. The Minister has done nothing for our forces except cut $12 billion from future defence spending which is reminiscent of the Liberal decade of darkness.”

Sajjan has apologized for making wha he calls a “mistake” about being the chief planner of Op Medusa, the 2006 battle that is itself the subject of controversy as to whether it was a success or failure. But he has not responded to accusations that he deliberately misled the House about cancelling Canadian airstrikes against ISIS forces because Afghan authorities did not think these efforts worth continuing.

Moreover, Bezan says Sajjan’s recent boast is merely just one more time that the minister has claimed undeserved fame.

“Video evidence shows that he first said this in 2015 when he was campaigning as the Liberal candidate to become the member of Parliament for Vancouver South. He said it quite openly. We do not know how many times that has been repeated behind closed doors or in meetings,” said Bezan.

“He has continually misled the House and Canadians and that his behaviour is demoralizing our troops, has caused our veterans to be incredibly angry and we also know that our allies are going to have trouble taking him seriously. There is a credibility issue here.”

The House will probably vote on the non-confidence motion Tuesday and Sajjan is expected to survive due to the Liberal government’s majority. However, the minister’s political life expectancy is in doubt as even the liberal Toronto Star has called for his resignation.

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