Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone
Davis said she pressed Hehr when he was minister of veterans affairs in 2016 about extending benefits to family members. She had to quit her job to look after her husband and she was worried about paying for her children’s education.
When pressed about her husband’s condition, Davis said Hehr responded: “You married him. It’s your responsibility.’’
It is important to note Hehr denied the story, calling the meeting with Davis “cordial” even as his boss, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rose in the Commons Tuesday to mistakenly tell opposition leader Andrew Scheer that Hehr had apologized.
When Jennifer McCrea, a Calgary woman who is fighting on behalf of mothers who say they were denied benefits while on maternity leave asked why the government was fighting sick women, she said the minister replied it was a “loaded question,’’ adding: “Well, Ms. McCrea, that is the old question, like asking . . . When did you stop beating your wife?”
No prime minister relishes standing in the Commons defending ministers bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. No government will want these charges hanging over its head, certainly not in the political climate of late 2017.
Hehr has suggested some remarks have been misconstrued, but he has admitted to sometimes being brash and inappropriate and he has to work on getting better.
A cabinet minister who says he needs to get better at dealing with people is problematic. Put him first in veterans affairs then move him to deal with people with disabilities, people who are all hurting, physically or mentally, and it becomes combustible.
The Conservatives have not been aggressive in going after Hehr — at least not by Morneau standards.
Hehr’s lack of empathy brings to mind the shambolic tenure in veterans affairs of Julian Fantino in Stephen Harper’s government. The former top cop turned marijuana entrepreneur was another minister whose empathy tank had run dry.
On Jan. 5, 2015 he quietly shuffled him to an associate minister’s job.
Hehr has already been shuffled to what was supposed to be a lower profile portfolio.
Tim Harper writes on national affairs. email@example.com, Twitter: @nutgraf1