Irene Condemns Government MPs Disrespect to Veterans

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):  Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the privilege of travelling to St. John's and Halifax with the veterans affairs committee to study the delivery of front line health and well-being services to our Canadian vets. We heard from Jim Lowther and David MacLeod about the unacceptable and preventable tragedy of homeless veterans.

The very least that presenters should have from elected officials is a respectful and attentive ear. After all, is the goal not to ensure that the heroes who served our country so faithfully receive the care and help they need?

I was appalled by the disrespect and inattention of committee members on the government side. Sleeping was not the only affront. Others laughed inappropriately or wandered in and out of the room with more attention to a Blackberry than to the people who had taken their time to come out and speak.

A late and grudging apology just does not cut it. Our veterans and all Canadians deserve better. After witnessing what I did last week, I wonder what action the Conservatives will take to honour all of our veterans