May 4, 2014. 12:44 am • Section: Defence Watch
David T. MacLeod of Veteran Watch writes this:
The term McCarthyism is based on the political practices of the late US Senator McCarthy. His use of unsupported accusations and inappropriate use of information for political gain resulted in the discipline and even suicide of US government officials and politicians. The consequence of Senator McCarthy's practices was the dubious distinction of being one of the very few US Senators to be censured.
Unfortunately, McCarthy's tactics are alive and well … in Canada.
In March and April 2014 three temporary employees of the Canadian people (otherwise known as Members of Parliament) conducted practices that smack of McCarthyism.
On 27 March 2014 Parm Gill's inappropriate questioning of veterans in the Parliamentary Committee Meeting resulted in more than one letter fired off to the Prime Minster. Linda Magill (a veteran herself and the wife of a veteran) was present at the committee meeting and was so enraged by Gill's behaviour she fired off a terse email to the Prime Ministers office.
You can read her letter on Facebook. (https://www.facebook.com/linda.magill.79)
On 7 April the Honourable Minister Fantino abused parliamentary committee testimony for political gain by using the dirt that Parm Gill had sifted for him on 27 March. Fantino Tweeted :
"Disappointed that Union of Veterans Affairs Employees financing Veterans groups with secret "War Fund."
Fantino then had the cheek to provide a link to the testimony of veterans concerning the Mandatory Review of the New Veterans Charter.
Both Gill's insinuation and Fantino's accusation of a "war fund" are unsubstantiated. Any politician who would use testimony before a Parliamentary Committee as a source of political attack does not deserve to hold office.
On April 9, 2014 the Honourable Laurie Hawn, tabled his Private Member's Bill C-593 entitled the "Canadian Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Former Members Personal Information Act".
Hawn incorrectly claims that veteran's currently do not have access to their medical files. Hawn is misleading the public. Veterans merely have to fill out one form. The Bill is a thinly veiled effort to violate serving members, veterans, and their spouses' privacy – is this an intimidation effort?
Within two weeks Fantino, Gill, and Hawn had made unsupported accusations and inappropriately used information for political gains.
I caution these temporary employees (Members of Parliament) that US Senator McCarthy's behaviour significantly disrupted US government business and caused irreparable damage to McCarthy's political career.
McCarthyism is unbecoming a Member of Parliament. Inappropriate use of Parliamentary testimony combined with unsupported accusations is unacceptable. Canadians, including veterans, deserve better service from temporary employees – especially Members of Parliament.
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