Canada minister urged to quit over military record boast
OTTAWA: Canada’s opposition on Monday called for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan to resign or be sacked for overstating his military record in Afghanistan during a speech in India.
Harjit, a decorated former military intelligence officer, claimed last month to have been the “architect” of Canada’s largest military operation since the 1950s, known as Operation Medusa.
The 2006 offensive delivered a blow to the Taliban, loosening its grip on Kandahar province, but at a cost — a dozen Canadian and 14 British soldiers died.
“It’s come to light that the defence minister has misled Canadians once again, and it’s a big one,” said Rona Ambrose, leader of the opposition Tories.
“How can the prime minister allow him to remain as defence minister when he continually misstates the facts?”
It was a “whopper” of a lie to raise his own profile, said Tom Mulcair, leader of the thirdranked New Democratic Party.
Harjit apologised repeatedly in the House of Commons for the “stolen valour” incident, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood by his minister.
“The minister made a mistake. He acknowledged it and apologised for it.
“That is what Canadians expect,” said Trudeau.
“This minister has served his country in many capacities as a police officer, as a soldier and now as a minister. He has my full confidence.” AFP