This week a somewhat unusual event occurred in the House of Commons.
On Tuesday the Conservative Official Opposition tabled a motion:
“That, given the Prime Minister has told veterans that they are “asking for more than we are able to give”, the House call on the Minister of Veterans Affairs to revoke the Veterans Affairs Canada benefits that have been extended to Chris Garnier, who is not a veteran, is incarcerated for second-degree murder and for interfering with the dead body of police officer Catherine Campbell, and is currently receiving benefits for a disability he sustained while committing his heinous crimes.”
The unusual event?
After the debate on this motion, all opposition parties – the Conservatives, the NDP, the Bloc and the Green Party voted unanimously in support of stopping veterans benefits being provided to this convicted killer of a police officer.
The Trudeau Liberals used their majority to defeat this motion.
It is unusual for all opposition parties to vote together, however this issue crossed all partisan party lines. I have heard outrage from a significant number of people and in particular from members of our law enforcement community.
The Liberals, in support of their move to defeat the motion, have argued that because the convicted murderer’s father is a veteran, there is justification to provide these benefits to his son.
There is some positive news related to this motion.
On the day this motion was being debated in the House of Commons, CBC reported that that “Veterans Affairs Canada will no longer pay for benefits for incarcerated relatives of veterans in the wake of the Christopher Garnier case.”
This revised policy is one that I am already hearing strong support for, from many citizens in our region.
Despite this new policy, the Trudeau Liberals have decided it will not be applied retroactively, meaning that this convicted killer will continue to receive treatment for PTSD that he admitted was caused by events that occurred during his brutal act of violence against an off duty-police officer.
My question this week:
Do you agree with the Trudeau Liberals decision to continue to allow Veterans Affairs to pay the cost of PTSD treatment of the man convicted of murdering an off-duty police officer?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.