The Hon. Andrew Telegdi has just surpassed Hon. Karen Redman on my "Local M.P. Embarrassment Meter". (What makes them honourable anyway?)
Hon. Andrew Telegdi (Kitchener—Waterloo, Lib.): "Mr. Speaker, the decision to send our troops to a combat zone is made in this building. Ultimately it is Parliament that is responsible. It is a disgrace that the flag at the top of this building is not at half-mast as a show of respect for our soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedoms.
When we lower the flag, not only do we honour the latest casualties, we remember all our war dead. Lowering the flag is an expression of the appreciation of a grateful nation to those who are serving and those who have served. Remembrance should not be restricted to one day a year.
Further, the new policy to banish the media from the repatriation ceremony of the bodies of our fallen soldiers is a disgrace. I suggest that the new government policies on the flag and repatriation be reversed.
The firefighters, at their convention being held in Ottawa today, had a minute of silence in memory of our fallen soldiers. This sign of respect is being repeated by Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
I suggest that we in this chamber do the same by having a moment of silence in remembrance, gratitude and respect."
-Hansard, April 26, 14:20
Now, let's contrast this with an excerpt from the Letter of the Day in today's National Post:
'Canadians have not earned the right to share our grief'
"As a retired member of the Canadian Armed Forces, I'm disturbed by the media frenzy and the artificial public outcry over the government's decision to restrict the media from CFB Trenton for the arrival of Canadian war dead. I fully support this decision, and I am ashamed of my fellow Canadians. For the past dozen years, when the Liberals were decimating the Canadian military, there was no public outcry. There was no media frenzy. You did not care. Canadians have -- due to their self-centred, insatiable demand for social programs -- wilfully neglected the men and the women of the Canadian Forces and allowed the federal government, under the Liberals, to gut the Canadian military. And now the media and other pundits wish to share in the grief of the military families for their fallen ones?
...The Canadian media -- and Canadians -- have not earned the right to share our grief. Shame on the Canadian media, and shame on Canadians."
Ian Parker, Carleton Place, Ont.
I am begging the constituents of Kitchener-Waterloo: Please, please please cut this letter out of your Post today. Stick it on your fridge and reread it when the next election rolls around. If you still think the Liberals did such a great job, then tell that to Ian Parker and every other soldier risking his or her life today.