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article imageCanadian MP falls asleep at meeting about homeless veterans

By Arthur Weinreb     Mar 3, 2012 in Politics
After being told he had been sleeping, Conservative MP Rob Anders accused two veterans of being "NDP hacks" and accused them of praising Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. He later apologized.
The meeting of the House of Commons veterans affairs committee took place in Halifax on Tuesday. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how veterans who end up homeless after they have served in the military could be helped.
Jim Lowther, president of Veterans Emergency Transition Services, told CBC the Calgary MP arrived about 15 minutes late, sat down, and began to stretch and yawn. Lowther said, And I look down again and he's asleep. Like head bobbing asleep. Almost hitting his head off the table asleep.
Lowther added that Anders slept for at least 20 minutes.
The fact of Anders snoozing was noticed and commented upon by another Veterans Emergency Transition Services official, David MacLeod, and by Liberal MP Sean Casey. The three men incurred the wrath of Anders who denied he had fallen asleep.
Anders accused Casey of making misleading statements for partisan political purposes. But his main attack was on Lowther who he accused of being under the control of NDP MP Peter Stoffer. Anders was quoted on as saying, If you praise Vladimir Putin with the way he deals with veterans and you're on NDP press releases and you praise Peter Stoffer and you're in favour of the unionization of the RCMP and you try to crash the prime minister's rallies and you criticize Rob Anders for visiting a mess hall, go figure. Connect the dots.
As reported by, Anders seemed to be confusing Lowther with MacLeod who actually did the presentation for their organization. Perhaps he was asleep at the time.
Both Lowther and MacLeod say they are card carrying members of the Conservative Party of Canada and have praised Stoffer for some of his work with veterans. In the presentation, MacLeod mentioned the fact that Russia provides homes for veterans and have a hospital dedicated to treating Afghan veterans with post traumatic stress disorder.
Last night, Anders issued an apology for his statements about Lowther and Macleod, both of whom had been deployed in Afghanistan. The MP was quoted in the Calgary Herald saying, I have enormous respect for the men and women who sacrificed in service of their country. I apologize for my comments and any offence they may have cast. I will continue to work on behalf of Canada's veterans through the committee.
The apology was sent to members of the parliamentary press gallery and Anders made no attempt to contact the two men. Both Lowther and MacLeod are refusing to accept the apology and are demanding that the MP be removed from the veterans affairs committee.
This is not the first time Anders has been caught napping on the job. Last year, he was caught on camera falling asleep during Question Period.
More about rob anders mp, veterans affairs canada, Homeless veterans, Vladimir putin
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