When Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino sits down with several veterans organizations in Quebec City’s historic Citadel on Wednesday, there will be some groups on the outside looking in.
Fantino’s department has snubbed groups who’ve loudly criticized the Conservatives’ implementation of the contentious New Veterans’ Charter, freezing them out of an annual stakeholders’ meeting, which they’d previously attended.
Officials would not discuss the arrangements publicly, but the groups not invited to the Quebec meeting largely coincide with those who’ve also been exiled from the Royal Canadian Legion’s assembly of veterans organizations that meets twice yearly to consult on common issues.
The dissidents claim Veterans Affairs is colluding with the legion to isolate the government’s most vocal critics, something that both parties deny. Regardless, a sizable number of veterans won’t be represented at the table as Fantino updates others on what his department is doing.
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