Page 1 of 1

Liberal MP Hehr faces new complaint

PostPosted: Dec 7th, 2017, 11:32 am
by Rwede
Hehr faces new complaint of being condescending to Calgary mother

Power Play's Don Martin says things 'look pretty grim' for Disabilities Minister Kent Hehr following new complaints of insensitivity.

Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, December 7, 2017 10:21AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, December 7, 2017 11:15AM EST

OTTAWA -- A Calgary woman engaged in a class action lawsuit against the federal government is coming forward with new allegations about Disabilities Minister Kent Hehr, saying he was disrespectful and condescending when she raised her concerns directly with him.

Jennifer McCrea, who has been fighting a suit involving a group of mothers who say they were denied benefits while on maternity leave, says she contacted Hehr's office in October 2016 after she was encouraged to speak to local Liberal MPs about her case.

Hehr was veterans affairs minister at the time and was shuffled into the sport and disabilities portfolio by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this summer.

RELATED STORIES ... -1.3707856

"(He was) very condescending," McCrea said of the October 2016 interaction, noting she was able to secure less than two minutes of his time.

McCrea also said she specifically asked him why Ottawa is continuing to fight sick women, to which he allegedly replied "Well, Ms. McCrea, that is the old question, like asking ... 'When did you stop beating your wife?"'

"I didn't respond (with) anything because my jaw was on the floor," she said.

"I had never really actually heard of the term that it is a loaded question ... I was just literally (wondering) 'Who talks like that, let alone ... a minister or a member of Parliament?"

McCrea said she decided to come forward about Hehr's comments after hearing the experience of thalidomide survivors this week who said they felt belittled by Hehr's approach in a fall meeting.

The minister needs to be more sensitive in his interactions, McCrea said.

"I was very sympathetic to that group. I was just like 'Oh no, he's done it again'," she said.

"It literally put me back to that conversation that I had with him where ... he's going to bull you over and say whatever he wants to say."

In a statement released Thursday morning, Hehr said he recalls the conversation with McCrea, adding he felt like he was backed into a corner when he was asked why Ottawa wants to continue to fight sick women.

"When speaking to people I tend to be very straightforward, however, I understand my comments can be brash and sometimes even inappropriate," Hehr said. ... -1.3711254

Re: Liberal MP Hehr faces new complaint

PostPosted: Dec 7th, 2017, 11:35 am
by Rwede
Thalidomide survivors say 'degraded, insulted' by disabilities minister Kent Hehr

Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, December 5, 2017 11:31AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 5, 2017 4:30PM EST

OTTAWA -- Members of a group of thalidomide survivors dropped a bombshell Tuesday as they accused Disabilities Minister Kent Hehr of belittling them with insulting and degrading remarks during a face-to-face meeting earlier this year.

The comments from Hehr came during an Oct. 19 meeting, which the group had hoped would encourage the federal government to make good on its commitment to further compensate those impacted by the now-banned pregnancy drug, said Fiona Sampson, herself a survivor who was at the meeting.

The minister said, "'You don't have it as bad today as adults as you did when you were kids,"' Sampson quoted the minister as saying, along with, "'everyone in Canada has a sob story. Lots of people have it bad in Canada-- disabled people, poor people, not just you."'

And when Hehr was told about the impact their condition was expected to have on their life spans, Sampson alleges he responded: "'So, you probably have about 10 years left now. That's good news for the Canadian government."'


Sampson also accused Hehr of touching a survivor in an "unwelcome" way during the meeting. "It was ... physical contact that violated her personal space," Sampson said. ... -1.3707856

Re: Liberal MP Hehr faces new complaint

PostPosted: Dec 7th, 2017, 1:03 pm
by Queen K
Wait a sec, an unhappy person was quoting or para-phrasing? Big difference. I won't believe her until there is an actual recording of the meeting produced.

Re: Liberal MP Hehr faces new complaint

PostPosted: Dec 18th, 2017, 4:11 pm
by Rwede
And another:

Veteran’s wife calls Veterans Affairs minister insensitive

Published December 11, 2017 - 7:41pm
Last Updated December 12, 2017 - 1:17pm

Another allegation of insensitive comments from federal minister Kent Hehr has surfaced, this time from the wife of a disabled veteran.

Hehr, who is the former veterans affairs minister and the current minister of sport and persons with disabilities, has been under fire in recent weeks for statements he allegedly made to a group of thalidomide survivors in October.

On Monday, Kim Davis spoke to The Chronicle Herald about similarly inconsiderate comments she says he made to her in the summer of 2016 when he was in Dartmouth.

Davis said she was at an event for the opening of the Nova Scotia Operational Stress Injury Clinic, which is funded by Veterans Affairs Canada, when she approached Hehr.

Davis, an outspoken activist for veterans, said she challenged Hehr about what the government was doing to look after the families of veterans who have to become full-time caregivers.

In Davis’ case, her husband, a Bosnian veteran, was suicidal and has such severe PTSD that she had to quit her job as a college instructor to care for him.

“I had to give up a career that I enjoyed that had a pension and benefits. Now when I reach age 65 I won’t even qualify for CPP as I haven’t been working,” she said.

Davis said when she explained her situation to Hehr, he responded by telling her Veterans Affairs Canada does not have an obligation to her, as it was her choice to marry her husband.

“I don’t become speechless very quickly but I was dumbfounded that he actually said that,” she said.

Davis said she then went on to tell Hehr that she didn’t think it was fair that, as per the Children of Deceased Veterans Education Assistance Act, if her husband committed suicide her children would have their education paid for but because she had to quit her job to care for him, they might not have the opportunity.

Hehr responded again by saying being with her husband was her choice, Davis alleges.

Davis’ description of the exchange was corroborated by Dawn Marie Collins, another spouse of a veteran, who was standing next to Davis at the time. Collins said she remembers the conversation and that she also felt belittled by Hehr at the event.

In an emailed statement, Hehr completely denied making those comments to Davis.

“At the office opening in June 2016, I noticed some members in the audience wanted to speak with me. I agreed to have a private meeting with them on the spot. I listened to their concerns, and we had a cordial meeting,” Hehr said.


In response to The Chronicle Herald’s request, a staffer from Hehr’s office also sent a number of screenshots of Davis broadly venting and criticizing Hehr and VAC on a public Facebook group for Canadian veterans, as well as a screenshot of a comment on a post on Hehr’s official page.

The staffer said the screenshots weren’t to discredit Davis, but to show that she has been vocal about her concerns.

Following her encounter with Hehr, Davis said she was not at all surprised to hear that he had also made questionable comments to survivors of thalidomide, a drug once widely prescribed to pregnant women for morning sickness until it was found to cause serious birth defects.

At a press conference in Ottawa last week, members of the Thalidomide Survivor Task Group accused Hehr of trivializing their struggles by telling them everyone has “a sob story” at a meeting back in October.

Since then, a Calgary mother has also alleged Hehr acted disrespectfully to her during a phone call in 2016.

Hehr has apologized for the comments, which he said were misconstrued.

Davis said she just wants to make people aware that Hehr’s apparent lack of sensitivity is not a one-time thing.

“He doesn’t seem to care, he doesn’t seem to have any filters,” she said.

“It’s like he is given free range to say whatever he wants and doesn’t seem to have any backlash or recourse because of it.” ... nsensitive

Re: Liberal MP Hehr faces new complaint

PostPosted: Dec 18th, 2017, 4:52 pm
by Queen K
I wonder if Hehr ever thought "the truth hurts" but told it anyway. And yes, some comments are insensitive regardless of how one presents things in any tactful manner.

If Hehr is the wrong person for the job, then a more diplomatic person should be appointed.

Re: Liberal MP Hehr faces new complaint

PostPosted: Dec 18th, 2017, 5:29 pm
by my5cents
Sounds like he's the wrong person for a lot of things. Starting with being an MP.

I'm guessing his rudeness has been learned over years of not being told off when he's said something rude because he's in a wheel chair.

Is Justin that hard up for cabinet ministers ? Because this guy has back bench writen all over him.

I'd recommend if you've got a meeting with him, take a recording device.