Thursday, March 01, 2012

Zzzzzz .....wakie, wakie 'Old Snoozy' time to go collect your platinum gilt-edged pension!

Veterans advocates furious after Conservative MP sleeps through presentation on homeless vets

By David Pugliese
Postmedia News
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Conservative MP Rob Anders "started texting and then just slept for the rest," said Jom Lowther,President of Veterans Emergency Transition Services. (Ted Rhodes/Postmedia News Files)

OTTAWA — Veterans advocates are furious after they say a Conservative MP on the Commons veterans affairs committee slept through their presentation about efforts to help homeless former soldiers.
Jim Lowther, President of Veterans Emergency Transition Services, said he couldn’t believe it when Calgary MP Rob Anders slept through the group’s presentation at the Commons veterans affairs committee on Tuesday in Halifax.

Lowther said Anders came into the meeting 10 minutes late.

“He was putting his arms up and rubbing his face,” explained Lowther. “Then he started texting and then just slept for the rest.”

“He almost smashed his head on the table, he was that out of it.”

Veterans at the meeting said that the other MPs on the committee were attentive and interested in the information they were hearing about the need to help veterans.

“We helped get 13 vets off the street this year and that’s what we were talking about,” said Lowther. “And he’s asleep. I felt like throwing an ice cube at him. I had to stop myself.”

Anders has not responded to Postmedia requests for comment.

The meeting was held at the officers’ mess at Artillery Park in Halifax. It was in a relatively small room with four veterans, two doctors who work with veterans, seven MPs and four government employees present, say those who attended.
Lowther said he was angered by Anders’s actions but originally decided not to mention it. He then changed his mind, sending an email out to some fellow veterans, one of whom forwarded it to the Postmedia.

It’s not the first time the Calgary MP has had trouble keeping awake while on the job. Last fall a YouTube video of Anders nodding off in the House of Commons became a hit with viewers. His office later told a constituent the reason he feel asleep was because he had been in a recent car accident, although no details about where or when that happened were provided, according to news reports.

David MacLeod, also with Veterans Emergency Transition Services, said that when Anders came in late the MP offered no apology. Later MacLeod started to make his presentation about the transition services group seeking charitable status but not wanting any federal funding.

A volunteer group not wanting any government money got the attention of the MPs on the committee, said MacLeod, who with Lowther, helps fund the organization with their own money.

“At that point I figured most people were paying attention, but then I looked down the table and there’s old snoozy,” said MacLeod. “Old snoozy at the end of the table didn’t give a damn. That just fried my bacon.”
‘At that point I figured most people were paying attention, but then I looked down the table and there’s old snoozy’
Lowther said Anders was quick to leave the meeting once it wrapped up. “As soon as the meeting was over, he was gone, he was out the door,” said Lowther.

Liberal MP Sean Casey, who is on the committee, said Anders has fallen asleep before at its meetings. “This happens fairly regularly at veterans committee so it wasn’t out of the ordinary,” he said. “This isn’t the first time.”

Casey said it is up to Anders to offer an explanation. But he added: “I wouldn’t for one minute accuse him of falling asleep because he doesn’t care, although I can see why someone would come to that conclusion.”


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