Although acknowledging himself that he acted dishonourably, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is going to get a second chance.
But for dying honourably, there will be no second chances for Sgt. Robert Dynerowicz.
As they say, you find out who’s who not in peace time but in war.
We learned Monday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau does not care that his defence minister falsely boasted about being the “architect” of Operation Medusa in Afghanistan.
And former Lt. Col. Sajjan, MP for Vancouver South, did not do the honourable thing and resign.
None of it is a surprise since this is the same prime minister who preferred the humanitarian approach in the battle with ISIS in Iraq rather than “whip out our CF-18s and show them how big they are,” and who has had one cabinet minister not sure which country she was born in and another who it turns out did not win a Nobel prize.
But on this, neither Trudeau or Sajjan mentioned the sacrifice of this fallen Canadian soldier who did not make up his contribution but was training for his next mission to keep Canada safe.
While Trudeau and Sajjan were saving butts in the House of Commons, those who loved big-hearted, brave, tough and brotherly Dynerowicz were attending his funeral in Kitchener.
The 34-year-old from the CFB Petawawa-based Royal Canadian Dragoons – who did two tours in Afghanistan – was killed in training at CFB Wainright, Alta. last Tuesday after an accident in his armoured Lav-3 during the Rugged Bear war-simulation exercises that also saw three other soldiers hurt.
Dynerowicz was remembered on Don Cherry’s Coach’s Corner Saturday but not Monday in Ottawa where the focus was not on a soldier who died in training, but a former soldier-turned-politician who was loose with the facts on his own greatness.
“I was the architect of Operation Medusa,” Sajjan said in India last month and also on TV interview in 2015.
He was not the architect but did play a valued role as a reservist intelligence officer. Sajjan again apologized for the exaggeration outside the House, telling reporters he’s “owning it” and “learning from it,” but not resigning for it.
Interim Conservative and opposition leader Rona Ambrose hit hard saying “how much more does the prime minister need to hear before he understands why our men and women in uniform have lost confidence in the minister?” and “People in the military have a name for what he did: it’s called ‘stolen valour’ – when someone takes credit for the brave actions of another.”
But Trudeau just said over and over “the minister made a mistake, acknowledged his responsibility and apologized for it” and he still has “full confidence” in him.
Time will tell if the military still does.
They were not thinking about their boss who enhanced his war zone role but mourning the death of a legitimate Canadian hero who died in uniform preparing to go to battle.
Harjit Sajjan will be back to work Tuesday as Canada’s defence minister. RIP Sgt. Robert Dynerowicz.
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