Conservative Leader Stephen Harper on Wednesday said it is “dangerous” for the Veterans Affairs Department to require that service vehicles be loaded onto vehicles that are being transported to and from military bases.
“I am not saying that that is the right thing to do.
I am saying that is dangerous,” Harper said at a news conference in Ottawa.
“We have a situation where we are seeing this kind of dynamic, where people are being asked to go out and do things that are dangerous.”
The Conservative leader said the federal government will look at the situation and see what it means.
“The government will do the right, sensible thing, and we will get rid of the regulations that we have in place, but we will look to see what is the best way to get the best service for our veterans.”
In his opening statement, Harper said the department is looking at what it can do to ensure its vehicles can be transported safely, without requiring them to be loaded.
“That will be a discussion with the government and with the provinces and the territories,” Harper told reporters, referring to the government’s decision to require vehicles be transported in a safe manner.
“As I said, I think it is safe.
The question is what is not safe and I think that will be an open discussion with those in charge of the ministry.”
In the past, Conservative ministers have said the vehicles are too large and expensive to carry.
In January, then-prime minister Stephen Harper said that he would not accept the government paying for the transport of the military’s vehicles, but that it would have to cover its own costs.
The Conservative government has not yet released details on how much it will pay for the vehicles.
On Wednesday, Harper also said that the Canadian Forces’ medical personnel would be given the option of using private vehicles to transport patients and that he wanted the government to “make sure that all Canadians are being treated with dignity.”
“I believe that this is a compassionate and just solution that everyone will be satisfied with,” Harper added.