Trudeau responds to Christopher Garnier’s Veteran Affairs payouts during question period
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was pressed during question period on whether the government will revoke convicted killer Christopher Garnier’s Veterans Affairs payouts.
Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer revisited the matter during Wednesday’s question period, when he acknowledged that the Trudeau government is changing the policy that led to Garnier receiving benefits but claims they “refuse” to intervene and revoke payouts to the convicted killer.
Garnier, 30, was convicted of second-degree murder and interfering with human remains in the 2015 death of 36-year-old Truro police officer Const. Catherine Campbell.
WATCH: Mother of murdered cop calls on Liberals to revoke benefits to killer
“Catherine Campbell’s parents are visiting Parliament Hill today so I’m wondering if the prime minister can explain why he’s putting the interests of Catherine Campbell’s killer ahead of the interests of Canada’s veterans,” Scheer said.
“Our hearts and the hearts of all Canadians go out to Susan and Dwight and all of Const. Campbell’s family,” Trudeau replied. “The Minister of Veterans Affairs and the member from Central Nova have reached out and conveyed that to them directly.”
Trudeau then defended Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan, whom the prime minister said is addressing existing policy related to treatment of family members under extenuating circumstances, such as conviction of a serious crime.
“This will ensure we continue to support veterans and their families who need our help,” Trudeau stated.
WATCH: Susan Campbell says giving veterans benefits to her daughter’s killer is ‘a wrong’ against her
In Garnier’s trial, the jury found that he strangled Campbell and used a compost bin to dump her body near the Macdonald Bridge. The conviction carries an automatic life sentence with no eligibility for parole before 13.5 years served for the crime.
Despite never having served in the Canadian Forces, Garnier’s application for benefits was approved because his father is a veteran who told the court that getting PTSD treatment for his son would help him, too.
The decision prompted widespread outrage from the public and veterans who are facing months-long wait times for similar benefits.
Campbell’s parents met with Scheer, MPs and veterans Tuesday on Parliament Hill in an attempt to have Garnier’s benefits revoked.
“This is terribly wrong,” Susan Campbell told Global News. “I don’t know how this government can condone giving this coverage to somebody who is not even a veteran and has brought this on by his own doing.”
WATCH: Christopher Garnier case continues to dominate Question Period
—With files from Amanda Connolly
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