Chalk Sajjan’s Comments up to Experience

By: Laura Steiner

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did something interesting with his cabinet.  He tried to match experience with portfolio.  He put a former crown attorney in as Justice Minister, a doctor in as Health Minister. His current Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister is himself a former refugee.  He even put a former soldier in as Defence Minister.  His Infrastructure Minister worked as a bus driver.

The experience matching method has worked, but there have been a few rookie mistakes.  Health Minister Jane Philpott was caught up in a limousine controversy.  Former Minister of Democratic Reform Maryam Monsef was involved in a controversy over her place of birth.

Lately it’s been Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s turn to get into trouble.  It started early last month when he made a speech at a conference in New Delhi, India when he labelled himself one of Operation Medusa’s architect.  The mission was commanded by Brig-General David Fraser, and is considered one of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)’s largest.

He made an apology via a Facebook post saying “I made a mistake in describing my role.  I wish to retract that description and apologize for it.  I am truly sorry.”  He made a mistake, and then apologized for it.  We should leave it at that.

Sajjan’s involvement with it is an indisputable fact.  His role was in intelligence.  And Fraser considers him “the best single Canadian intelligence asset in theatre.”  He may not have been an architect, but it seems like they held him in very high regard.

He was in military intelligence.  It is possible that he was an architect of some aspect of the mission that we’ll never know about. A soldier would’ve had to have done something spectacular to earn that kind of praise from the boss.

Everyone has these moments where their mouths get them into trouble.  Sajjan had his, and apologized.  Let’s chalk it up to experience, and move on.