Following last week's hullabaloo surrounding accusations that O'Connor had not, in fact, had his department pay for full funeral expenses for all soldiers - as he said he had on the record in the house (ie. he lied, again) - it seems that the Cons' political advisers have decided to try to divert attention away from that ugly mess by now proclaiming 2007 to be 'the Year of the Military Family'. What a slap in the face. Count on them to act like an abusive spouse who thinks they can make it all better if they just bring home a bouquet of flowers the next day. That's what they do. They're opportunists and manipulators.
And to kick it off, who else but O'Connor's military chief of defence staff turned political sockpuppet, Rick Hillier?
Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier says it's only fitting to celebrate the spouses, children and parents of people in uniform given the sacrifices that they make each day.
"They are the strength behind the uniform," Hillier said in a statement.
You just want to give Hillier the proverbial (and, of course, non-violent) smack upside the head, don't you?
As for the Dinning family, suddenly the money's on its way to cover their son's funeral costs (not that the public humiliation caused by this entire mess had anything to do with that development, of course):
On Thursday, the chief of military personnel phoned the parents of Cpl. Matthew Dinning to apologize a day after they held a press conference to plead their case.
Rear-Admiral Tyrone Pile called the corporal's father, Lincoln Dinning, and promised to send a cheque to cover the difference between what the funeral cost and what the military paid, as well as to pay for outstanding grief counselling bills.
"He apologized profusely for the situation and said it got stuck in the system and it shouldn't have," Dinning told CTV's Question Period co-host Craig Oliver on Sunday.
"And, as they say, the cheque is in the mail."
Right. And if you buy that excuse you're either a) a Conservative b) living in denial or c) both (the most likely answer).