Gay Liberal MP Rob Oliphant has taken on the portfolio of Veteran's Affairs critic, and in that role was on a Parliamentary trip to Italy last week. I spoke with him about it after Question Period today.
Q: Tell me about your trip to Italy.
A: My trip to Italy was great. I was with the Minister of Veteran’s Affairs, and we went on the route of the Italian Campaign in World War II – 1943-44 – the sixtieth-fifth anniversary. We went to little towns, villages and small cities, cemeteries where 6000 Canadians are buried. 6000 Canadians died in that war, and it was the first thing I’ve done anything like that. It was…fascinating. And travelling with veterans who were quite stunning in the way they were looking at things, saying in a very humble way “this was all rubble when we were here sixty-five years ago.” But it was a very profound trip. It was one of those trips that they do, a couple in a year, to try to figure out how it is that you can continue to honour and remember, and the veterans are disappearing. So those kinds of trips will soon disappear.
Q: This is the last week of sitting, so what are your plans for the winter break?
A: A little bit more home time. And party time – lots of things to do. We’re moving. We’ve sold our house in Cabbagetown, and we’re moving to the riding on January 11th, so it’ll be P&P – party and packing.