The individual in the foreground of the photo above is not what he would appear to be. With no other information, that would appear to be a leading seaman in the Canadian Navy. Except that it is actually the member of parliament for Edmonton - St. Albert, one Brent Rathgeber, Conservative Party of Canada, wearing the uniform of a Canadian naval sailor... complete with rank badges.
The photograph comes from his website.
This is becoming an all too common event among Harper MPs. Rathgeber is a lawyer. His accumulated military service appears to total - ZERO. And, though I hardly need to point it out, Mr. Rathgeber, in that photo is breaking the law. It is illegal to impersonate a member of the Canadian Forces and Rathgeber is clearly doing that. Not to mention that it is an insult to serving members of the Canadian Forces to have a non-combatant civilian, not subject to the Code of Service Discipline mock an official uniform: A uniform which others wear proudly and stripes which they have earned through adversity.
Given that Rathgeber sees fit to level accusations of wrongdoing against Canadian citizens who have neither broken any law or displayed any intent to break a law, yet were arrested in a vile spectacle of unrestrained abuse of police power, one might expect Rathgeber to pursue a pristine law-abiding life. Not one which, as is obvious from his own website, includes posing for the camera while illegally wearing an official CF uniform.
It is totally unacceptable that the members of Harper's caucus seem to feel they have the run of the Canadian Forces; that they can play with the troops, dress up like the troops and generally declare that they are the troops when the huge majority of them have never so much as considered crossing the threshold of a recruiting office - ever.
In short, General, kindly inform the members of the Harper government, by whatever means expedient, that the various uniforms of the Canadian Forces are not costumes to use and abuse at their pleasure.
And in this case, I speak for myself and every other former and serving leading hand who produced the sweat, worked endless hours and suffered to earn those rank badges.
Enough is enough.
Hat Tip Alison.