Minister of disabilities Kent Hehr is being accused of making “degrading, belittling and insulting” comments a group of thalidomide survivors in a meeting in October.
Thalidomide is a now banned pregnancy drug that caused birth defects and infant deaths. The group was hoping the government would follow through on promises to further compensate those affected by taking the drug. Hehr allegedly said “‘everyone in Canada has a sob story. Lots of people have it bad in Canada- disabled people, poor people, not just you.”‘ which obviously upset the group of women.
Conservative MP Karen Vecchio brought the incident to the forefront when she question the minister of disabilities on the comments he made in the Oct. 19th meeting.
Hehr said his heart goes out to survivors, that he listened to their stories, and that the government is taking concerns very seriously.