POLITICS
05/10/2019 14:25 EDT | Updated 05/10/2019 15:00 EDT

Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay Apologizes For VE-Day Video Showing Nazis

"We will make sure that this does not happen again."

Sean Kilpatrick/CP
Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay answers a question in the House of Common on May 10, 2019.

Canada's veterans affairs minister has apologized for an "unacceptable" blunder from his department that saw images of Nazis included in a government video celebrating the 74th anniversary of the Allied forces' victory in Europe.

"This was a completely unacceptable mistake and the video... was removed immediately," Lawrence MacAulay said in question period Friday. "I can assure you (that) I and the people involved are very concerned and we're taking steps to make sure this does not happen again."

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MacAulay added that he hoped the error did not "detract" from the purpose of the Victory in Europe (VE-Day) message: to honour the Canadian soldiers who fought and died in the Second World War.

The minister did not respond directly to Tory backbencher Dane Lloyd's question about how many "levels of vetting" the video went through before its release.

Evidently unmoved by MacAulay's words, Conservative MP Michael Barrett rose on the same point.

"The Liberals marked VE-Day by thanking Nazis for their sacrifice, complete with an online video featuring German troops and a voiceover by the veterans' minister," Barrett said, before asking the minister to explicitly apologize to veterans.

"Of course... I would do anything I could for our veterans, including apologize for the likes of this to happen. This is totally unacceptable," MacAulay said.

"And as I said, we will make sure that this does not happen again. And I've instructed my deputy minister to find out just what took place, what was missed."

Tory MPs thank minister for his response

Veterans Affairs released and quickly deleted the video Wednesday, according to CBC News. On May 8, 1945, Allied nations celebrated Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender and the end of the Second World War in Europe.

CBC has a copy of the video, in which MacAulay notes that more than a million Canadians served in the Second World War and more than 45,000 "gave their lives in the defence of peace and freedom."

As he speaks, footage is shown of German forces wearing Nazi eagle symbols on their uniforms.

Both Lloyd and Barrett later took to Twitter to thank MacAulay for his response to the issue.