Military sent fishing for dirt on MacKay’s critics


It wasn’t a great fall for Defence Minister Peter MacKay. The rugby-playing Nova Scotian spent much of his autumn fighting off allegations he used a search-and-rescue helicopter as a personal taxi. Lucky for him, he had backup.

The Toronto Star reported Friday that officers in Canada’s ostensibly apolitical military were marshalled to dig up political cover for their civilian minister. Emails obtained by the paper show soldiers frantically hunting for evidence that opposition MPs, particularly Liberal Scott Simms, had taken similar flights:

By noon that day, the air force officials had found what appeared to be information that might take the edge of Simms’ criticisms.

“Found it. Jan. 17, 2011, he (Simms) flew with the Standby crew for almost the whole day,” wrote Maj. Byron Johnson in an email to Royal Canadian Air Force headquarters in Ottawa. “Fax is on the way.”

That email was sent to a number of individuals in Ottawa, including Maj. James Hawthorne, the military assistant to the Minister of National Defence. Hawthorne then demanded to know who invited Simms on the ride-along, where he flew with the Gander-based search-and-rescue crew, and if he paid any money to reimburse the military for the flight.

As it turned out, MacKay’s office had arranged Simms’ trip. But that didn’t stop the minister from raising it in his own defence in the House. But where Simms’ journey was an all-day, two-mission demonstration, MacKay’s was a 30-minute jaunt organized four days before to help get him to a political funding announcement on time. 

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Military sent fishing for dirt on MacKay’s critics

  1. The Cons have eliminated officers of parliament who demonstrated any independence, de-funded NGOs that facilitated dissent, politicized the senior civil service, muzzled public servants such as scientists, and eliminated activities that generated impartial information (e.g., long form census).

    Now, most disturbingly, they are evidently co-opting the military.

    Anybody getting nervous out there?

    • Maybe…but even with that the morons got it wrong didn’t they?

    • They already have the RCMP and the GG in their pocket.

  2. This is the end!  This is no longer a government of adults, but a childish and immature group of spoiled brats who have NO CONSIDERATION for the taxpayer nor for TAXPAYER DOLLARS.  Enough!  Really, enough!. 

    No more lies, no more irresponsible, petty, vindictive, GROSSLY immature behaviour.  No more wasting OUR money on frivolous things and wasteful people.   I cannot begin to express the rank DISGUST I feel toward these incredulously inept and abusive people currently in government.  They put our country in peril by shaming us perpetually both at home and abroad.

    Please, please, journalists – go after all who even have a whiff of corruption.  We simply must get a higher quality of individuals in our government.

    • I know how you feel but I truly feel powerless about this….

      •  When citizens decide they’ve had enough, they CAN make a difference – the snooping bill didn’t get the kind of safe passage through parliament it was expected to.  It’s probably a safe bet that a lot more people are now paying attention to what the harper regime is up to.

        • I truly hope so. Harper gotten a free pass for way too long!

  3. Aw man. I can’t believe it took me this long to catch the pun in the title.

    Nice one guys!

    New recruiting ad.. “Join the military, help the Defence Minister with all varities of fishing trips.”

    • Fight Ministerial tardiness with the Canadian Forces.

  4. The Harper Government cancelled Ecoenergy’s Home Retrofit Program three months early because it was creating jobs and Canadians liked it! That says alot about our government which was elected on a promise of much more help for the citizens of this country!!!!

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