The Department of Peter MacKay Defence

by Aaron Wherry

Before it stopped explaining Peter MacKay’s helicopter ride as a search-and-rescue demonstration, the government side thought it somehow relevant to point out that opposition members had taken in part in search-and-rescue demonstrations. Apparently that response required the assistance of the air force.

The morning of Sept. 22, Royal Canadian Air Force staff — including an officer posted in MacKay’s office — were digging through flight logs to find instances where opposition party MPs took rides aboard military aircraft, according to emails obtained by the Toronto Star. The search fixated on Liberal MP Scott Simms (Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor), whose riding includes the 9 Wing Gander air force base and who was critical of MacKay in the initial CTV report.

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.”




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The Department of Peter MacKay Defence

  1. Orwell ~ 1984: 

    Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

  2. Peter lifted in July 2010
    Simms fies Jan 2011

    MacKay’s event is unprecedented then? Surely not. There is no Liberal precedent to prove that it’s okay for CPC MPs to do it, because “The Liberals did it”?

    Well, if that’s the argument, then it’s okay for Simms, because a Conservative did it.

    • What they don’t mention in the article is  “… The Liberal MP said his tour involved an 8 a.m. briefing and two
      helicopter rides, totalling more than five hours in the air. In the
      morning he witnessed two search-and-rescue technicians perform a land
      search. Later in the day, he flew along as they performed a mock marine
      rescue. Simms said he gained an appreciation for how much preparatory
      work goes into planning a mission.

      It turned out that MacKay’s office had directed the search-and-rescue crews to take on Simms as their guest in response to concerns he had raised about response times to distress calls.”

  3. Mackay has probably been asked hundreds, maybe thousands of times, both in Parliament and outside by the media, about his trip on the helicopter.
    How many times has Simms or any Member of the opposition been asked by anyone in the media about any trips they have taken on any Forces aircraft?  I would guess zero times.

    The obsession of the media, including this writer, to continue on the witch hunt of MacKay has led to their failure as an objective news source.

    All the media had to do was ask Simms: Did you ever use the Forces aircraft?–He would have gladly given the honest answer. End of story.  It is unfortunate that the government feels it has to do the job of the media.

    • So what you’re suggesting then is that we give MacKay the same treatment we gave Simms, correct? That is, get him out of the governing party and into the opposition chairs.

      Hm. Okay. I’m good with that.

    • Simms was invited by MacKay to spend the day with them. I guess the facts don’t matter to you Ellen.

    • The little matter of Simms being dropped off where he was picked up, spending the day observing and understanding the rigours of the search and rescue missions, being an invited guest to seeing such rigours escaped your notice, did it?

      This wasn’t a chauffeur service for Simms.  It was for MacKay.  Hence, the questioning of MacKay.

  4. The process will be much more efficient once the government can just spy on  their opponents’ emails.

    • They already do…

  5. I was going to say that MacKay brought Con sleaze to a new level but Toews and Harper have exceeded him this week.

  6. If Simms “flew with the Standby crew for almost the whole day” … well that sounds to me like he was actually observing what they did during a normal day. Isn’t the real question whether Simms diverted the crew at either end of the journey, thereby rendering their services unavailable for any emergencies? And isn’t the follow-up question whether he then continually obfuscated and stonewalled about it when asked in the HoC?

    • Exactly. Nobody has a problem with a minister or MP observing an actual SAR demonstration. The problem lay with an SAR helicopter taken out of its normal duties in order to allow Weepy Pete to sleep in. The problem was compounded when he lied, got the military to lie, and now we find that they were tasked to dig up information about an opposition MP who dared to question the minister.

  7. They should just rename everything; 

    The Harper Government
    The Peter MacKay Department of Defence
    The Vic Toews Department of Secrecy
    The Tony Clement Department of Hush Money
    Etc, Etc.

    • Actually, they might just privatize the ministries, and sell the naming rights.

    • “The Tony Clement Department of Hush Money”

      Correction: I believe it’s actually the Department of Slush Money.

  8. Daily transgressions of Harper and his government x 6 years. 

  9. The more I think about this, the more disturbed I am by it. I mean, a Senior Minister of the Government of Canada tasked the military to dig up dirt on an MP in an opposition party. Why? For daring to question the Minister of Defense. That is not how a government of a free and democratic country behaves.

    • I guess we don’t truly have a free and democratic country.

    • More importantly, he tasked the military to dig up dirt on a opposition MP over a demonstration exercise his own office put said MP on the list for in response to a completely different issue.

      I mean, seriously, how do you forget that.

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