Defence Minister Peter MacKay apparently had one of Newfoundland’s three search-and-rescue helicopters dispatched to pick him up from a fishing trip.
MacKay’s office defended the move, saying it was an opportunity for the defence minister to see the helicopters’ search-and-rescue abilities up close. “After cancelling previous efforts to demonstrate their search-and-rescue capabilities to Minister MacKay over the course of three years, the opportunity for a simulated search and rescue exercise finally presented itself in July of 2010,” a statement from MacKay’s office said. “As such, Minister MacKay cut his personal trip to the area short to participate in this Cormorant exercise.”
However, military sources say no search-and-rescue demonstration was planned until the very day MacKay’s office made the request to pick him up.