W5 goes looking for answers on the F-35.
Silence from the Minister of Defence. So we requested interviews with the outgoing and incoming Commanders of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the newly-announced Chief of Defence Staff. No dice. Fine, can we please talk to someone – anyone – at DND about the F-35? Sorry, nobody is available. Please accept formulaic stand-by statement instead.
Meanwhile, the defence minister’s communications director responded that that the F-35 program and the future of Canada’s air force are two very different things, so W5 should contact the Minister of Public Works and the Associate Minister of Defence responsible for procurement. We did. One by one, everyone passed the buck leading us down the dead-end street of refusals and stand-by statements. As luck would have it, W5 had a crew was in Wolfville, NS working on another story, when we learned the Defence Minister was scheduled to speak at an event in the Maritime town of 5,000 people. W5 could not pass up the opportunity to ask Peter MacKay for an interview in person. “These types of tactics are always disappointing and, I believe, below the standards of your program and network,” wrote the minister’s communications director after his boss refused to talk to W5.
W5′s full report is here.