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The Defence Minister is apparently considering legal action.

Mr. MacKay’s office says statements like that show the minister was telling the truth when he said he was taking advantage of an opportunity to participate in an exercise. “Minister MacKay has had his character and personal reputation attacked,” spokesman Jay Paxton said. “Minister MacKay is looking into legal options against those who have attacked his integrity.”

However much today’s claim bolsters Mr. MacKay’s case, the government side didn’t bother to reference it when the opposition pressed the matter this afternoon. Thrice, Julian Fantino, covering for the absent minister, stood and explained that “the minister was called back from personal vacation to go to work,” without any mention of search-and-rescue training.

John Geddes looked at what apparently inspired to Mr. MacKay to cut short his vacation yesterday and the NDP’s Matthew Kellway pursued various questions on that front today.

As for his decision to hop in the basket to get to London for a press conference on a new military contract, I have a few questions. When exactly was this contract signed, when was the minister told and when did he decide to travel to London?

In response, Mr. Fantino said only what the script, as noted above, allowed.