Steven Chase explains the discrepancy between the reported purpose of Peter MacKay’s flights and the Prime Minister’s version of events.
Records show, however, that there were 35 flights where Mr. MacKay’s office requested the Challenger jets. These are flights where Mr. MacKay is listed as the main passenger – “VIP” or “user requesting” the planes. Of these, only nine were to attend repatriation ceremonies.
The Harper defence of Mr. MacKay is comparing apples and oranges, however. It measures a much bigger pool of flights, including those where the Nova Scotia minister was merely a passenger on jets ordered not by his office but by others, including the military. If these ride-along flights counted as being ordered up at the behest of Mr. MacKay, than his total mileage and costs for the last four years would be much higher than 247 hours and $2.9-million.