A retired major claims the Defence Minister’s helicopter ride was part of a training exercise.

“This was a training flight that we were going to participate in,” Reid said in an interview. “If the minister was able to slide his way in, in some fashion, that was fine with us … “The flight would have been flown regardless of whether or not the minister was included because the squadron conducts two training events per day as part of a regular routine,” he said. “In this case, a new flight engineer required hoist training, therefore the training intentions were well matched.”

Too bad the government has already abandoned any reference to search-and-rescue operations in its explanation.

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.