'That's respect' - Macleans.ca

‘That’s respect’

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Glen Pearson tells a story about Peter MacKay.

 Last week, I received an urgent call from a London, Ontario firefighter who had been on my crew when I was a captain for the department.  His mother had passed away suddenly and the family was in shock.  Worse still, his brother was a helicopter pilot at the Kandahar airbase and they had no idea how to reach him, especially in such a remote region.  “Please help if you can, Glen, the family is finding this really difficult,” my friend said.  I offered to do what I could…

And so I took a chance.  I had Peter McKay’s email address for his Blackberry and I sent him a brief message explaining the circumstances.  As Defense Minister, he was my only real chance of getting things done quickly.  Within 30 minutes he returned my message, stating that he was, in fact, in Kabul, and though it was midnight there, he would get on it right away.  He kept in touch with me through the night, updating me on the progress he was making.

The next day, the grieving helicopter pilot was on his way to his father’s side, his pain somewhat mollified by a respectful military and an able Defense Minister who overcame significant challenges to get him where he needed to be.