"I was in fact in Gander in July of 2010 on a personal visit with friends that I paid for. Three days into the visit I participated in a search and rescue demonstration with 103 squadron 9 Wing Gander. I shortened my stay by a day to take part in that demonstration," he said.
Nice try, I suppose, but even an ordinary seaman would have called "bullshit" on that one.
There is an RCAF colonel who knew that MacKay was trying to use a critical search and rescue asset as his personal air taxi to a fishing lodge.
"So, when the guy who's fishing at the fishing hole next to the minister sees the big yellow helicopter arrive and decides to use his cell phone to video the minister getting on board and post it on YouTube, who will be answering the mail on that one :)," wrote Col. Bruce Ploughman, director of Canada Combined Aerospace Operations Centre at 1 Canadian Air Division headquarters in Winnipeg, adding a typographical symbol for a happy face at the end."If we are tasked to do this we of course will comply — given the potential for negative press though, I would likely recommend against it, especially in view of the fact that the Air Force receives (or at least used to) regular ATIs specifically targetting travel on CF aircraft by ministers," continued Ploughman...
Colonels ain't what they used to be. He should have just pointed out that politicians flying into fishing lodges on SAR aircraft is blatant misuse of equipment. Period.
Better yet, MacKay's office should have known better than to have even broached the idea. But then ... MacKay is a Harper Conservative. Perks and privilege on your dime is just fine by them.
Simon gives you light-hearted version.
While we're at it:
Take a look at this heap of manure. Jay Paxton at MacKay's office had this to offer:
“After cancelling previous efforts to demonstrate their search-and-rescue capabilities to Minister MacKay over the course of three years, the opportunity for a search-and-rescue demonstration finally presented itself in July of 2010,” Jay Paxton told media. “As such, Minister MacKay cut his personal trip to the area short to participate in this Cormorant exercise.”Really?!
That would suggest that MacKay had never been in a Cormorant SAR helicopter before.
Well, go up into that same article and you'll see that not only has he been a passenger in a SAR Cormorant before but he used one a year previously to go to the same fishing area.
At one point, while military officials were debating whether the helicopter could land at Burnt Rattle or whether MacKay would need to be winched up, Allen indicated this wasn’t the first time the minister had been in a Cormorant in the area.“I am told by the (minister’s) staff that last year the (minister) was flying near this location, and the pilot landed there (at a spot near the shore, perhaps a short distance away),” he wrote. “That being said, apparently that pilot has now been posted from Gander to Comox, so he is no longer at your (squadron), so he can’t pinpoint the location.”