Thursday, December 01, 2011

MacKay and your tax dollars

He can't seem to control himself. And he has a difficult time with the truth. MacKay on 22 September this year:

"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.”

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.”


double nickel said...

Sure the Colonel COULD have denied the trip, but I'm sure he prefers to protect his family and his pension from The Glorious Leader's retribution, and who can blame him?

Boris said...

The last time we had a RCAF, their Colonels were called Groupies...

Soon they'll have to create a Minister's Flight to legitimize his use of the skyplanes.

Dave said...

Actually, the colonel COULD NOT have denied the trip. But rather than couch his recommendation against the use of a SAR helicopter in the vein of "bad optics" he SHOULD have pointed out that MacKay's requirement constituted misuse.

Rev.Paperboy said...

long time no see, good to have you back on the bridge

Boris said...

...he SHOULD have pointed out that MacKay's requirement constituted misuse. I keep wondering what it'll take for anyone, uniformed or not, to tell these guys when something constitutes misuse/abuse/illegality. It's a pretty sad state when everything is reduced to how one might spin the 'optics'.

harebell said...

I've got to question what kind of senior officers these people are. Right now if I was an ordinary serviceman I would be having trust issues with respect to their abilities to command effectively.
If they crap their pants at the thought of telling a jumped up little wannabe and his grey daddy to go screw themselves when they want to defraud the public; then what kind of resilience can I expect from them when the chips are down with some real bad guys?
Right now the ability and courage of staff officers in the CF look highly suspect indeed.

Alison said...

Orders approving the flight :

"This mission will be under the guise of . . . SAR (training)."

New way to publicly address the Honorable Defence Minister Peter Airshow MacKay :
"Hey, you guise..."

Simon said...

hi Dave...thanks for the link and welcome back !!!! I'm so glad to see you back blogging I missed you.
And I must say that judging by this post and others, the timing of your return was just PERFECT.
Now please find any excuse to run that post on the Cons that you wrote a year ago. As I sit here in The Great Darkness I badly need to link to it again. And other progressives need to be reminded how prophetic you were... :)

Alison said...

G&M catches up with Dave today:

Vacation airlift wasn’t MacKay's first search-and-rescue flight in region

"Just a year prior, in 2009, Mr. MacKay flew aboard a SAR Cormorant while it conducted landing and takeoff demonstrations in the same vicinity as the fishing camp."