Friday, February 24, 2012

"Airshow" MacKay is now well over the line

As Morton says, Peter MacKay needs to go. And given the Harper Conservatives' penchant for feces flinging politics, I wouldn't be framing the requirement in the form of a request.

MacKay, as shown in these emails obtained by the Toronto Star under an AIA request, clearly abused his ministerial position for purely political reasons and put uniformed members of the Canadian Forces to work in a sphere which violates the apolitical requirement of every member of the armed services.
Military personnel were asked to dig up dirt on an opposition MP in the wake of revelations Defence Minister Peter MacKay was picked up in a search-and-rescue helicopter from a 2010 fishing trip, defence department records show.
The morning of Sept. 22, Royal Canadian Air Force staff — including an officer posted in MacKay’s office — were digging through flight logs to find instances where opposition party MPs took rides aboard military aircraft, according to emails obtained by the Toronto Star.

The search fixated on Liberal MP Scott Simms (Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor), whose riding includes the 9 Wing Gander air force base and who was critical of MacKay in the initial CTV report.

By noon that day, the air force officials had found what appeared to be information that might take the edge of Simms’ criticisms.
One clear point. Members of the Canadian Armed Forces swear an oath or affirmation to the Crown; not to a politician.

It brings up another issue. MacKay was well aware that he could not justify his employment of RCAF operational assets for his own personal use. His subsequent actions in tasking RCAF personnel to a political activity further exacerbate the abuse of the original act.

And yet another issue. Some members of the RCAF are forgetting or have forgotten the responsibility which accompanies their wearing of a uniform and their membership in a disciplined Canadian institution. They are required to live within the bounds of Queen's Regulations and Orders, Defence Administrative Orders and Directives, subordinate command orders and instructions, and published SOPs. Living within that framework means steering well clear of any activity which may be perceived as "political". It also means refusing to accept unlawful commands and commands from those not authorized to issue them.

The Minister of National Defence has no authority to issue orders to individual members of the armed services. That office, responsible for a great many things in relation to defence policy, makes its requirements known and issues orders only at the very top of the uniformed chain of command - to the Chief of Defence Staff.

From the emails recovered in this instance, it is clear one particular RCAF major should have done one thing. He should have advised MacKay that he could not serve MacKay's request without higher uniformed authority being involved and offered to kick it up to the CDS.

MacKay should be fired and at least one RCAF major should be sent down for a junior leadership course so as to rediscover his actual reason for existence.


Boris said...

I wonder what more of this type of thing we'd find if we went digging. This, fishing trips, uniforms, Afghan prisoners, some stuff out of the G20, F-35, etc.

I can't help but think the CDS needs to have a serious leadership moment. Perhaps beginning maybe with the RCAF majors (is this a RCAF major thing?) here and the other fellow around the SAR-fishing trip thing because if this sort of thing is permitted to go on it will become even more normalized and harder to undo.

Naoshad said...

This governments attitudes, dishonesty and sense of entitlement make me long for the days of good, honest scandles like the Chretien sponsorship scandal. What I fail to understand is why other parties and the media aren't taking up the cause as we watch our democracy be dismantled one piece at a time.

Yesterday I wrote a quick post over here regarding the sad state of affairs and more importantly why we must continue to speak out and act.

Kudos on continuing to fight the battle.

The Mound of Sound said...

I am increasingly concerned about the politicization of the Canadian military. Harper began this when he gagged the military, appointing PMO commissars to stand between the military and the public, filtering what communications would be permitted between them and ensuring the military responses where doctored to comport with Harper's political message.

Harper has transformed the public service and the Armed Forces into political agencies of his own PMO.

Was major Johnson acting on behalf of Canada in trying to dig up dirt on Simms? No. Was he acting in the interests of the RCAF? No. Was he acting in the political interests of Peter MacKay and the Conservative Party? Yes, on both counts.

Rev.Paperboy said...

the major should be busted down and McKay should be unemployed.

The Mound of Sound said...

Rev, I don't think the problem is at the level of the major. This sort of thing requires an attitude adjustment from the top down. Did any of major Johnson's superiors intervene? No. The Rancid Cod Hillier set the tone for this sort of nonsense.

Gloria said...

Canada is now a cesspool of corruption, because of Harper.

He cheated to win the election. Harper campaigned on a Calgary radio station, on election day. Then there were the robocalls, which Harper has now pinned on a young staffer. This was Harper's doing. If we knew about the cheating robocalls, so did Harper. He even had a many times convicted American criminal working for him.

MacKay used up $3 million in plane fares!!! He also dings the tax payers, $1,300 per night, luxury hotel suites.

That entire pack of Conservatives, should be booted off the planet. They have wasted billions of our tax dollars. This is the worst government spending, in Canadian history. Harper had even been left, a $13 billion dollar surplus. $1 billion, could have been spent on, Harper's stupid fake lake.

I think the people should get together, and petition Harper to get rid of him. He is also handing Canada to China, on a silver platter.

Scotian said...


Well said, on point, and exactly correct and I cannot add to it only my endorsement, which given how wordy I am as well as opinionated is as high a compliment as I can give! (LOL)