On Sunday, 15 April, the Department of National Defence sent out a press release which David Pugliese posted.
The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Lead Minister for Search and Rescue, is pleased to announce an $8.1M federal investment in search and rescue prevention and response in Canada.All very nice, except for one small problem. This is not new money. This has been around for well over a decade. David Pugliese started to get a raft of emails.
“Our government understands the importance of investing in new initiatives aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of search and rescue in Canada,” said Minister MacKay. “This money will support projects that build search and rescue capacity and strengthens the response of search and rescue.”
In 2012-2013, this new funding will allow for the purchase of life-saving equipment and tools; the development of training standards; collaborative interoperability exercises between the Canadian Forces, the Canadian Coast Guard, Parks Canada, and the over 15,000 specially trained air-ground-marine search and rescue volunteers; the development of outreach prevention and awareness programs to targeted audiences like flight safety for private pilots; the building of search and rescue capacity in the marine environment on the coasts; and the development of virtual trainers for the air and marine search and rescue environments.
As mentioned, Defence Watch readers took issue with the claim about new funding. They say the funding is awarded each year and has been for more than a decade.In fact this fund was started back in 1988 and has been allocated annually since then. It also has never really grown from the amount originally set aside.
Pugliese went to MacKay's office for an explanation and discovered ...
So it isn’t exactly “new” money after all. It’s the same money and each year the list with the $8 million worth of new projects is issued annually.This is nothing more than MacKay trying to generate some "good" press. Here, however, is the best part. (Emphasis mine)
That quest is, at times, reaching desperation, sources say. As an example, they point to the March 20th press release issued by DND, which NDHQ communications specialists are still talking about. That one had Mr. MacKay announcing a contract for $5,943 for a firm to put some barriers up.This useless boob needs to be taken to lunch. Somebody can clean out his office while he's gone and remove his name from the DND telephone directory before he gets back.