Ugh. Harper wants his Air Force One. But here's the thing: The United States has a fleet of presidential and executive aircraft specifically designed and equipped to fly their high ranking states-people around the world and their country. Air Force One, the heavily customised Boeing 747 airframe is the signature contraption of the bunch. The RCAF maintains a fleet of Challenger and Airbus aircraft that perform a number of roles depending on their configuration, only one of which is prime-ministerial transport. They also move the Queen and other members of the Royal Family, troops and equipment as well as perform air-to-air refueling of Canadian and allied aircraft. It isn't Harper's Airbus. It is an asset of the RCAF, owned by the public, which may actually be needed in a real-world emergency. This isn't a new issue and Airshow in the past did the right thing and rebuffed the PMO about the paint-scheme. The dark-grey colour and low-visibility markings serve a tactical purpose when the jet flies into war-zones or other places where it might be unwise to advertise its presence on a ramp. I mean thanks to policy errors like Afghanistan and uncritically siding with Israel, there are a growing number of places on the globe where a big red maple leaf and Canada sticker might present a bit of a security problem.
What Harper wants is a flying photo-op backdrop to serve as nothing more than an officialised RCAF fishing charter.