We really appreciate that Peter Mackay has a Winter Emergency Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador, but it looks a little choppy.
A tale of sexism, denial, and totally justifiable public outcry
As the federal and provincial governments steamroll ahead with plans to dam the Lower Grand River (known as Mistashipu to many locals), individuals and aboriginal groups in Labrador are raising their voices in opposition to what many see as an appropriation of their land without fair compensation.
It may be a new year, but the taint of last year’s scandals has not gone away…
Yesterday The Independent picked up on an Ottawa Citizen report that the Department of National Defense was considering closing military bases; Liberal Senator Colin Kenny, though not involved in any decisions but very familiar with the subject, cited CFB Goose Bay specifically as a base that had become redundant. NDP MP Jack Harris questioned the government about the report in the House of Commons: “CFB Goose Bay contributes over $75 million to Newfoundland and Labrador’s gross domestic product, and 5 Wing Goose Bay has served our country with distinction with its strategic northern location.” He received a typical Question Period response from Peter MacKay, the Minister of National Defense: “The new member from Newfoundland and Labrador that is now sitting as part of the federal cabinet in the Conservative government has made incredible efforts to ensure that we continue to make these historic efforts in Gander and Goose Bay, and…
Mary Dawson, the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner of Canada, told a House of Commons committee Thursday some rules may have been broken during MacKay’s 2010 summer vacation, when he was picked up from a Newfoundland fishing lodge by a Cormorant search-and-rescue helicopter. A copy of the personal cheque used to pay for his time at the lodge will be sent to the commissioner’s office, MacKay said following question period, which was highlighted by calls to clip the defence minister’s wings. “I’ve taken that step to provide her that information. If she has any questions, she can contact me,” he said. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, until now silent about the controversy, attempted to deflect criticism of MacKay by saying that he has used mostly for soldier repatriation ceremonies. He said Challenger Jet use is down 30% from what the Liberal government before him used. Source: Winnipeg Free Press
CBC is reporting that Defence Minister Peter MacKay, already facing scrutiny for flying in a military helicopter while on vacation in Newfoundland, also took a military Challenger business jet to reach his Nova Scotia riding for a lobster dinner. MacKay has defended arranging for the Cormorant helicopter, which he said was not for personal use but for work. He wanted to participate in a search and rescue demonstration with 103 Squadron at Gander and cut short his salmon fishing trip to do so. CBC is also reporting that the challenger jet ride cost taxpayers $25,000, however it should be noted that many of the quoted costs of the challenger jets are incurred whether or not the jet is actually flown. Also, governments have reduced challenger jet use to the point where pilots are having to fly passenger-less just to ensure they accrue the required hours for the aircraft. Source: CBC
Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Tuesday his government has corrected a historic mistake by restoring the “royal” designation to the air force and navy. MacKay announced the Maritime Command and Air Command will again be known as the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force — names that haven’t been used in more than four decades. The army, formally known as the Land Force Command, will be renamed the Canadian Army. The royal designation was removed from the navy and air force in 1968 when the branches were renamed and brought under one central command named the Canadian Forces. Source: CBC