Editorial was ‘partisan drivel’

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Your editorial “To the rescue,” May 3, addresses a recent search and rescue announcement without dealing, in any way, with the substance of the announcement.

Instead, it presents your readers with the most partisan piece of drivel I have read while serving in this position.

Your readers should be aware that Peter MacKay, as minister of National Defence and lead federal minister for search and rescue, recently made significant announcements to support and enhance Canada’s search and rescue systems, including:

• The first standardized, comprehensive quadrennial search and rescue review involving all partners.

• Flexibility of 30-minute response times.

• Better tracking and reporting of aircraft and crew availability.

• An investment of $16.2 million for search and rescue satellites.

• An investment of $2 million to update the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax to better serve those in need.

• An improved Canadian beacon registry website at www.cbr-rcb.ca.

The quadrennial search and rescue review that Minister MacKay initiated ensures Canada’s search and rescue system remains responsive to the needs of Canadians for decades to come.

As part of this exercise, savings and efficiencies in the Department of National Defence, including some of the funds currently allocated to supporting the Challenger fleet, will be re-allocated to front-line priorities that include search and rescue as a “no-fail mission” for the Canadian Armed Forces.

This is a minister who delivers time and time again for those who serve and save Canadians.

Jay Paxton

director of communications for the

minister of National Defence

Organizations: National Defence, Joint Rescue Co, Department of National Defence Canadian Armed Forces

Geographic location: Canada, Halifax

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Recent comments

    May 08, 2013 - 08:48

    The Ocean area off Newfoundland and Labrador's coastline contains 1.1 million sq. km according to the Economic Research & Analysis—Publications of the Newfoundland Government contained in this url addess http://www.economics.gov.nl.ca/oceans2002/1.stm The coast of Newfoundland and Labrador is made up of thousands of inlets, coves, and bays with an estimated length of 17,540 km. Of this, the island of Newfoundland's coastline is approximately 9,655 km, and Labrador's is about 7,885 km. Canadian sovereign territory off the Atlantic Coast extends 380 km from the coast of the province, resulting in an ocean area off the province's coastline of approximately 1.1 million sq. km. According to this url address http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Canadian_provinces_and_territories_by_ area, The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has 405,212 square kilometers - 4.1% of Canadian land mass, that is 7 times the size of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick has 72, 908 square kilometers - 0.7% of Canadian land mass, Nova Scotia 55,284 square kilometers- 0.6% of Canadian landmass and Prince Edward Island contains just 2,185 square kilometers - 0.1% of Canadian landmass. The total landmass of Newfoundland and Labrador is more than 3 times that of the 3 maritime provinces.

  • Pierre Neary
    May 07, 2013 - 19:50

    I'd like to be able to tell Paxton and MacKay what they can do with their 2 million for the Rescue Center in Halifax.

    May 07, 2013 - 15:36

    For those unfamiliar with communications (PR) protocols and conventions within the Government of Canada, this type of harsh, irrational response to an editorial from a public servant is almost without precedent. Politicians can say what they want, in and out of parliament to denigrate each other and the media, but no self-respecting civil servant would ever put this kind of vitriol on paper for public consumption. If he did, his superiors would certainly refuse to approve or even pass it along to the minister's office. But what we have seen from the 'Harper Government' in recent years is a deliberate blurring of the boundaries between what is governmental (bureaucratic) and what is partisan. It is reflected, for example, in the issuance of press releases by ministers that contain outright attacks on the opposition. Essentially the bureaucracy is being politicized. That has a number of nasty implications for public policy. Among other things, it moves us toward the American system in which a change of government often means a wholesale change of bureaucrats. Even if people like Jay Paxton are willing to abandon their objectivity in the interest of pleasing a minister, they should realize that any benefit to them personally could be short lived. It would not be unreasonable for an incoming government - e.g. a Trudeau administration - to move immediately to dismiss those civil servants who had crossed the line between being professional and being partisan.

  • Cyril Rogers
    May 07, 2013 - 15:22

    A typical letter full of self-serving drivel....yes, real drivel...coming out of of the biggest BS CAPITAL of all....Ottawa. Mr. Paxton, go take your sorry crap elsewhere because you people just make me want to puke. We know what the reality is.... all you guys care about is optics. You could care less about whether your decisions are affecting the people of this province in any positive way. You are like the ugly step-sisters in Cinderella....keep telling us you are doing the right thing long enough.....and sure enough, you will begin to believe your own crap. How about cutting back on a hundred or so of the mindless minions who spew out YOUR drivel...... and re-allocating that money back into the St. John's JSRC, that your government so callously took away from us. Then, I might regain some respect for your ilk!!!

  • The province of Newfoundland and Labrador was the Canadian economic Savior over the past Sixty-four years.
    May 07, 2013 - 14:25

    You know darn well that when the director of communications for the minister of National Defence writes a letter to the editor, that Ottawa has caught on to the fact that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are livid at how they have been treated in Canada. We have been part of Canada for 64 years and there is very little to show for it, either in economy or infrastructure, but much to show for it throughout the other provinces of Canada. Without the ability to have been able to exploit Newfoundland and Labrador's natural resources, its great strategic location and air space, Canada would never have amounted to what it did over the past 64 years in economic status or otherwise. Does anyone remember the slogan that is always used on National TV from Coast to Coast, from Halifax to Victoria? Nova Scotia gained the recognition and economic status that the province of Newfoundland and Labrador should have attained, since Nova Scotia had very little in the name of natural resources and its location couldn't hold a candle to that of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador is Seven (7) times the size of the 3 Maritime provinces and it holds hundreds of thousands of square kilomenters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Air Space over that Ocean. Without the ability for Ottawa to have been able to freely exploit Newfoundland and Labrador's natural resources, its great strategic location and air space, Canada would never have amounted to what it did over the past 64 years in economic status. Does anyone remember the slogan that is always used on National TV from Coast to Coast, from Halifax to Victoria? Nova Scotia gained the Great recognition and economic status that the province of Newfoundland and Labrador should have attained, since Nova Scotia had very little in the name of natural resources and location, it couldn't hold a candle to that of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. We Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have to rise up and take our place in Canadian society or get out of it.

    • W McLean
      May 07, 2013 - 21:15

      Agnes, Newfoundland and Labrador is barely three times the size of the Maritimes. Big, yes — but not seven times, as you claim. Nor does NL "hold" hundreds of thousands of km of ocean or air space.

  • Gary
    May 07, 2013 - 13:05

    It seems McKay the Backstabber has told his personal paid liar to berate us for wanting decent SAR facilities. Jay the Shill hasn't a clue what he's talking about, he's just McKay the Backstabber's mouthpiece. And the village idiot Wild Rose (from Alberta?) is just that - the village idiot. He can just be ignored and pitied.

  • Rob
    May 07, 2013 - 11:00

    Speaking of partisan drivel...

  • Wild Rose
    May 07, 2013 - 09:26

    Say what you will but this is the government that abolished the long gun registry. If you vote for the Liberals or the socialist NDP party they will take away our guns. Espechialy the NDP party would love an unarmed people. Stephen Harper is the only one standing between hard working taxpayers and the leftwing crazies and our right to bear arms.

    • Steve
      May 07, 2013 - 09:50

      A) the gun registry did not take away anyone's guns B) "the right to bear arms" is a feature of the US Constitution. It is not part of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, so there is no such right here. If you like the US so much, I'm sure they'd love to have you.

    • Tony Rockel
      May 07, 2013 - 10:35

      Hey Wild Rose, why aren't you down in the US, rallying with the NRA? You seem to have the right amount of paranoia to be one of their founding members. Yes, I'm sure if we armed every Canadian, all of our economic and social problems would be solved overnight.

  • Herb Morrison
    May 07, 2013 - 08:29

    Mr. MacKay is perhaps too preoccupied with patting himself on the back in recognition of the manner in which he cruised into town, and put out any fires burning pertaining to the issue of search and rescue, all in the media spotlight, to do his own dirty work. Then again, perhaps Mr. MacKay lacks the honesty and integrity to do his own dirty work, Mr. Mackay has Mr. Paxton state, in the article above, how he really feels about either the well-being of Newfoundlanders' and Labradorians who who could find themselves in need of the services of Search and Rescue personnell,' or the reaction of Newfoundlanders' and Labradorians in general; including our Premier and other Government M.H.A's, not tomention the Auditor General of Canada, when it comes to the quality, or lack thereof, of search and rescue effectiveness, on land or sea in this Province. If Mr. MacKay's callous response to the inadequacies, which exist in the Search and Rescue system, both in Canada in general, and in Newfoundland and Labrador, in particular, is any indication of how aware the Federal Government is about Search and Rescue needs, more lives will be lost.

  • Tony Rockel
    May 07, 2013 - 08:23

    Jay, you might as well try putting lipstick on a pig.

  • Kev
    May 07, 2013 - 08:14

    Jay doesn't your boss have a helicopter to catch? Or are the fishing lodges not open yet?

  • Ed Power
    May 07, 2013 - 07:58

    The only partisan drivel involved in this announcement, Jay, is contained in your outraged - and disingenuous - response. Where are the long-promised replacement SAR aircraft for the 50-year old Buffalo and the horribly unsuitable Griffons? Or the overworked older-model Hercules.? "Better tracking and reporting of aircraft and aircrew availability" doesn't amount to much when there are no aircraft or aircrews available. It is another box to check on an online report form. Aircraft/Aircraft Available ? Click "Like" to continue.....

  • steve
    May 07, 2013 - 07:36

    Speaking of partisan drivel ... pot, meet kettle.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    May 07, 2013 - 06:47

    W.C. Fields said- "If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit." .......... It seems that Minister McKay was not able to achieve the former, so now the director of communications is trying the latter.

  • Jon Smith
    May 07, 2013 - 06:46

    We hear you, Jay my son, but its hard to wash the smell away after closing the St. John's base most likely as continuing punitive actions falling out from the ABC election results. The harper government should look to the day when the sun will shine and ABC will be no more.