Editorial missed the mark

Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

A recent editorial in The Telegram, “To the rescue,” completely missed the mark on one of the hardest working Canadian leaders of a generation, Peter MacKay.

The editorial grossly misrepresented some important facts and your readers deserve to know the truth.

In 2003, when Peter MacKay was elected leader of the Progressive Conservative party, he won the contest with over 60 per cent of the final votes cast.

I was at the convention in Ottawa when he was elected.

He was selected in favour of other contenders, such as Scott Brison and David Orchard — the latter having supported him on the final ballot after agreeing to terms with Peter.

Transparent move

Peter released the terms between himself and Mr. Orchard as a demonstration of his openness and transparency as he began to lead the party.

Teaming up

After years of Liberal mismanagement, including a decade of darkness for our military and a sponsorship scandal in which the governing party helped itself Liberally to taxpayer money, Stephen Harper and Peter MacKay began a discussion about working together to form a viable federal alternative to the Liberal party.

Over 90 per cent of the membership eventually voted to form this alternative and, in 2006, that united Conservative party formed government. (And David Orchard? He later ran for the Liberal party and lost.)

In government, Peter has been the minister responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador and helped the province in Ottawa as ACOA minister.

He spent his vacation here in 2011 and when he was called back to work early in order to announce a $34-million armoured vehicle contract, he seized a confluence of activities and matched his return to work with a search and rescue demonstration aboard military aircraft.

The pilot of the flight confirmed it was a fantastic opportunity to showcase their skills.

Others flew, too

Peter is not unique in taking such a flight; Liberal MP Scott Simms participated in a familiarization flight which was carried out on Jan. 17, 2011.

New Democrat Jack Harris did so on July 19, 2010.

And, while Harris was fretting in the House of Commons about the care of Taliban terrorists, Peter was minister of National Defence during the height of Canadian military operations in Afghanistan.

While Peter was busy getting the troops tanks, helicopters, artillery, life-saving bomb clearance equipment and visiting them over Christmas and throughout the year, Mr. Harris spent his time trying to smear Canadian officials over Canada’s handling of Taliban prisoners.

When Peter was at the repatriation of those who fell in service to our nation, Jack Harris continued to play politics with Taliban prisoners … only to find no substantiated evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Canadians.

Left out

What wasn’t discussed in The Telegram’s editorial was that Peter recently announced six initiatives to revitalize Canada’s search and rescue system — including a quadrennial review that includes all stakeholders involved in saving lives.

It standardizes a comprehensive review every four years to keep the system up to date.

This has never been done before and wouldn’t have been done now without Peter’s vision and commitment.

In 2012, Peter reallocated

$11.4 million from his departmental budget to increase the care of ill and injured military personnel.

Since 2009, Peter has led the largest security forum in North America, the Halifax International Security Forum, which brings leaders from around the world to Canadian shores to discuss the important issues of the day.

He is a member of a government that has increased the defence budget by $5 billion since 2006.

It is disappointing to see The Telegram seize so eagerly on the partisan attack spin of opposition MPs.

The truth is that Canada would be a much stronger nation with more people of Peter MacKay’s ability and character in the House of Commons.


Russ Carrigan writes from Paradise.

Organizations: Taliban, House of Commons, National Defence Halifax International Security Forum House of Commons.Russ Carrigan

Geographic location: Ottawa, Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador Afghanistan North America

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • Ed Power
    May 09, 2013 - 08:42

    First, Ron, the one time that I ever voted for a Federal Liberal candidate was in 2011, and then it was only because I didn't want to see the obsequious little toady Fabian Manning re-elected for his grovelling. Second, you entirely missed my point. The Liberals inherited a windfall, cut expenses (and taxes), spent frugally and eliminated three decades of deficits. The Conservative Party on the other hand, inherited a windfall, cut taxes (without thought to the long term consequences), spent freely and soon eliminated a decade of deficit and debt reduction. So much for the "Conservative" in the party name. I was living in Ontario, and serving in the CF during the past Liberal era, and witnessed the fallout from the budget decisions personally. I was also directly involved in two base closures and the "downsizing" that accompanied the budget balancing decisions, so I don't really need any military history lessons from you. Had you read my comments closely, you would have realized that I gave praise where praise is due; Mulroney for restructuring our international trade and the sales tax system, and Chretien for balancing the budget and putting the nation's finances in order.The current Conservative government , on the other hand, has demonstrated an marked inability to manage the country's finances effectively, most recently, misplacing $3.1 billion dollars in anti-terrorism funding. As to Liberals lining "there own pockets", I present Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau, Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Bernard Genereux, Ted Salci, Gary Valcour, Bev "Orange Juice" Oda......

  • GINN
    May 08, 2013 - 18:00

    In 1993, the start of the liberal decade, the Chretien/Martin coalition slashed health transfer payments to the provinces, by 2003 NL government was receiving less than 1993. This was balancing the budget on the back of the sick, they also slashed EI programs which were not restored until the current federal govt. was elected. Their actions may have balanced the budget, but at what cost? The breast cancer tragedy here was probably directly caused by their actions which led to under resourced labs and medical staff. These are the facts!

  • Pierre Neary
    May 08, 2013 - 15:38

    Peter MacKay has only been good for one thing and one thing only. Taking care of who he needs to to get re-elected. In my own opinion MacKay's departure from politics will never come soon enough.

  • Ron
    May 08, 2013 - 13:07

    You hard core libs still don't get it, A ED .Yea they cut the deficait allright plus everthing else and lined there own pockets . Costing the Canadian taxpayers a lot of money when good old Chreitan took his pen and cancelled the EH101 and still to this day we dont have a replacment for the Sea King. When ever the governing party wants to purchase anything for the Canadian Armed Forces the libs and NDP jump up and down screaming. Then when it is convient, they say its the Fault of the PC that we don't have modern aircraft for SAR and replacement aircraft for the CF18. So take a hard look at who you vote for when making such comments.

    • Tony Rockel
      May 08, 2013 - 13:22

      I didn't like the Liberals when they were in power, but the Harperites are infinitely worse. As much as I disagreed with Chrétien,, he, at least had the sense to keep us out of Iraq. McKay and cronies would have had us mired in that war from day one.

  • crista
    May 08, 2013 - 10:39

    interesting article,you wrote about how good he was and is at preparing some ones lives for as your article is wrote????but the question is how good is he and your knowledge at saving lives???? money is just one way of helping to save lives,if you do not have the knowledge when making life and death decisions 24/7 of the duties of search and rescue,it do not seem watching some one do search and rescue exercises is enough???? getting to the problem????you have to look at it this way when you take on a position of saving lives that is what has got to be done,no excuses.When you are asked and you take on to for fill these duties that is exactly what it is, and if it is not done right what do you expect,as some one said before that is why they are getting paid the big bucks???? and if that is done right you should not have no problems only the ones you do to your self and who can you blame for that???? not saying Peter mackay is the fault for every thing that goes on, you decide????

  • Richard
    May 08, 2013 - 09:23

    Is the Telegram editorial page hosting an audition for Senate appointments this week?

  • Ron Tizzard
    May 08, 2013 - 08:53

    While not directly on point,,,but never the less, competency has to be considered; Peter McKay and Kathy Dunderdale will both, forever, have to wear the atrocious decisions made surrounding the Burton Winters tragedy vis a vis use of Coast Guard services.....! They both stand in testimony of how a gold-plated service can be rendered useless in the hands of 'ignorance and incompetence'.

  • Tony Rockel
    May 08, 2013 - 08:49

    "..a confluence of activities.." ---yes, like being near a cookie jar and having at least one free hand.

  • Ed Power
    May 08, 2013 - 08:35

    I can see that Russ has been studying his Conservative Party of Canada's list of approved ministerial sound bites and buzzwords. I might remind Russ that during the "Decade of Darkness" of "Liberal Mismanagement" Canada eliminated it's decades of budget deficits, reported consistent annual budget surpluses, reduced the size and growth of the of the public service- a perennial PC/CPC unfulfilled election promise - and reduced the Canadian National Debt by a few hundred billion dollars. While the argument can be made- I've argued it many times myself - that the Liberal record of fiscal management was the direct result of financial policies and trade deals implemented under Brian Mulroney's PC government; primarily the Free Trade Agreement with the USA, changes to the Income Tax system and the creation of the GST. The Liberals were the beneficiaries of the financial windfall that resulted from the restructuring of the Canadian economy and managed the income wisely. Fast forward to 2006, and Canada's "New Government" enters office and, against the advice of economists and academics - a soon to be familiar theme - cuts the GST by 2% and begins to implement its brand of fiscal management. Within two year, the budget surpluses disappear, spending increases and the reduction of the National Debt ends. In 2008, the Global Economy collapses, Canada falls into a Recession - unseen and unacknowledged by the CPC - and the bad old days of multi-billion deficits returns with a vengance. Five years later, the economy is still struggling, the budget is still stained in red ink and the only real growth is in the number of "Canada's Economic Action Plan" ads we are forced to pay for with money our children will have to repay. But, hey, Peter Mackay bought us second-hand tanks (good ones, though), Obama's second-hand helicopters (for spare parts) and is promising - always promising - to someday buy new SAR aircraft to replace the venerable old Buffalo and the unsuitable Griffon. Soon, we'll be treated to another flashy Peter Mackay press conference featuring a cardboard aircraft...

  • Maurice E. Adams
    May 08, 2013 - 06:49

    "...he seized a confluence of activities and matched his return to work with a search and rescue demonstration aboard military aircraft...". --------- You have got to be kidding. --- What bureaucratic gobbledygook. He used a SAR helicopter as a taxpayer-paid-for personal taxi service. Period. Not a strong, visionary, nation-building accomplishment among the rest.

  • Jon Smith
    May 08, 2013 - 06:39

    Its time that Mackay and harper got over the ABC campaign and stopped stripping Newfoundland and Labrador by closing down things to the benefit of Nova Scotia. The country was not supposed to end at Halifax since 1949. These folks need to be shown the map of Canada, period.