In defence of the Defence minister

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In two recent editorials, your paper vaguely addresses the critical issue of search and rescue without mentioning any substantive initiatives brought forward by Minister Peter MacKay to improve the search and rescue System.

Instead, you attack the character of a cabinet minister - how original.

You write about the unification of the Conservative movement without noting that over 90 per cent of Progressive Conservatives chose to do so in an open and transparent manner.

You write about Minister MacKay using government aircraft to return to work early from vacation and act as though there couldn't be a confluence of activity whereby search and rescue abilities are demonstrated, even though that is exactly what the pilot said in your own paper.

You write of Canada's handling of Taliban prisoners while failing to note there has been no proof of wrongful activity on the part of Canadians.

You speak of life cycle costs for Canada's military procurement without informing your readers that there hasn't been a penny spent on the acquisition of a future fighter jet.

Minister MacKay's recent announcement of a quadrennial search and rescue review ensures that all search and rescue partners join together in a comprehensive, systemic and standardized review every four years to ensure that Canada has the best search and rescue system possible.

The quadrennial review will assess what changes are needed to the system, act on those changes and assess them. The quadrennial review ensures that the search and rescue system is up-to-date and responsive to the needs of Canadians, including your readers.

There is only one person who had the vision and ability to deliver such a unique and worthwhile initiative and that person is Minister Peter MacKay.

Jay Paxton, Director of Communications to National Defence Minister Peter MacKay


Organizations: Progressive Conservatives, Taliban

Geographic location: Canada

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Recent comments

  • Ron Tizzard
    May 24, 2013 - 12:51

    Jay Paxton, Director of Communications to National Defence Minister Peter MacKay...please give me a break! Minister McKay had to be publically drawn to the 'Altar of Production', by the people of Canada. He has to be harrassed into moving on his promise...exactly how far has he moved to date....would a foot-long ruler be helpful, Jay, I have no doubt that you are good at your job, and have to protect the BOSS....have a chat with him...get back to us on dates, and secured money for the copter(s).

  • marilyn
    May 17, 2013 - 21:11

    So I will say again the minister of defence should have military back ground. Rick hillier would be great for this job .he is honest a great credit to Canada .Canada is going down the tubes . We have senators braking the law and others senators saying that's ok . So what do they not want us to know . As a Canadian and a taxpayers I need to know what our government of Canada is hiding We need the hole government of Canada investigated .something is rotten .bill 29 changed thing .why ? If government has to hide thing that after all these years without bill. 29 we would see how our tax dollars are being spent . So why do we have bill 29 if our government is honest and above board .bill 29tell me they are hiding something and someday we will find out .is hope it will not be to late to save Canada . social media is great .it keeps Canadian up to date on what is happening in our government. Social media will make or brake o party . We need to get rid of the dead wood in government .there are only one set of rules in Canada . If you do the crime you do the time . That goes for government and the rest off Canada taxpayers . So am right in this

  • Director of BS
    May 16, 2013 - 16:19

    Jay did you get paid with tax payers dollars for brown nosing when writing this letter. I doesn't work for Steve Kent but you are making him proud,

  • Jon Smith
    May 15, 2013 - 12:24

    Peter Mackay needs a boost from someone like Peter the defeated "Stashaway" of Labrador. Better it be some independent high profile speaker with a squeaky clean independent special interest group bent than someone so arms length as you, Jay.

  • Tony Rockel
    May 15, 2013 - 10:17

    Jay, your latest attempt at defending your boss sounds even more pathetic than the last one. Why don't you be a good lad and make the morning coffee?

  • Virginia Waters
    May 15, 2013 - 10:11

    I thought for a moment I had picked up an old newspaper. Isn't this virtually the same bit of Harperite hucksterism we were treated to courtesy of Jay Paxton only a few days ago? Jay should get together with his provincial counterparts to form a club to look for employment opportunities once both these governments are turfed out. It used to be that government flacks could stay on after a change of government. But that was before the likes of Harper and Dunderdale politicized them - effectively they have become an extension of the conservative party apparatus in Ottawa and St. John's. 'Only one person had the vision and the ability....and that person is my minister Peter MacKay' - it's like the gooey stuff that sticks to the bottom of your show.

  • Ken Collis
    May 15, 2013 - 09:39

    If the mayor of a city decided to use a police car to bring him somewhere would that be ok too? And why do you keep refering to SAR Choppers as "government aircraft"? Do you realise how silly that sounds? As for reviewing SAR every four years, I would hope that SAR has an ongoing review daily. Do you suggest that in four years they can decide if maybe one of three Griffen choppers in Goose Bay should always be operational?

  • Herb Morrison
    May 15, 2013 - 09:11

    If, as both Mr.MacKay and his staff members claim, Mr. MacKay is doing such a stellar job in his capacity as Minister of Defence, particularly within the context of matters pertaining to Search and Rescue operations; why do both Mr. MacKay and his Staff Members appear to deem it necessary to spend so much time singing their own praises? I get the feeling that perhaps these people are having difficulty believing their own rhetoric (or drivel , if you perfer). In my opinion, both Mr. Mackay and his staff should be spending more time dealing effectively with important issues such as improving the effectiveness of the Search and Rescue System, and less time preoccupied with saving each others' arses, by leveling unsubstantiated criticism in the direction of of those people who, in my opinion, are justifiably critical of the manner in which they are carrying out certain of their responsibilities.

  • Ed Power
    May 15, 2013 - 09:08

    The only "confluence of activity" that occured during Mr. Mackay's fishing trip, was the confluence of bluster and bafflegab that has emerged from his office since that day. Enlisting a military officer to defend the indefensible - utilizing a vital SAR asset as a taxi cab - is not without precedent. This government uses the military, and military personnel, as wallpaper far too often for their own political purposes. Have a foreign affairs or military-related announcement to make? Fill the background with a large number of people in uniform - who've been ordered to attend this "Parade" - park a piece of military hardware nearby, decorate the stage with Canadian flags and even Stephen Harper looks Prime Ministerial. It is a standard PR practice in US politics that was used to great effect by George W. Bush. It was not by accident that Bush would make major announcements or policy statements at places like West Point, Annapolis and Fort Bragg, or from the deck of an aircraft carrier sailing off the coast of California with the upper decks adorned with bunting, banners and flags. As Marshall McLuhan observed, the medium is the message, although the practice is far older. The Roman satirist Juvenal described it as "panem et circenses" - bread and games - a superficial means of seeking public approval through distraction or diversion. With that in mind, I will admit that Peter Mackay does look pretty sharp in a flightsuit....

    • Eli
      May 16, 2013 - 14:35

      Yep, Peter looks just as good as the battle dressed George "W" when he proclaimed from the deck of a carrier: "Mission Accomplished". Peter and "W" both are self servingv kooks.