Mr. Speaker, the men and women of the Canadian Forces take pride in their search and rescue operations. All Canadians have respect and admiration for the SAR technicians who put their lives on the line to rescue others. What Canadians do not like, and what lowers the morale of our troops, is when ministers use these precious assets as taxis.
On September 26, the Minister of National Defence told the House, “I took part in a previously planned search and rescue demonstration”. However, the documents from the Department of National Defence show this was not true. There was no previously planned exercise. The Minister of National Defence, at his own request, was picked up in a basket and taken to a waiting Challenger jet.
The minister's excuse was nothing more than “a guise”.
The minister and the Conservatives came here to change Ottawa; instead, Ottawa changed them.
By using Challenger jets and SAR helicopters as personal limos, they have become everything they used to oppose.