An airlift done to get Defence Minister Peter MacKay to an airport from a remote Newfoundland fishing spot was done "under the guise" of search and rescue training, documents reveal.
MacKay's office requested the airlift, which officials quickly determined would need to be done by a Cormorant based in Gander, to get him to an event, according to the documents obtained under federal access to information laws.
"This mission will be under the guise … of [search and rescue training]," one email says. "SAR takes priority and the mission will be conducted on a non-interference basis."
One email describes how MacKay "has a requirement for helicopter airlift" because he "unexpectedly must be in London, Ont., for an announcement at noon" on July 9, 2010.
Alternate transportation would require two hours of travel to the airport, the email says.
The Toronto Star first reported that the emails, which were sent just hours after a request to pick up the vacationing minister so he could catch a private flight from the Gander airport, raised concerns about resources and about a public and media backlash.
Opps, too late for that.
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