Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Just wondering

Why are we hearing about the cost of the flight to return Brenda Martin to Canada? $82,787 , in case you didn't hear by now as it's appeared on a major national paper blog, picked up from a CBC political byte bit, then later provided on the National last night. I suppose it was noteworthy when Martin's flight was landing and it was indeed a Challenger jet. But as reported in the CBC item, the choice as to how Martin was returned to Canada was the government's. Here's the information CBC provided as context:

CSC said the decision to order a Challenger was made based on a number of factors including availability, security and the location of the offender. Clearly, Ottawa was also considering the emotional state of Martin who had been languishing in a Mexican jail for two years before she was convicted and who has been routinely described as distraught and suicidal.

There are three types of air travel available to CSC when it needs to transfer prisoners across international boundaries: an RCMP plane, charters and commercial flights.

It's appropriate that journalists ask questions about government expenditures - and I'm assuming it was the CBC journalists doing the asking and not CSC leaking the information - but the choice to fly Martin back on a Challenger was clearly the government's and that's where accountability should lie for the cost of this flight.