Monday, March 08, 2010

Deficit Jim's not so sweet ride


OK, this story has been flying around all weekend and it deserves more air time, pardon the puns. Jim Flaherty's flight to London to do a post budget photo-op was likely the most expensive trip for a double-double, evah. We do have government jets but "...federal guidelines require ministers to use commercial flights when it's possible." So yes, there are rules to be followed and we expect them to tell the truth when they are questioned about such travels. Here is the report at issue: "Flaherty's late-night flight raises questions."

First of all, when questioned about the cost of the flight, Flaherty's staff has been less than forthright. You can read the report, a Flaherty staffer is lowballing the hourly cost of the flight, a cost that is contradicted by Cessna's information.

There is also a question about whether or not the above pictured plane is supposed to be used by cabinet ministers at all, something that looks like it needs further scrutiny:
Sources in the offices of other cabinet ministers told CTV that they had never heard of any other ministers using the Citation.
The circle-the-wagon minister extraordinaire, John Baird, is nevertheless saying everything was A-OK with Flaherty's use of the jet despite the above reporting. But it all has the appearance of getting around the Challenger jet requirements - and avoiding commercial flights - by using an under the radar option that may not be permissible either.

Tone deaf, hypocritical, rule's another day in the life of the Harper government.