If you are Canadian, you will have likely heard that there has been a bit of a flap on since CTV News ran a story on the cost of jet travel incurred by Canada’s top soldier, General Walter Natynczyk, the Chief of Defence Staff.
I’m a serving member of the Canadian Forces and I can’t comment directly on this controversy. I’ll simply say two things. First, if you’re interested in this matter, you need to read this piece in today’s Globe and Mail by George Petrolekas, who offers an insider’s view on what happens on the CDS’ Challenger jet.
Secondly, some months ago the CDS visited CFB Suffield for a few hours. We are a small base in an out of the way part of Alberta. The closest airport is Medicine Hat, and you can’t fly there directly. Either you take a commuter flight from Calgary or you drive the three hours from Calgary Airport. The CDS flew his Challenger into Med Hat, and spent a few hours with us. There are barely one hundred uniformed CF members here, but it meant a lot to us that our top soldier came here to talk to us and listen to us. I have no idea where he was before Suffield, and where he went afterwards, but I am pretty sure the only reason he could carve time out of an insane schedule to visit us was because of his Challenger jet. I for one think that was taxpayer’s money well spent.