The embattled career of Minister Peter MacKay

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Peter MacKay, the Minister of National Defence was front and centre yesterday in a ceremony marking the centennial of the sinking of the Titanic and an announcement to spend 8-million-dollars more on Search and Rescue in Canada. All of this after more than a week where the minister himself has appeared in need of rescue over the costs of the F-35 and a personal Defence strategy. 

Part One of The Current

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It's Monday, April 16th.

The Royal Canadian Mint is experimenting with digital currency. It says storing cash on a smartphone is fast, convenient and inexpensive.

It also says: Avoid calling Bernie Madoff on his prison Blackberry.

This is The Current.

The embattled career of Minister Peter MacKay

The Conservative Party of Canada couldn't have happened without Peter MacKay. When he was just 38 years old, the new leader of the Progressive Conservatives agreed to merge with Stephen Harper's Canadian Alliance. Peter Mackay is a founding father of the party that now forms a majority government. But that doesn't necessarily earn him much respect in the House.

For the second time in a Parliamentary session, the opposition demands Minister MacKay's resignation. First it was over the use of military helicopters. In December, the House was in an uproar over revelations that MacKay's office requested a Military chopper pick him up from central Newfoundland. He said he was merely witnessing a search and rescue exercise.

Now, he's at the centre of the F-35 Fighter Jet Controversy. Today, we're examining the embattled Minister's career. Stephen Maher is the National Political columnist for Postmedia News. He was outside Huntsville, Ontario. And Bob Plamondon worked on Peter MacKay's run for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party in 2003. He is now a public policy consultant and he's also the author of Blue Thunder: The Truth about Conservatives from Macdonald to Harper. Bob Plamondon was in Ottawa.

We requested an interview with Peter MacKay. He wasn't available.

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal and Halifax Network Producer, Mary Lynk.


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