A couple of weeks ago, I speculated that the Department of National Defence had some trouble brewing, after discovering they were looking to hire journalists to teach new DND communications staff how to “spin” news to the media.
Now we know what that trouble is:
The DND and the Canadian Forces tried to mislead the Ottawa Citizen about the true cost of an ill-fated “Team Canada” mission to entertain Canadian service men and women stationed in Latvia last December.
The morale-building mission went sideways before it even landed.
According to the National Post, one passenger boarded with a 40 oz bottle of alcohol. Two others were so drunk, they urinated on themselves, forcing flight attendants to place the wet seat cushions in plastic garbage bags.
Passengers were chewing tobacco on the plane, spitting it in cups and handing it off to the flight attendants. There was even a band playing in the back of the plane and people were dancing in the aisles including, reportedly, some of Chief of Defence Staff General Jon Vance's own staff.
When Williams flew back to Ottawa, he was charged with assault and sexual assault by military police.
The abusive, drunken, sexually charged flight was bad enough but the ensuing cover-up and scapegoating of the flight stewards for leaking the details of the nightmare in the air made it worse.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces statement to the newspaper suggested the VIP flight cost $15,000.
Instead, Access to Information documents obtained by the Citizen show that Canadian taxpayers spent $337,000 for the wild junket and the “mission” was planned by General Jon Vance's own office. Vance himself okayed the booze on the RCAF aircraft.
And those same documents show how high up knowledge of the cover-up went — all the way to Justin Trudeau’s Privy Council staff.
Justin Trudeau told injured Canadian veteran Corporal Brock Blaszczyk, that he was asking for more than Trudeau was willing to give when he questioned Trudeau’s treatment of veterans at a town hall event in Edmonton.
Maybe he should have been asking for a secret nightclub in the sky instead of fair compensation for the injuries he received defending Canadian values abroad.