Skip to comments.[Canadian PM] Harper takes flak over plane's red, white, and blue paint job
Posted on 06/08/2013 9:41:53 AM PDT by rickmichaels
OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper is getting flak over what critics say is a partisan new paint job given to the military plane that flies him to overseas events.
The Royal Canadian Air Force recently had RCAF-01, the specially outfitted CC-150 Polaris used by the prime minister, in the shop for a "heavy maintenance" checkup, a $2.5-million routine it goes through every six years.
The plane normally gets a new paint job during this checkup, but instead of coming out of the shop with a fresh coat of its dull, nondescript greenish grey, it came out with a sparkling red, white, and blue paint job with lots of swooshes and swoops.
Using red, white, and blue paint on the plane cost $50,000 more than the old paint would.
And it didn't matter to the opposition that the red, white, and blue of RCAF-01 happens to be the official colours of the Royal Canadian Air Force. All they could see was the red, white, and blue of the Conservative Party of Canada.
"I don't think we've ever seen a government in Canadian history that so readily blurred the lines between government money and party money," NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair told reporters Friday. "The colours of the plane, the whole detailing, is clearly patterned on the Conservative Party."
In the House of Commons, Liberal MP John McCallum kept it up.
"I did not think the government could come up with one action that would waste money, hurt the Canadian Forces, and inflate the prime minister's ego all at once." he said.
Conservative MPs defended the plane's new livery.
"This repainting (was) part of the routine maintenance. It is a small proportion of the overall cost. And it is done with a view to promoting Canada, promoting Canada's interest abroad, in our best traditions, as we have always done," said Conservative MP Chris Alexander.
Harper will put his freshly painted jet to its first use next week to take cabinet ministers, aides, and a group of Parliamentary Press Gallery reporters to Europe, where he will touch down in London, Paris and Dublin before finishing up at the annual G8 summit to be held this year in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland.
While he's London, Harper will give a speech to the U.K. Parliament, an honour not afforded a Canadian prime minister since William Lyon Mackenzie King in 1944.
Old and New Paint Jobs:
I don’t know how to spell it, or even what it means, but the first thing that comes to mind is...
Suc Le Bleu...
Oh the tender mercies, painting a plane like this. How dare they?
Change a few decals and they can lease it to Hillary! for the 2016 campaign stint.
The new paint job looks alot better.
Official RCAF colors?
Well gee, can't have that.
Maybe they should strip the nice paint job off and go back to the drab one (/s).
Sure does. No confusing it for a “USA - American” plane. Literally covered in Maple leaves — LOL.
If the plane had simply been repainted the same dull colors, the cost would have been fine.
Different colors? Now it’s a scandal. Total B. S.
Looks like a 737.
The original paint job was ugly and uninspiring.
Perhaps the liberals could get themselves an old Fokker Tri-Motor to make themselves feel better.
I’m not so fond of the new paint job as I think the old was horrific. Dull. Dull. Dull. That’s no way to promote Canada. Harper was right to bring visibility to his country through its head of state’s designated aircraft.
Sacrebleu: An old French profanity meant as a cry of surprise or anger. It originated from the swear words “sacré bleu,” a Marian oath, referring to the color (i.e., “sacred blue”) associated with Mary, mother of Jesus.
Why can’t we get upset over $50K? Seems like it has to be in the billions before anyone cares in this country.
I guess I’m dense. I don’t get the problem. The aircraft looks really good and doesn’t look like it is headed for the aircraft graveyard!!
Similar in size to a 767.
I’m not a Canadian so my opinion certainly doesn’t mean much but to me the colorful version is better.Although Canada’s a relatively small country (population-wise) you’d think that the Prime Minister would have one or more aircraft dedicated to him as do many Western leaders.When the President/Prime Minster of a country flies somewhere,particularly to a foreign country,you’d think that something a little more lively than the first aircraft pictured would be better “PR” for the country.
Actually, Queen Elizabeth is Canada’s head of state.
Thanks for the background Rick. I had heard it used in the context you explained, so I was pretty sure it worked here.
I appreciate the response.
oops .. and I knew that !
The wings say "Airbus" to me.I've never seen Boeing place those "things" (don't know what they're called..I'm not an aeronautical engineer) on the bottom of their wings.
Does Bruce Dickinson pilot that bird?