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Defense Minister Sajjan Issues Apology to MP Viersen

For immediate release

November 30, 2020

Ottawa, ON – On November 26, Minister of Defence rose to issue an apology for the incorrect information provided by his department regarding the flight record of the Prime Minister’s Challenger flights. The apology followed a Question of Privilege raised by MP Viersen November 18 on regarding the Liberal government’s response to his Question on the Order Paper Number Q-97.

Question Q-97 asked for details of flights on government aircraft for personal and non-governmental business by the Prime Minister and his family. There was a flight with the then Liberal Party President Anna Gainey that was dated in the response to Q-87 as August 13, 2016 and dated as July 31, 2016 in other government logs. The revised Q-87 now lists Ms. Gainey as accompanying the Prime Minister on July 31, 2016.

Blaming ‘administrative errors’, Minister Sajjan stated: “I wish to apologize to the member for Peace River—Westlock for any inconvenience in receiving the information requested. I can assure members of the House that this was an honest administrative oversight that has now been corrected with the revised response. I have asked my officials to review how flight information is collected and released to ensure a better record-management system going forward.” [Minister of Defense’s full apology can be viewed here and text here.]

MP Viersen considered this matter to be closed: “I accept the Minister’s apology. As a member of the Official Opposition, my job is to hold this government to account, particularly when it comes to use of taxpayer dollars. If the government is making mistakes keeping track of small details, how do we know this is not happening on a much bigger scale. We will continue to stand up for hard working Canadians.”