Like he said in the first place

Asked this afternoon about his helicopter ride, the Defence Minister reverted to his original explanation—the one the government had seemingly abandoned.

Mr. Speaker, as I have said in this House many times, I left time off to go back to work. Before leaving Gander, I took part in a search and rescue demonstration that has been confirmed by retired Cormorant Squadron Leader and Pilot, Major Stephen Reid, who stated that the participation in this training exercise they viewed as a win-win situation. As I said, I took part in this demonstration and then as requested I went on to complete further government business.

Later, Stephane Dion rose and challenged Mr. MacKay to step out into the foyer and take questions from reporters. The Defence Minister declared that “in almost 15 years in this place, I have never walked out the back door of this chamber.” After Question Period, Mr. MacKay did walk out into the foyer, taking a few steps before turning and walking up the stairs as a reporter shouted questions at him.

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