The Canadian Forces is defending its decision to use officers to collect information on one of Defence Minister Peter MacKay's political opponents, saying the process is no different than its efforts to gather facts for the public and news media.
But former military officers say such activities, which prompted allegations about Canadian Forces personnel "digging up dirt" on the minister's political enemies, cross the line and jeopardize the longstanding political neutrality of the military...
Simms said he was taken aback by the efforts of the military officer in MacKay's office to collect information on him. "The fact that this military officer is using military resources to back up Peter MacKay is incredibly disturbing," he added.
First, I believe our military has better things to do than opposition research on our dime, that is way out of bounds. More importantly, if people begin to perceive our military as an "ally" of the Conservative Party, it effectively undermines the notion of neutrality, which in turn can erode the perceptions of Canadians, as to how they see their military. There is simply no reasonable excuse for military personnel looking into dirt on a Liberal MP to protect Peter MacKay, that very much crosses a line, despite the reassurances.
Everyone is a partisan in Harper's Ottawa, or at the very least, no institution isn't a potential tool to be exploited for self interest. Disturbing is right and these revelations deserve serious attention.