Calgary Herald

MacKay laughs off geography gaffe

- TOBI COHEN

Defence Minister Peter MacKay has shown once again that he’s got a sense of humour, even when the joke is on him.

Days after he suggested British Columbia and California shared a border in front of the state’s former governor Arnold Schwarzene­gger during a stop in Winnipeg, MacKay sought to reassure Canadians that his grasp of geography actually isn’t that bad.

While not clear whether it was intentiona­l or simply part of a prepared statement, MacKay rectified his error in Ottawa Thursday following a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

“Secretary Gates and I also addressed important issues related to the security of our hemisphere, including the strategic role played by the great states of Oregon and Washington,” he said in a preamble outlining some of the issued discussed during the bilateral meeting.

The comment drew quite a few laughs.

In November, MacKay drew both applause and scorn for sporting a “Fly Emirates” ball cap in the wake of a controvers­ial falling-out between Canada and the United Arab Emirates over airplane landing rights.

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