Canada to ax 4 VIP government jets

Nov. 27, 2012 at 1:12 PM

OTTAWA, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Canada's Conservative government is moving to get rid of four of its six executive Challenger jets to save money, defense officials said.

The four on the chopping block were purchased in the early 1980s while the newest two were purchased for $100 million in 2002 by former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien, the Globe and Mail said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government has reduced use of the luxury jets by 80 percent from the previous government, a Defense Department spokesman told the Ottawa Citizen.

Regardless, both the prime minster and defense minister have been criticized for using the jets for non-governmental trips, the newspapers said.

Defense officials said the jets are sometimes flown empty to keep pilots' flight hours up and for skills maintenance, the Citizen said.

So far, the decision hasn't been made whether to sell the jets, scrap them or put them in museums, the report said.

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