OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 24, 2012) - Today, the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement about the 2012 NORAD Tracks Santa program:
"Today, working alongside our American partners in the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces will once again track Santa Claus across North America, ensuring he has safe travels as he makes his yuletide journey. Our men and women are proud to contribute to this task to ensure that Santa Claus stays safe throughout his voyage.
"NORAD's mission is to provide aerospace surveillance, identification, control and warning for the defence of Canada and the United States each and every day. It therefore goes without saying that our personnel are the logical choice to take on the additional mission of welcoming Santa to Canada and ensuring his safe passage through Canadian airspace.
"For more than 50 years, our fighter jets have tracked Santa as he enters Canadian airspace and have provided an escort from coast to coast to coast to the jolly old man as he visits the homes of our fellow Canadians. I would like to congratulate Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel McLeod, Captain Shamus Allen, Major Benoit Bouchard, and Captain Vincent Landry, CF-18 fighter pilots from Cold Lake, Alberta and Bagotville, Quebec, who have this year been selected to escort Santa on his Canadian journey. As always, they will be armed with cookies and milk."
To learn more about the NORAD Tracks Santa program, please visit http://www.noradsanta.org/en/.