09/03/2012 03:48 EDT | Updated 04/07/2013 08:38 EDT

Anti-Harper Plane Banner: PSAC Says RCMP Grounded Plane For StephenHarperNousDéteste.ca Message


UPDATE: The RCMP's Cpl. Lucy Shorey said the plane hired by PSAC appeared to have entered restricted airspace, and so the RCMP ordered it to land, she told the CBC. Mounties maintain the banner wasn't a concern, according to Canoe.ca.

This plane's critical message for Stephen Harper just won't fly. At least that's what the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) says the RCMP conveyed on Saturday.

The union has accused the RCMP of grounding a plane it hired due to its political message: A banner that read “StephenHarperNousDéteste.ca.” That translates to "Stephen Harper Hates Us."

PSAC planned for the plane to fly over Gatineau and Ottawa for three hours on Saturday morning, but landed after an hour and a half.

The union said authorities ordered the aircraft to land because it had entered Parliament Hill's restricted airspace, although the pilot reportedly knew about the restrictions and steered clear of them, a claim Nav Canada confirmed, according to Canada.com.

PSAC's regional executive vice president Larry Rousseau thinks the alleged order was politically motivated, 680 News reports.

"I think this was more about the message and taking down the message, because the message maybe hurt the prime minister politically," he said.

He claims the RCMP said the banner may qualify as hate speech and threaten Prime Minister Stephen Harper's security.

The RCMP have denied the union's allegations, saying they have no air traffic responsibilities.

In the past two weeks, planes with the banner flew over other communities as a part of the 'We Are All Affected' campaign.

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