Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

DAN ALBAS -- Playing politics with military procurement does little more than leave our forces with aging, less effective aircraft that are very costly to fly


 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has long held a firm position on the Lockheed Martin F-35 multi-role jet fighter aircraft. In 2015 his promise to Canadians was clear “We will not buy the F-35 stealth fighter bomber”.

PM Trudeau further stated the F-35 “did not work” and that “It no longer makes sense, if it ever did, to have a stealth, first-strike capacity fifth-generation fighter".

Things changed this week as the Trudeau Liberal Government announced that it has now decided that the F-35 will be the preferred replacement aircraft for the CF-18. Negotiations will now begin to purchase 88 new F-35 fighter jets at a currently estimated cost of around $19 billion.

What was also very interesting about this Liberal decision was that recently released documents obtained under 'Access to Information' revealed the Liberal government communication strategy to justify purchasing the F-35 was developed two years ago, in 2020.

Why was a “communications strategy” required? As reported by the Ottawa Citizen it was to … “Justify how the federal government could purchase the F-35 even though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s claimed Canada wouldn’t buy the stealth fighter and had no use for it".

What was in this communication strategy? Advice to avoid “dealing with the direct statements from the Liberals that the F-35 would not be purchased. Instead, the focus was on the procurement process itself.”

This is largely what Procurement Minister Filomena Tassi did at the announcement that PM Trudeau did not attend.

This is not the first time the Liberals have played politics when it comes to replacing aging equipment required by our forces. Many may recall that in 1992 the Liberals also campaigned to cancel the EH-101 helicopter replacement for the aging Sea-King helicopter.

This cancellation cost taxpayers $478 million in penalties when the Liberals cancelled the $4.8 billion EH-101 helicopter order that was to replace the aging Sea-Kings.

Cancelling the replacement for the Sea-King did not negate the need to replace this aging helicopter, it only delayed it further, and at a much greater cost to taxpayers.

In fact when the same Liberal government, only a few years later announced the replacement of the Sea-King, the new helicopters came at an increased cost said to be $6.2 billion. When that contract was finally signed for 28 new CH-148 Cyclone helicopters the total cost had increased more to $7.6 billion.

Because of the many delays created by this Liberal cancellation, an additional $495 million maintenance contract was required to keep the 55-year-old Sea-King helicopters safely in the air.

I mention all of this because playing politics with military procurement does little more than leave our forces with aging, less effective aircraft that is very costly to fly.

It also drives up the eventual replacement costs to taxpayers.


My question this week:

Do you support the purchase of the 88 Lockheed-Martin F-35 jet fighters?

I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It seems the call for blood donors is being responded to, however ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint” says Canadian Blood Services

A week and a half ago I wrote the commentary ... “ While the national inventory is currently strong, an increase in blood donor cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a health inventory of blood ” It was written as a result of talk about a potential blood shortage that would occur if people stopped donating due to the COVID-19 virus. It seems the call to Canadians was responded to, however, as I was told this afternoon ... “ T his effort is a marathon, not a sprint ”. As it now stands now, donors are able to attend clinics which are held in Vancouver (2), Victoria, Surrey, and in Kelowna, so I asked if there any plans to re-establish traveling clinics to others communities - for example in Kamloops, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Revelstoke or Cranbrook, and perhaps further north at perhaps Ft. St. John? According to Communications Lead Regional Public Affairs Specialist Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services is still on

FEDLSTED -- Rules will have to relax-- the question is how and when

The media has created a fervour over the mathematical models that allegedly help governments predict the future of Coronavirus infections in the general population. Mathematical modelling has limited use and value. We need to understand is that the data available on Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Canada is far too small for statistical reliability. The data available for the whole world is useless due to variables in how nations responded to Coronavirus infections. There is no commonality in steps taken to combat virus spread and no similarity in the age demographics of world nations, so the numbers you see on the daily tracking of world infections are not useful in developing a model of infection rates that can be relied on. Mathematical models of the future spread of Coronavirus are better than nothing, but not a whole lot better.  Mathematical models must include assumptions on virus spreads, and various factors involved. As they are used in projections, a small erro

AARON GUNN -- He is, at his core, an ideologue, meaning the facts of any particular issue don’t actually matter

Ben Isitt - City Councillor and Regional Director Victoria City Council and its resident-genius Ben Isitt is back with another dumb idea. Introducing a motion to ban the horse-drawn carriages that have coloured Victoria’s downtown streets for decades, calling them “an outdated mode of transportation”. Are you serious?   No one is actually commuting by horse and carriage. They are here for tourists and residents alike to interact with world-class animals and discover the magic and history of our provincial capital. It’s part of what gives Victoria its charm. And the truth is these horses are treated better than anywhere else in the world. They probably live better lives than many British Columbians.   And talk to anyone who works with these horses and they’ll all tell you the exact same thing: this is what the horses love to do. This is what they were bred for and trained for. This is what gives their lives purpose and meaning. But maybe we shouldn’t be su

Labels

Show more