The Macdonald-Laurier Institute, which describes itself as “Canada’s only truly national public policy think tank … [and as being] … rigorously independent and non-partisan,” polled 100 defence experts asking them if the Trudeau government should continue with the purchase of 18 Super Hornet jet fighters as an “interim” fix to Canada’s jet fighter woes. Seventy-five of those experts responded and only 6.6% (five of the experts) thought it should go ahead. Eight-eight percent (66 experts) thought it was unnecessary ~ some of those even said it would do “devastating and permanent” damage to Canada’s defence posture.
The Super-Hornet interim buy is tied to a totally fictional “capability gap” that the Trudeau regime invented as a way to make the jet fighter file go away until after the 2019 election. They promised to not buy the F-35 and by buying a few Super Hornets they thought (still think?) they say: Promise Made – Promisee Kept … of course they also promised an open and transparent procurement process, but they are counting on the fact that progressive voters forgive the Liberals all sorts of lies. The Trudeau regime slapped an unprecedented and foully anti-democratic life time non-disclosure order on over 200 officials and military officers in one one hopes will be a vain attempt to cover up the fact that they are playing the worst sort of partisan politics with the defence of Canada. These non-disclosure orders fly in the face of centuries of parliamentary tradition which says that, eventually, perhaps after 30 or 50 or even 90 years, all the business of government, even the most embarrassing parts, must see the light of day so that historians may teach future generations to learn from the past. But in the modern, 21st century Liberal world, the one populated by the Laurentian Elites in the salons and private dining rooms of Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, the myth that Pierre and Justin Trudeau were and are something other than dilettantes in power can be shaped and nurtured.
But the issue will not go away … nearly six months ago 13 retired RCAF generals wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau telling him that his interim purchase of Super Hornets made no sense, but, as David Pugleise, writing in the Ottawa Citizen said, while “In the U.S., if 13 former USAF commanders came out against a particular aircraft, there would have been lots of publicity. … [but] … In Canada, not so much … [and] … the Liberals, have just shrugged at the letter from the generals.” My expectation is that the Liberals will try to shrug off this more report, from the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, too … one hopes the media and the opposition will not let that happen.
Put simply: the capability gap is a lie.
The prime minister might not know because he probably doesn’t care. Defence Minister Sajjan, on the other hand probably does know and one must wonder how many lies he can live with before he either breaks with Team Trudeau or, gracefully, accepts a political demotion from Minister of National Defence to, say, of Veterans’ Affairs. Rumours abound that both Minister Sajjan and Herh are bound for other, less onerous portfolios and that either the steady hands of Marc Garneau or Ralph Goodale will take the helm at National Defence. Whoever is in charge the Conservatives need to hold his (or her) feet to the Super Hornet fire and the Conservatives need to promise that the undemocratic life-time non-disclosure orders will be lifted.
There is an urgent need for an full, open solicitation of bids for new jet fighters ~ full and open means that the F-35 must be allowed to compete. Justin Trudeau’s promise to not buy F-35 was stupid … that’s the right word. Politicians might decide, they are allowed to decide, that the RCAF’s military operational requirements must play second fiddle to trade or industrial or regional concerns and it is politically and constitutionally and military acceptable to equip the military with second rate, even inadequate fighters if overarching public policy objectives are at stake. What is not acceptable is to leave the issue hanging while the Trudeau regime focuses on sunny ways and feminism.