A colossal waste of money

David Pugliese, writing in the National Post just a couple of days ago, said, that “Canada has imagesfinalized a deal to buy 25 used fighter jets from Australia, the first of which are expected to be operating by this summer, says the top procurement official at the Department of National Defence … [and] … A second group of planes would arrive later this year. Eighteen of the Australian F-18 aircraft will eventually be flying for the Canadian Forces, while another seven will be used for testing and spare parts.

Except for the additional spare parts, which any aging fleet always needs, this is a colossal waste of your money and mine … Mr Pugliese reminds us that “Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has said the extra jets are needed to deal with a “capability gap,” as Canada does not have enough fighters to handle its commitments to NATO as well as protecting North America.” That’s rubbish. The capability gap was fabricated by the 1200px-fa-18_hornet_vfa-41_retuscheLiberals, I have been told by a source I regard as totally reliable, when they planned to do a deal with Boeing to buy 18 of the newer Super Hornet jet fighters (that part was well publicized) and then, so I am told, tell Canadians that the Super Hornet was so good that Canada would buy about 50 more and there would be no need for a long, messy, expensive, but promised “open and transparent” competition to buy a CF-18 replacement, and no need for the F-35s, either. It was a neat plan … dishonest but neat, and it solved a couple of silly campaign promises and, even better, no one would notice because Canadians don’t really care about defence matters. Of course the deal went sour when Boeing launched trade actions against Quebec’s darling, Bombardier, and Prime Minister Trudeau had to disavow any dealings with those nasty Americans.

David Pugliese reminds us of two key points:

  • First: “In the fall of 2016, then-Royal Canadian Air Force commander Lt.-Gen. Mike Hood told senators that the Liberal government brought in a policy change which required the RCAF to be able to meet both its NATO and North American air defence commitments at the same time. That, in turn, created the capability gap, he said. Hood said he was not told about the reasons for the policy change.” That policy change was, of course, needed to justify the purchase of 18 Super Hornets which would pave the way to buy about 70 of the 4th generation Super Hornets without bothering with a competition. It was the key to a BoeingLiberal scam; and
  • Second: “In November 2018 Auditor General Michael Ferguson issued a report noting that the purchase of the extra aircraft would not fix the fundamental weaknesses with the CF-18 fleet which is the aircraft’s declining combat capability and a shortage of pilots and maintenance personnel … [and] … “The Australian F/A-18s will need modifications and upgrades to allow them to fly until 2032,” the report said. “These modifications will bring the F/A-18s to the same level as the CF-18s but will not improve the CF-18’s combat capability” … [and further, Ferguson’s report added] … “In our opinion, purchasing interim aircraft does not bring National Defence closer to consistently meeting the new operational requirement introduced in 2016.”

There we have it: Justin Trudeau is wasting scarce Canadian taxpayer’s dollars, your dollars,  to coverup an attempted scam. It must be pretty clear to anyone who is paying attention that neither he nor Harjit Sajjan cares about Canada’s Air Force … their sole, compete and total involvement is designed to get them off a messy political hook. Canada deserves so much more; Canada needs a new, Conservative, government in 2019.

2 thoughts on “A colossal waste of money”

  1. Military procurement in Canada is determined by the input from four areas.. The military command structure, who must balance the actual requirement with their wish list. The limited amount of taxpayer funding available. The opinions / direction of the current Goverment. The mood of the general public.. As these four influences rarely align the procurement process becomes time consuming and excessively expensive.

    The military. The Canadian Military is becoming very top heavy with command structure. There is an increasing amount of resources consumed in assessing / planning procurements than in executing them. When the military participates in a joint exercise with our allies deployed equipment is compared. Human nature takes over, every commander wants to field the latest technology. It affects image and definitely has an influence on recruitment / retention of skilled personnel. Idealy the military would have the most influence over any military procurement, but they do need checks & balances to keep the wish list realistic.

    The amount of taxpayer funding available. There is always a large discrepancy between what the Goverment claims is the defence budget verses the amount that actually goes in to the ‘teeth’ of the military. It has been many years since Canada had an effective defence budget, proportionate to the size of the country. Despite the rhetoric coming from the current Goverment this situation is unlikely to change in the near future. Ultimately there is only a limited amount of taxpayer funding that will be available for military procurement.

    The Goverment. This is composed of many moving parts, most of them in conflict with each other. Politicians who are experts in every field. Remember ” the F-35 does not work and it will never work”. It would be curious to know the background info on that statement. With the majority of our allies acquiring the F-35, what do our politicians know that our allies missed. The defence manufacturing industry. They would have us believe their product is exactly what the military requires to complete the task. Even if the task has to be altered to match the product they are selling. Regional political competition.Industry will always try to influence politicians to insure that procurement decisions direct the work to their facility . A powerful tool especially in an election year.

    The opinion of the general public. The majority of the Canadian public is unaware of the day to day workings of the Canadian Military. It appears the only time military operations make the Canadian news is when there is a small fire on one of the frigates during deployment. Foreign military magazines offer more insight in to the accomplishments of the Canadian Military than is available to read in Canadian publications. If the current Goverment is trying to sway public opinion to their direction, on a military procurement, there will be a lot of press releases in support. They will try to convince the voters that their solution is the only option, even if the equipment procured will still be in use long after they have retired from politics.

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