A Foreword by Doug Draper
I have so far stayed away from doing any commentary on the multi-billion-dollar scandal over those fighter jets Canada’s Conservative government is so determined to buy mostly because I have found myself getting too angry just reading about it. And as much as measure of anger can be a motivator for a column that has some edge to it, too much anger can have you banging out something equivalent to screaming at the walls.So I was pleased to turn on CBC’s The National this past April 5 and hear Rex Murphy deliver a commentary on the stinking mess that said many of the things I could only wish to have put into words as powerfully as he did. For not only did Murphy show up one Stephen Harper’s senior cabinet members, Peter MacKay, as the defence minister who – now that all of the outrageous hiding of the true $25 billion cost of these jets from parliament and the Canadian people has been exposed – is apparently “not really responsible for anything,” he showed Harper’s Conservative government for its hypocrisy.
“If Stephen Harper were in Opposition now and it was Liberals who bought about this mess he would be heaving thunderbolts and breathing righteous fire about ‘arrogant and incompetent Liberals.’ and he would be right,” said Murphy, but where is the outrage from Conservatives who once promised they would be more responsible with Canadians’ tax money over this mess?
Indeed, one would hope that Conservative MPs would stand up and express the same level of outrage over the fighter jet scandal, which involves billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, as they did over the former Liberal government’s sponsorship scandal, that involved millions of dollars. If even a few Conservatives showed the courage to put the interests of the country’s finances ahead of crass partisan politics on this one, it might serve to shatter some of the cynicism people have these days for politicians. These same principled MPs might even get re-elected three years from now, regardless of what happens to the rest of the Harper government.
While we are waiting for Conservative MPs to show some courage and principle on this one, there is Rex Murphy’s column which, I believe, all Canadians should absorb as this latest scandal since the robo-call business unfolds. One of the reasons I feel it is so significant is that it comes from a commentator who has arguably been too fair to Harper’s Conservatives on a number of other matters.
So I encourage you go click on the following link where you can read the text of Rex Murphy’s April 5 commentary or watch the video of it if you prefer. Then Niagara At Large invites you to share your views below, remembering that we only post comments by people who also share their first and last names. Now here is that link –http://www.cbc.ca/thenational/indepthanalysis/rexmurphy/story/2012/04/05/thenational-rexmurphy-040512.html .
What has me mystified,,why did this Government leap into this type of plane in the first place? so far it is merely a collecton of blueprints.and the costs of this program have escalated so sky high that countries who pre=ordered some of these jets are now cancelling their contracts, even the US Military are having a rethink on this project, it appears that this plane would be unsuitable for patrolling the far north coast line and has a very limited range and need fuel tankers to refill while in the air, also it is limited to how much weaponry it can carry,just as those submarines turned out to be a financial disaster and soaked up money like a sponge,with no effect on the viablity or sea worthyness of said subs, this “pig in a poke” jet deal should be scrapped and something that is more suitable should be pursued. This money could be better spent on the fast super speed link between Quebec City and Windsor Ontario, with a spur line to Niagara linking up with the New York High-Speed train that will be built, this would be a tangible asset for Canada.
According to the Auditor General, the government knew the price of the F-35’s in 2006. Therefore, they intentionally provided false information to parliament , and to Canadians, since then. It certainly reveals the government’s antipathy towards transparency and democracy, but it also reveals economic recklessness that belies their image of being sound “economic managers”. At a time when OAS payments are being targeted for reductions, hospitals are underfunded, and regular citizens are being asked to tighten their belts, this is inexcusable.
The government is already in spin mode, and they have plenty of tax payer dollars to spin their expensive webs, but Canadians should be outraged.
I agree with Bob Rae (and other politicians), that Stephen Harper should resign: contempt of parliament, “in/out” crimes, electoral fraud allegations and cover-up, the bar has been lowered way too far.
I listened to bits and pieces of Cross Country Checkup and was surprised at the long-time apologist for the Neo-Cons, Rex Murphy. I agree with some callers that the light-weight, uninformed MacKay should resign, and was alarmed that the Defense Dpt holds such sway with the Harper Regime.
Idiots elected these idiots – what do you expect – these elected idiots will not stand up for the people because they would then have to take a back seat at the feeding trough. that simple !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I looked into this “scandal” and immediately came across information that Canada hasn’t even signed the contract yet for these aircraft. That sheds a totally different light on things. I’ve gone to car dealerships many times telling them I want a car – never thought of it as a “scandal”
If people want to convince the government not to buy these planes, they have my full support. But this whole “Scandal” label is getting overused. This is not a scandal, it’s an unpopular budget decision.
Doesn’t matter now what happens for the next 7 years at least. The Conservatives will be the ruling party and they know it. The last government was brought down because Harper was found in contempt of parliament. Despite it, he got his majority, so it’s easy to conclude that ‘voters’ don’t really seem to mind a contemptuous government after all.
The deafening Canadian silence over the Bob Rae ad running on TV right now, even though elections aren’t even on the horizon is proof that ‘voters’ don’t really give a crap what Harper and his Conservatives do.
Let’s face it. Integrity and Politics no longer share the same space.
Matt, you’re right, it’s not a scandal. The neo-cons frame electoral fraud as “mischief”, when it fact it is criminal fraud. The in/out “scandal” is not a “scandal”, it is two criminal counts of election financing fraud, to which the cons plead guilty. “Contempt of Parliament” is not a “scandal” , it is unprecedented in our Commonwealth for a government to be found in contempt (as was ours), and it represents a total disregard for parliamentary procedure and the rule of law. Hiding the true cost of a military procurement from the public and parliament is also far worse than a scandal….
The on-going con strategy, as witnessed with the “in/out” electoral crimes, is to break the law, deny any wrongdoing, frustrate and stall any investigation, and, when/if a decision comes down, cop a plea and, in the case of in/out, pay a fine. Never mind that they illegally spent over $1 million more than other parties to get their “message” out and gain an advantage.
Please note that Kevin Page, Parliamentary Budget Secretary, ironically appointed by the man himself, first raised red flags about this deal a couple years ago. In response the Conservatives chopped Page’s budget, which seems to be their modus operandi of answering to their critics.
I have to be careful what I say and this is truly troubling but in my Opinion Peter MacKay is beyond description when it come manhood and as elected official its the bottom of the barrel. (Enough said)
Being an East Coaster I used to enjoy listening to Rex Murphy’s earthy twang and recently learned that he is a true blue Conservative. Then to once again see MacKay literally say “so what” and ” what the hell we are the emperors and we will do whatever we please” sickens me
I am astounded by the degree this government flaunts their Dictatorial
actions and to hear Rex Murphy finally tell it as it is, It must be worse than mere bad, in fact devastating.to say the least for Rex has been their stanchest ally when it comes to making excuses for them.in the past.
This will die as the corporate media relegates it to yesterday and life will continue until the next election when once again they, the Harper gang, will get another majority and we will write columns like this that changes nothing for our soap boxes are muffled as is the opposition in Ottawa.
Peter MacKay after being assisted by David Orchard in his bid to be elected “Leader of the (Once) Progressive Conservatives” became (after completely disregarding the contract he had signed with Mr. Orchard) one of the founding fathers, He and Harper, of this “Whatever” Party in Ottawa. So one must look to the past and hope for a hopefully better future without the Harper gang screwing up the country.
Joseph, we don’t have a Conservative Party in Ottawa. We have a Reform Party. When the Progressive Conservatives merged with the Reform Party, they maintained their own people, but adopted all the Reform’s policies.