February 5th, 2014

Conservative procurement – too little too late

It's nice to finally see the Ministers of National Defence, Public Works, Industry Canada and Treasury Board acknowledging reality and coming to the conclusion the NDP reached long ago – Canada needs a better procurement strategy.

The Conservatives have a stunning record of failure and mismanagement when it comes to military procurement.

  • F35s – Cost to taxpayers: unknown.

We do know that it will cost more than $45 billion to own and operate the planes, but given project delays and ongoing troubles with the planes themselves it’s hard to say how much taxpayers will be on the hook for.

While there is a complete laundry list of problems with the F35s, let’s not forget [Lockheed Martin wasn’t sure the planes could fly through clouds….

](http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/03/06/f-35-design-problems-make-night-flying-impossible-increase-risk-of-being-shot-down-u-s-pilots-warn/) - Joint Support Ships – Cost to taxpayers: substantially more than the $38 billion the government thought they would cost.

One hopes the fate of these ships will be decided soon. Canada already has enough of a problem with its naval fleet…. it wasn’t that long ago [two of Canada’s existing ships were put in the docks after colliding with each other in the pacific.


  • Cyclone Helicopters – Cost to taxpayers: initially it was going to be $5 billion, but with more than $700 million in cost overruns so far and no helicopters in sight, like the JSS and F35s, the sky is the limit for how much they will cost in the end.
  • Close Combat Vehicles – Cost to taxpayers: $2.1 billion….ish. $700 million earmarked to purchase 108 infantry vehicles with the rest of the money used to operate them – but even the military admits this is a lowball estimate. And of course they may cancel the whole process all together.

Our Canadian Forces deserve a government that can do procurement competently and make sure they have the tools they need.

Canadian taxpayers deserve a government that stops throwing money away on botched military procurement programs.