January 10th, 2013

Conservative refusal to replace fake parts risking soldiers’ lives

Government knew about bogus parts since last year

Canadians were outraged to learn yesterday that despite knowing Canadian military Hercules planes were fitted with fake components prone to catastrophic failure, the Conservative government has no plans to replace the parts, choosing instead a wait-and-see approach with soldiers’ lives.

“Forcing Canadian soldiers to fly these planes knowing full well that they’re endangering their lives is stunningly negligent behaviour on the part of the Conservative government,” said NDP Military Procurement critic Matthew Kellway (Beaches – East York). “This is another sad example of the defence minister’s gross mismanagement of military procurement.”

Even after a 2012 U.S. Senate investigation reporting that counterfeit Hercules parts were unreliable and could result in failure of critical components with the C-130Js’ display units, the Harper government continued to claim this wasn’t a problem and refused to replace the potentially dangerous parts.

“Keeping your fingers crossed and hoping that equipment doesn’t fail isn’t leadership, it’s reckless,” said NDP Deputy Defence critic Christine Moore (Abitibi-Témiscamingue). “The government's poor public administration and lack of due diligence creates unacceptable risks to the safety of Canadian military personnel.”