Over-priced and unneeded armaments?

As Minister of Defense, Peter MacKay is charged with the procurement of equipment for our military.

As Minister of Defense, Peter MacKay is charged with the procurement of equipment for our military.

He has been a tireless salesman promoting the acquisition of the Lockheed-Martin F-35 JSF (Joint Strike Fighter). This aircraft has been surrounded in controversy, cost over -runs and technical problems throughout its development.

The controversy that now rages is how much this aircraft is going to cost, and the stark reality is that nobody really knows, and it will not come into service in Canada for eight years.

The acquisition of this plane comes at a time when all Western governments are under severe economic restraint.

There is also the daunting question as to whether such high tech weaponry is needed in this day and age when terrorism is touted as the most serious threat to our national security.

It is arguable these excessive expenditures are not based on real needs, but testify to the effectiveness of powerful lobbyists in their greedy zeal to maintain military industrial complex profits.

Canadians should be deeply skeptical regarding Mackay’s obsessive selling of the F-35 as the only choice.

Is he, like so many other politicians, merely pandering to arms dealers wanting to sell over-priced and unneeded armaments that do not reflect a country’s real needs?

His department has rejected any consideration of the F-18 Super Hornet, an updated version of our F-18, now coming into service with the US Navy. The Super Hornet is much more suited to our needs, having twin engines and a much longer range than the F-35. It can be acquired at a fraction of the cost and has proven reliability.

Mackay has been so brazen as to use military aircraft as his personal taxi even when military personnel advised against it as politically unwise.

He showed no consideration for the operational costs of this equipment (a Cormorant helicopter costs $32,000 an hour).

Nor did he consider that he was taking essential search and rescue equipment out of service that could at any time be needed to deal with a real emergency.

MacKay has by his own actions impeached his trustworthiness in managing a major procurement of new aircraft for the RCAF; especially so in a time of economic austerity when Canadians must feel assured the right aircraft is purchased for the right reasons and at a reasonable cost.

Robert Billyard

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Search continues for person seen floating in Coquihalla River in Hope

Rescuers halted the search Thursday night as darkness fell

Rescuers halt Coquihalla River search due to darkness, after reports of person in river

No information to indicate a child is involved, RCMP state, after this information surfaced on social media

Arrest at Abbotsford shopping centre

Man detained Thursday afternoon

Two Chilliwack women make weekly Crime Stoppers most wanted list

Ashley Felix and Raina McDonald wanted on unrelated issues

United Way grant provides food to 100 former prisoners, families

Abbotsford-based M2/W2 Association receives $25,000 to supply groceries

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Greater Vancouver home sales start to tick up, with prices holding steady

Residential sales last month reached 2,443, a 64.5 per cent jump from May

Langley Lodge’s deadly outbreak declared over

Fraser Health and long-term care home administrator confirm Friday declaration

PHOTOS: South Surrey tractor project evokes ‘$1-million smile,’ helps connect neighbours

Retired Surrey firefighter Ron Henze began project for friend’s dad to fill time during pandemic

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

Memorial set for one of three found dead at Langley house fire

Father wants the community to know the “amazing” person who’s been lost

Most Read