By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, December 15, 2012 - 0 Comments
A note posted to Facebook by Chris Alexander, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of defence. (It seems to have gone out from the PMO as an internal Conservative memo on Thursday evening.)
Replacing Canada’s CF-18s – Just the Facts
Media have incorrectly reported on some aspects of the replacement of Canada’s CF-18s. Here are the facts:
Myth 1: Costs have risen from $9 billion to $45 billion.
Fact 1: Our government has set a $9 billion budget for the purchase of new fighter aircraft. This amount is for the purchase of new aircraft and will not change. The remaining costs are the long-term costs associated with owning and flying these planes, such as maintenance, fuel and salaries. These costs are now presented over 42 years, as compared to 20 years previously. It goes without saying that the dollar figure for operating and sustainment costs for more years will be proportionately higher.
Myth 2: The Auditor General’s report increased the costs from $16 billion to $25 billion
Fact 2: The Auditor General recommended that operating costs be included in the total lifecycle cost estimates, resulting in the apparent “increase”. This is not new money as DND currently spends this money for our CF-18 fleet. These costs are currently being incurred by our fleet of CF-18s and will be incurred by whichever aircraft is chosen to replace the current fleet.
Myth 3: The review of options is a competition
Fact 3: We have a seven point plan that has reset the process to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s. As part of that plan, we have released the rules that will guide the review of alternative fighter aircraft. No decision on a replacement will be made until that work is complete.
Myth 4: Costs are rising, so $9 billion will not be enough to pay for these aircraft.
Fact 4: We have identified $9 billion for the purchase of replacement aircraft. We will not exceed that amount.
Myth 5: Canada is leaving the Joint Strike Fighter development program.
Fact 5: Canada will not end Canadian industrial access to F-35 contracts before the Seven Point Plan is complete and a decision on the replacement of Canada’s CF-18s has been made.
Myth 6: The government did not follow the rules when it released costs over 20 years.
Fact 6: Previously lifecycle costing was done over 20 years, consistent with long-held practices for this type of acquisition. The Auditor General recommended extending that time frame to cover the complete costs over the full life cycle; we complied by adopting the aircraft’s entire program life of 42 years.
Myth 7: The options analysis will find that the F-35 is the only viable option because it is the only plane that meets the Statement of Requirements.
Fact: 7: The original mandatory requirements for this purchase (known as the Statement of Requirements) have been set-aside. Once the options analysis is complete, a determination will be made as to whether a new statement is necessary.
Myth 8: Canadian companies have only received benefits equal to 1% of the total cost of the contract.
Fact 8: Over 70 Canadian companies have won nearly $450 million in contracts already. We believe our world leading aerospace industry will be able to continue to compete for and win contracts in the global marketplace.
Myth 1 seems to depend on the meaning of the word “risen”—the stated cost of the procurement has increased from $9 billion (for acquiring the planes) and a total of $16 billion (for acquisition, operation and sustainment) to $45.8 billion (for development, acquisition, operation and sustainment), owing to an acknowledgement and calculation of a full life-cycle costing. The timeline of 42 years is problematic though. For the sake of comparing the previous estimate for acquisition, operations and maintenance to the current estimate for acquisition, operations and maintenance, the price has gone from $16-billion over 20 years to $45.2 billion over 30 years.
As for Myth 6, the auditor general’s report in April states that “Treasury Board policies require consideration of all relevant costs over the useful life of equipment, not just the initial acquisition or basic contract cost.” And, as Andrew Coyne, has pointed out, National Defence agreed with the auditor general in 2010 that life-cycle costing was appropriate. Of the life-cycle costing for the F-35, the auditor general found in April that “costs have not been fully presented in relation to the life of the aircraft. The estimated life expectancy of the F-35 is about 8,000 flying hours, or about 36 years based on predicted usage. National Defence plans to operate the fleet for at least that long. It is able to estimate costs over 36 years. We recognize that long-term estimates are highly sensitive to assumptions about future costs as well as to currency exchange rates. However, in presenting costs to government decision makers and to Parliament, National Defence estimated life-cycle costs over 20 years. This practice understates operating, personnel, and sustainment costs, as well as some capital costs, because the time period is shorter than the aircraft’s estimated life expectancy. The JSF Program Office provided National Defence with projected sustainment costs over 36 years.”
In the defence of Myth 8, 450 million is one percent of 45 billion. There is the potential for more contracts for Canadian companies, but as Canadian Press reported this week, there are doubts about how much Canadian companies will get.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, December 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM - 0 Comments
For whatever reason, Chris Alexander, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of defence, has been assigned the task of going on television to face questions about the F-35 on behalf of the government. This did not go very well for Mr. Alexander in August. And this did not go terribly well for Mr. Alexander on Friday. But he seemed to do a bit better on CTV’s Question Period on Sunday. At the very least, he seemed to concede some government responsibility for the pre-April 2012 impression that a decision had been made to purchase the F-35.
There were various statements in the past that amounted to commitments intentions. The situation has changed. Cost outlook has changed. The auditor general came out with a report that we had to take very seriously, earlier this year. And we accepted his recommendation. And we put in place a seven-point plan to get us to the point where a decision can be made, not just with regard to one option, but with regard to all the options, on the basis of verified costs.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 5:23 PM - 0 Comments
The Scene. Peggy Nash had asked why the Prime Minister wouldn’t be in Halifax on Friday to meet with the premiers—”Since the Prime Minister is rarely here on Friday…”—and Jim Flaherty had duly enumerated all of the conversations the Prime Minister has had with the premiers these last seven years and now Ms. Nash was apparently done playing nice.
“Mr. Speaker, the fact is the premiers of this country are getting together to discuss, among other things, the economy, but the Prime Minister is refusing to join them,” she prefaced. “According to the IMF, we will have fallen behind the U.S. in growth by 2015. Greece’s economy is expected to grow faster than ours.”
The Conservatives across the way burst into laughter. The Speaker was obliged to call for order. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, August 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM - 0 Comments
Then this week, Chris Alexander, parliamentary secretary to the defence minister, denied in an interview that the government had ever decided to buy the F-35 — and accused opposition parties of sowing confusion on the issue. This was despite a long public record showing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and several cabinet ministers repeatedly committing to and defending the stealth fighter since 2010.
“Governments do this all the time, and it’s totally understandable that they would try to change the conversation,” said University of Ottawa defence expert Philippe Lagasse, who participated in the NDP’s hearings on the F-35 on Tuesday. “The problem is there’s so much public evidence, that really you’re inviting mockery.”
But while analysts agreed Alexander’s comments were bizarre, they said they serve the purpose of muddying the waters and making it difficult for average Canadians to tell who’s telling the truth. “As a taxpayer, the annoyance is the Conservative government hasn’t been entirely straight,” said Nossal. “Instead what the government has done is kind of spin this in a way that is actually quite confusing to ordinary Canadians.”
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, August 23, 2012 at 10:00 AM - 0 Comments
As a follow-up on yesterday’s discussion—see here, here and here—of the F-35, what the Harper government once said about its procurement, Chris Alexander’s understanding of the public’s “misunderstanding” and what the Harper government now says about the procurement, here is more of the exchange between Chris Alexander and one of his Facebook friends that occurred yesterday.
Friend. It seems to me that Wherry is addressing the history of the F35 procurement process and communications strategy, not its current iteration as represented by the seven point policy. In this sense, the quotes ARE relevant if we are to properly evaluate your claim that the public somehow “misunderstood” the government’s intentions before April and the AG’s report. Based on the public record of high-level officials, it’s simply incorrect to suggest that the public misunderstood the government’s stated intentions before the release of the Auditor General’s report. Whether the public clearly understands the government’s intentions TODAY, and whether or not the government is communicating them with comparable levels of clarity and directness is another story entirely. In this case, I don’t think it’s fair to malign Macleans and Wherry for providing empirical context to a controversial claim about historical process.
Alexander. No, he’s not: he citing very selective quotes from 2010 and 2011 to imply that we have, in fact, signed, sealed and delivered a contract for new planes. This is entirely false. It is hardly fair to claim you are reporting on government policy (about which I was apparently “confused”) without anywhere citing the principal and most recent statement of that policy.
Friend. Thanks for engaging me thoughtfully on this issue. I understand that no contract has been signed, but I would respectfully argue that this isn’t the question at hand. The quote by you to which Wherry responds directly addresses the public’s historical perception of the process, not the contemporary one. Doesn’t it seem fair to question the reliability of current policy statements by contrasting them with those of the recent past? Should we have simply doubted the statements of the Prime Minister, Mr. Fantino, Mr. MacKay, as well as the official Press Releases when they were being made throughout 2010 and 2011? If they weren’t accurate then, how are we to judge the reliability of similar statements today? Surely you can see how this is problematic. Consistency is a requirement of credibility. Surely there must be accountability where consistency is absent? Is a 7-point policy plan so totalizing as to erase the recent past, rendering it irrelevant and beyond scrutiny?
Of course there is also a relationship between historical perception, and contemporary perception, and the statements on which they are based. It is precisely for this reason that Wherry contests your assertion that the public was “misunderstood” during 2010-2011. In fact, the government made itself perfectly clear. I understand the reason that the government now wishes to take control of the narrative by re-writing this history as one of “misunderstanding.” Such a revision will eliminate the contradiction between historical statements and contemporary policy, and shield the government from the embarrassment of having called an election to avoid disclosing cost estimates, only to have their hand forced by the AG after the fact. However, again with all due respect, such a revision is simply inaccurate.
John Geddes provides more context here.
By John Geddes - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 5:37 PM - 0 Comments
There’s been an energetic exchange today between my colleague Aaron Wherry and MP Chris Alexander over the nature of the government’s commitment to buy Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter.
Alexander takes Wherry to task for offering up a handy compendium of public comments, mostly from Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Defence Minister Peter MacKay in 2010 and 2011, in which they clearly describe their government as firmly decided on the F-35.
Speaking in his role as MacKay’s parliamentary secretary, Alexander argues that the proper thing would be to report only on the government’s more recent policy stance, announced on April 3 this year, in which it backed away from all those previous assertions about the absolute necessity of buying F-35s.
Make what you will of this back-and-forth. But I would add that it isn’t just the remarks of top Conservative politicians that have cast the Joint Strike Fighter as a settled and major element of Canadian defence and industrial policy. The F-35 has features prominently in various official federal documents aimed at companies that need to know what’s up with Canada’s procurement policy.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 4:44 PM - 0 Comments
Another Facebook post from the parliamentary secretary.
Aaron, your latest post is better — much better. But unlike the initial item, it can’t be independently shared on Facebook. Shame, as this tends to perpetuate the confusion. But we are agreed, right? No contract yet for new fighters to replace the CF-18s. Right?
There currently seems to be some technical problem with sharing this post on Facebook. I assume it will resolve itself eventually.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 3:26 PM - 0 Comments
The parliamentary secretary to the Minister of National Defence has posted a link to this blog post on Facebook with the following note (which I can see because Mr. Alexander just added me as a “friend” on Facebook).
Check out this remarkably skewed blog from Aaron Wherry, which does not even mention the government’s new seven-point policy on fighter jets, released on April 3 and heavily discussed inside and outside ever since. Where has he been? Should we not expect better from Maclean’s?
One of Mr. Alexander’s Facebook friends added a note seeking clarification.
Chris, could you clarify how this is skewed? With all due respect… all that Wherry has done here is contrast the Government’s attempt to revise history with their own quotes on the record going back as far as early 2010. Senior government officials repeatedly made it clear in high-profile public statements that a decision HAD been made — to suggest that the public “misunderstood” as you did is simply incorrect. The public understood perfectly. You can change your communications strategy, but you cannot re-write history.
Mr. Alexander then responded as follows.
“Inside and outside parliament” is what I meant to write above. Really though, since when do year-old quotes on an issue have more weight than a seven-point plan issued in April of this year that has been repeatedly supported by the government in Question Period, in Committee of the Whole and in dozens of interviews since then. Does Aaron Wherry simply not remember Chapter 2 of the Auditor General’s report, and the government response to it?
Aladdin, he has reported on an issue in August 2012 using quotes from 2011 and 2010 when in fact the plan that represents government policy was announced on April 3 of this year. That will be deeply confusing for his readers….
I do appreciate Mr. Alexander’s concern for my readers.
If any of you find yourselves deeply confused, allow me to explain. In the previous blog post, I was merely comparing Mr. Alexander’s comments about there having been a “misunderstanding … in the Canadian public opinion” so far as a decision, contract or obligation to purchase the F-35 is concerned with what some of Mr. Alexander’s colleagues said previously about a decision, contract or obligation to purchase the F-35.
In responding to the auditor general’s concerns, the government announced a new plan to guide the procurement of new fighter jets. The debate around the F-35 has been covered fairly extensively in this space (see here). This particular matter of tone and wording has been previously covered here, here and here.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 12:24 PM - 0 Comments
Participating in a panel on Power & Politics yesterday, Chris Alexander offered the following version of recent history on the F-35.
“There was a misunderstanding, to some extent, in the Canadian public opinion, to some extent perpetrated by the opposition who claimed that a decision had been made, contracts had been signed, obligations had been undertaken and that is not the case.”
This is a rather remarkable assertion.
Mr. Alexander is relatively new here—he was just elected last May—so perhaps he was unaware of what the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister were saying about the F-35 procurement through 2010 and early 2011. And perhaps he was so distracted with the adjustment to public office that he missed what Julian Fantino was saying last November. But here are a bunch of quotes to compare and contrast with Mr. Alexander’s understanding of the “misunderstanding” that concerned the F-35. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, June 22, 2012 at 1:33 PM - 0 Comments
The only thing more fun than a cabinet shuffle is speculating about a cabinet shuffle. The Star, Huffington Post, CBC and Postmedia have your first guesses, including mentions of Peter MacKay, Bev Oda, Julian Fantino, Christian Paradis, John Duncan, Peter Kent, Vic Toews, Maxime Bernier, Denis Lebel, Rob Nicholson, Jason Kenney, James Moore, John Baird, Chris Alexander, Michelle Rempel, Candice Hoeppner, Kellie Leitch, James Rajotte and Greg Rickford.
That leaves just 144 Conservatives (excluding the Prime Minister) left to be speculated about between now and whenever Mr. Harper goes to Rideau. Actually, 145 if you include the stuffed dog that participated in last week’s C-38 vote marathon.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 12:22 AM - 0 Comments
Less than 10 minutes into the evening, the NDP’s Jack Harris seemed to give up hope.
“I can see what kind of night this is going to be,” he sighed.
Mr. Harris stood here for the purposes of questioning the Minister of Defence and the Associate Minister of Defence, no less than four hours set aside for the purposes of scrutinizing the government’s policies and plans. The ministers in question—Peter MacKay and Julian Fantino—sat along the front row of the government side, each with a large binder of papers in front of them. With the two ministers sat Chris Alexander and Laurie Hawn, parliamentary secretaries present and past, each with their own large binder of papers. And in front of the four Conservatives sat three officials, including the chief of defence staff, at a small table placed in the centre aisle, each official having arrived with a large binder of papers.
With so much paper present, the night had seemed so full of promise. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 1:11 PM - 0 Comments
The full lifecycle cost of the F-35 remains elusive.
DND’s deputy minister, Robert Fonberg, said his department is sticking with its estimated cost of $15-billion for the acquisition and the sustainment over 20 years of the F-35 jets. He insisted that long-term operating costs for the jets, which are still eight years away from delivery, will be “firmed up over time,” but will be similar to those for the existing fleet of CF-18s.
He added that his department was not yet in a position to determine the exact cost of the program over its planned 36-year lifespan, saying that using 20-year scenarios is a well-entrenched position at DND and avoids making risky, long-term predictions. “Life-cycle costing is not a simple issue,” Mr. Fonberg said.
Lifecycle costing is what the Department of National Defence agreed to pursue two years ago in response to a previous report of the auditor general. Lifecycle costing is what Treasury Board guidelines seem to require. “All documents that outline … lifecycle costs” is what the House of Commons demanded in November 2010. And an estimate of what the F-35 will cost over a lifespan of 36 years is what the auditor general suggested last week that the Department of National Defence already had.
Here, from that hearing last week and for the record, is the auditor general’s exchange with Chris Alexander, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Defence.
Chris Alexander: On life cycle, you described the reasons for selecting 36 years as opposed to the DND previous standard of 20 years. Has the Auditor General’s office in previous audits used this longer life-cycle framework, or was this the first time?
Michael Ferguson: Thank you, Mr. Chair. The 36 years is not our number, not our estimate of the life cycle. It was in fact National Defence’s estimate of the life cycle. Therefore, by definition to apply life cycle costing we felt that it should include the whole 36 years, since that is the estimated life cycle.
Chris Alexander: So in fact National Defence had two life cycle projections—one for 20 years and one for 36 years?
Michael Ferguson: Thank you, Mr. Chair. My understanding is that National Defence does have the numbers for 36 years, but the numbers that have been brought forward for decision-making purposes, and used for example in response to the parliamentary budget office numbers, were based on 20 of those 36 years.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, April 23, 2012 at 5:14 PM - 0 Comments
The Scene. “Mr. Speaker, we do not apologize for the fact that Canada is following its laws and policies on procurement in securing replacements for the aging CF-18s,” Chris Alexander declared this afternoon of the F-35 mess.
It is unclear who demanded the Harper government apologize for following proper procurement policy. For that matter, it is unclear who has accused the Harper government of actually following proper procurement policy.
Indeed, the question here, from the NDP’s Jack Harris, the brusque Newf now back on the defence file, was something else entirely. “When,” Mr. Harris asked, “will the government stop making excuses for deceiving Canadians?”
Mr. Alexander’s response to this was to refuse to apologize. Twice. Continue…
By Mitchel Raphael - Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 9:05 AM - 0 Comments
A surprise 60th birthday party was held for Ted Menzies, minister of state for…
A surprise 60th birthday party was held for Ted Menzies, minister of state for finance, at Ottawa’s hip restaurant Play.
By Michael Petrou - Monday, January 23, 2012 at 10:55 AM - 0 Comments
Readers hoping to better understand Afghanistan and the outside world’s involvement in the country since 9/11 have been well served by Canadian authors of late.
Terry Glavin’s Come from the Shadows: the Long and Lonely Struggle for Peace in Afghanistan has been reviewed in this space already. Next up are The Savage War: the Untold Battles of Afghanistan, by Canadian Press defence correspondent Murray Brewster, and The Long Way Back: Afghanistan’s Quest for Peace, by former Canadian and UN diplomat (and current Conservative MP) Chris Alexander. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, December 12, 2011 at 9:30 AM - 0 Comments
On Thursday, the NDP pressed Julian Fantino with specific questions about Peter MacKay’s helicopter ride. Mr. Fantino wandered off script just long enough to say that the Defence Minister’s ride was “a very routine endeavour.”
On Friday, the New Democrats sent Ryan Cleary after this point.
Mr. Speaker, yesterday in this House, the Associate Minister of National Defence described a flight on a search and rescue helicopter fromva fishing camp as “a very routine endeavour indeed.” “Routine” is taking a taxi to an airport. “Routine” is taking a taxi to work. I would like to ask the associate minister exactly what he means by “routine”. How frequently does the minister use a search and rescue helicopter to get back from vacation?
Standing in for Mr. Fantino, who was standing in for Mr. MacKay, Chris Alexander ignored this question as best he could.
By Michael Petrou - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 9:10 PM - 13 Comments
Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf surely knew that Osama bin Laden was hiding in a compound a short walk from a Pakistani military academy, says Conservative MP Chris Alexander, who previously served as Canada’s first resident ambassador in Afghanistan after the overthrow of the Taliban.
“I can’t prove Musharraf’ knowledge, but everything I know about Pakistan’s system would tell me that he as chief of the army staff and he as president would have known,” Alexander said during a speech today at the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa. Continue…
By John Geddes - Monday, November 21, 2011 at 7:25 PM - 1 Comment
Chris Alexander landed in Ottawa last spring carrying a burden of expectations matched by few rookie MPs
For most rookie MPs, the move to Parliament Hill marks the most exciting job they’ve ever had, and the most media attention they’ve ever drawn. Not Chris Alexander. Before running for the Conservatives in Ajax-Pickering, just east of Toronto, Alexander was Canada’s most celebrated diplomat of recent times—the country’s ﬁrst resident ambassador in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban, then a special UN representative in Kabul. Six high-proﬁle years in the war-torn country ended in 2009, when he came home and soon announced he was entering politics as a Tory. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 7:37 PM - 27 Comments
So the House is almost entirely agreed. Colonel Gadhafi of Libya is an undesirable despot, guilty, it would seem, of various abuses and disgraces, likely up to and including crimes against humanity and thus, through some combination of diplomacy, humanitarian aid and bombs, he must be prevented from doing any further harm to the people of Libya, they who should be allowed to proceed soon enough to freedom and democracy.
Now, if only the House could agree on how best to describe the process by which this general notion might be made real.
“Our strategy is clear,” John Baird proclaimed this morning. “By applying steady and unrelenting military and diplomatic pressure while also delivering humanitarian assistance we can protect the civilian population, degrade the capabilities of the regime and create the conditions for a genuine political opening. At the same time we can bolster the capacity of the Libyan opposition to meet the challenges of post-Gadhafi Libya and to lay the foundations of a state based on the sovereignty of the people.”
On this, the Foreign Affairs Minister asked the House of Commons to endorse a three-and-a-half-month extension of Canada’s involvement in the NATO mission over and around Libya. And it was on the occasion of this request that Jack Harris, the NDP’s shadow defence minister, stood a short while later to wonder if we might call this “regime change.” Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 5:16 PM - 5 Comments
The Harper government has released the list of 28 parliamentary secretary appointments. I count eight new MPs: Eve Adams, Chris Alexander (who replaces Laurie Hawn at defence), Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Robert Goguen, Kellie Leitch, Chungsen Leung, Michelle Rempel and Susan Truppe.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 12:28 PM - 19 Comments
A month after stating that he was “longer talking about Afghanistan,” Conservative candidate Chris Alexander emerges to talk about Afghanistan with this magazine. Here is his explanation of the Canadian mission after 2011 and what differentiates Liberal and Conservative policy on that mission. Continue…
By Kate Fillion - Tuesday, November 3, 2009 at 2:56 PM - 13 Comments
Diplomat Chris Alexander on fraud and political game-playing in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s army, and his race to be a Tory MP
Q:Why, after six years in Afghanistan, did you leave in May?
A: My wife and I left because we had a child and the children of UN employees in Afghanistan have to live elsewhere. Had that rule not existed, we might have stayed, because we felt it was a very welcoming environment for babies. In Kabul, life for families is relatively safe.
Q: Just after we went to press, six U.N. staff were killed in Kabul. Do you still think it’s a relatively safe place for young families?
A: Of course Kabul is far from entirely safe from terrorist attack, even though millions of people do live there with their young families. This attack was a cold-blooded attempt to prevent the UN from doing its job: supporting a fair and legitimate outcome from the second round of voting. It is sickening to think some in the Taliban leadership believe this sort of attack–the murder of innocent Afghan and international civilians–will help their cause. Its shows how radical and extreme they have become–and how dangerous. Until the sanctuaries housing the groups that train for and stage such attacks, especially North Waziristan, become subject to effective and sustained military operations, these dreadful incidents involving suicide attackers will continue. Everyone in Afghanistan and Pakistan is a potential target. My heart goes out to the UN family in Afghanistan: in spite of everything, they are showing fortitude. But they will need the support of the whole world at this difficult time. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 1:36 PM - 13 Comments
Midway through a Hill Times piece on the former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan and the intellectual credentials he brings to the Conservative party, Chris Alexander offers this.
When The Hill Times reached Mr. Alexander on his cell phone last week, he said he wanted to wait until later to speak to the media about his candidacy, and that he had nothing more to say on Afghanistan. ”I’m no longer talking about Afghanistan, I’m trying to just take a pause on this stuff,” he said.