By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, December 22, 2012 - 0 Comments
From the Prime Minister’s interview with Global, Mr. Harper’s explanation of the F-35 procurement.
Dawna Friesen: Let’s talk fighter jets for a moment. I don’t want to go through all of the numbers because I think we’ve done that. What I’m wondering is why wasn’t there more transparency about the full cost of the fighter jet program right from the beginning, and do you wish in retrospect that there had been?
Stephen Harper: Well I think we’ve been very clear about what the numbers are that we projected, which actually have been validated by the recent KPMG report. But what the Auditor General said in the spring was he looked at the process as it had gone to this point and let’s remember we’re very early in the process. We haven’t spent any money on acquiring the next generation of fighter jets, but he said that he thought that both the costs and the options analysis had not been as thorough as it should be. So, based on that, the government has reset those parts of the process and we’re going through that again. As I say, I think the cost numbers from the KPMG report look in fact, identical to what the government has budgeted but they’ll also do an options analysis. I think what happened here, I think it’s very easy to explain the process whether it’s right or wrong, is that you know, back in 1997, the previous government made a decision with an international … with its allies to be involved in an international consortium to actually develop the new fighter jet and to make sure that Canadian industry was part and parcel of the development of that airplane, as opposed to coming in after the fact and trying to get what we can an industrial and regional benefits.
Dawna Friesen: And so there would be Canadian jobs?
Stephen Harper: There would be Canadian jobs, a much more profound position of Canada in the worldwide supply chain for this aircraft. I think because of that, an assumption was just made all along the way that of course, if we’re developing this plane, this will be the plane we’re purchasing. It’s not an unreasonable assumption, but I think what the Auditor General pointed out is because of that, National Defence had not done as thorough an analysis as it should on some aspects of this, both the costs and options and that’s what we’re now doing. And we will continue to do that. And we’ve been very clear; we’ve set up a multi-stage process. We set up some independent expert panels and we’ll go through this step by step to make sure we are making the right purchases. The CF-18, the current fighter jet fleet will start to reach the end of its life in the middle to end of this decade and we’ll make sure both that we have aircraft ready to go when we need that and also at the same time that Canada is involved in the development of next generation airplanes.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, April 25, 2011 at 8:30 AM - 107 Comments
From Dawna Friesen’s one-on-one interview with Stephen Harper.
Dawna Friesen: When this is all over, not just the election, but politics—and you’re out of this game—and you look back, you will go down in history as the only Canadian Prime Minister—the only Prime Minister in the Commonwealth—to ever have their government voted in contempt of Parliament. Does that irk you?
Stephen Harper: Not at all, well it irks me in a sense that I think this was this was a completely unjustified act. It was an example of the kind of political games and maneuvering that are taking place in this minority parliament. There was no basis for that … it was a pretext for an election that Canadians did not want. There’s no case for that. This government—and we don’t say we’re perfect—but this government is focused on Canadians’ concerns and I think we’ve governed competently, our ministers and MP’s have acted with integrity, and we’re proud of that record and you know as I say, I think it’s unfortunate that those kinds of things are being done in a minority parliament but I think it tells you why we must have a majority government and not a minority parliament that focuses on that kind of stuff instead of the economy.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 11:20 AM - 0 Comments
What got Rona Ambrose upset, Jack Layton’s out-of-date bobble-head, and Another Newman says goodbye
What got Rona Ambrose upset
Rona Ambrose, minister for status of women, was recently in Israel where she met with her counterpart Gila Gamliel. Ambrose also toured the Israeli-Lebanese border and met three brigades of female soldiers. The women’s job is to protect the frontier through intelligence gathering and high-tech surveillance. The leader of the brigades told Ambrose that when the women are done serving, high-tech companies swoop in and hire them because their skills are in such demand. The minister also met the leader’s commander, 45-year-old Lt.-Col. Dov Harari. The two talked about the hardware store Harari owned with his brother and then chatted about his family. When Ambrose discovered the commander had relatives in Toronto, she asked whether he had ever been to Canada. He hadn’t he said. Ambrose encouraged him to come visit, but Harari pointed to the border he had been working to protect so much of his life, and said, “I have this to take care of.” Last week, Ambrose’s staff broke the news to her that Harari was killed in the recent skirmish on the Israeli-Lebanese border. Ambrose, who had been very impressed with Harari, was visibly upset by the news.
Among her other projects, Ambrose is now working with Governor General Michaëlle Jean on a special conference. The plan is to have a gathering of all the women who have influenced Jean to celebrate the end of her term.