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Does Canada need a fifth-generation stealth multirole fighter? I don't think so. As a matter of fact, beside the F-35 fiasco in general, Canada cannot afford such an expensive plane that had limited capabilities. A project worth more than $8 billion at the start, many experts now evaluate it at more than $49 billion. This might include all acquisition, sustainment and operating costs but does not guarantee the price won't go up again due other issues with the aircraft.
Tales of government waste make for excellent news headlines. Bev Oda's infamous $16 orange juice probably got more media attention than the $45 billion F35 procurement debacle. Part of the reason is that people understand the value and cost of orange juice. Rather than focusing on waste, analysts and the media should instead focus on getting more value for money from governments. We need to pay less attention to tens of dollars and more attention to billions.
The government's budgeting problems will force the Navy to choose between acquiring either fewer ships, or ships that are significantly less capable than they need. The fact that Canada's Chief of Defence Staff does not know the government's plan is proof there is not one.
On Prime Minister Diefenbaker's Black Friday, it was announced that 14,000 jobs would vanish. The most sophisticated aircraft in the world, the Avro Arrow, would be dismantled and the pride of an entire country was slain along with it. I believe Canada has what it takes to produce another Avro Arrow.
January 23 marks seven years since Stephen Harper was first elected Prime Minister of Canada. As the PM took the opportunity to pat himself on the back in tweeting his self-assessed greatest accomplishments, perhaps the seven-year itch is the right time to recognize PM Harper's biggest blunders.
Just before the New Year, Samara asked for nominations for the Best Moment in Canadian Democracy in 2012. Despite the cynicism that we all feel from time to time, these five serve as important reminders that there are democratic mechanisms at our disposal, and that despite Canada's imperfections we are lucky to live here.
The jet lag has passed and the Christmas decorations (for some of us at least) are put away in storage. With 2013 stretching out before us, let's reflect on the year that was 2012 in Canadian politics. The best and worst political stories, the best and worst politicians and the biggest sellout.
The year 2012 saw some scandals in Canada. There was the exposure of the multi-million dollar Ornge Air Ambulance scandal, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency scandal in Alberta, and the Robocall scandal. Did we spend a lot of time, money, and energy investigating and analyzing these scandals? Yes. Is there a sure way to avoid these problems for the next year, 2013?