The F-35 Boondoggle

I know we’ve been over this ground before, but remind me again… why does Canada even need this heinously expensive new class of fighter jet at all? What possible military threat are we defending ourselves from? Seriously. What is the point?

Aside from the absurdity of ploughing something like $30 billion into a high-tech gizmo that serves no useful purpose whatsoever (it’s worth noting that Lockheed Martin’s last iteration of this plane, the F-22 “stealth raptor” fighter, has never actually been deployed in combat), there is the matter of the Harper government having egregiously misled Canadians about the cost of the program during the last election and then repeatedly lying to parliament subsequent to that. For instance, according to Harper and his ministers last year, there was a contract in place that would prevent cost overruns, but now they claim there is no contract. So which is it?

Bob Rae has called on Harper to resign over the issue, but, of course, nobody seriously imagines that’s going to happen. I mean, we’re only talking about a complete lack of government oversight involving a measly $10 billion discrepancy in accounts… it’s certainly nothing anywhere nearly as serious as the “AdScam” fiasco where possibly $100 million of taxpayer money was at stake! In that case, it was entirely justified that every “conservative” worth his or her salt should howl with OUTRAGE! like a gut-shot dog every day for years and years and years…

Sheila Fraser: A Tough Act to Follow

After ten years as Auditor General of Canada, Sheila Fraser will be finishing her mandate at the end of May. Recently, she sat down with TVO to discuss defining moments of her tenure, and reflect on why she is one of the most widely trusted public figures in Canada.

Hamilton NDP MP David Christopherson, the vice-chair of the Commons public accounts committee in the last Parliament, put it this way: “Canadians have come to see Fraser as someone who is on their side…they knew in their heart and in their gut that she was there for them.” A sentiment notably absent when it comes to public regard for most politicians, it almost goes without saying.

Fraser has done some excellent work over the years as head of the OAG and will be a tough act to follow. Lets hope that the Harper government selects a worthy successor capable of earning the same level of trust, respect and public confidence.