Updated August 26, 2016
Photo Credit: REUTERS/Mike Segar, April 22, 2016.
MOST RECENTLY, THE PRIME MINISTER SIGNED THE PARIS AGREEMENT AT U.N. HEADQUARTERS IN MANHATTAN, NEW YORK. U.S.A. THAT ACT COST THE CANADIAN TAXPAYER $2.65 BILLION OVER FIVE YEARS – A DOWNPAYMENT ON A TWO-YEAR TERM IN A RENTAL SEAT AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL TABLE.
THIS IS A “NEW EXPENDITURE OF AN AVERAGE ANNUAL $530 MILLION.” IS IT MERE COINCIDENCE THAT CLOSE TO $3 BILLION OF EXPENDITURES WERE DEFERRED IN THE ACQUISITIONS BUDGET OF OUR DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE – CURRYING U.N. FAVOUR PERHAPS FOR A COVETED SEAT ON THE SECURITY COUNCIL AT THE EXPENSE OF THE MILITARY AND THE ECONOMIC CONEQUENCES OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT-AT THE END OF THE DAY?
THERE ARE TEN NON-PERMANENT SEATS AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL TABLE. FIVE COUNTRIES’ TERMS EXPIRE THIS YEAR, THE REMAINING FIVE IN 2017.
All the while, the role assigned to our military remains a constant: in preparation to defend Canada, defend North America with the United States, contribute to international peace and security through the NATO TREATY and support to “UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING” efforts.
Given, the current fiscal climate and defence commitments, it is not unreasonable to have concerns about the size, structure and composition of our military.
For example and coincidently in dollar terms, changes must be made by 2021 for the continued use of our CF18s until 2025 to be worthwhile – a period of close to a further ten years of utility. The Defence department’s upside estimate just happens to be close to $500 million, or the price of a one-year Security Council seat rental. Read David Pugliese’s article “The Clock is Ticking on the Plan to Upgrade the CF18s.” (Ottawa Citizen, NP4 April 15, 2016).
Apart from the pledge to REPLACE the CF 18s and engage in an elongated procurement process, presumably the matter of CF18 deployments are still in very much in play when it comes to matters of joint continental defence, defence preparedness, and interoperability with our allies.
ISIL interdiction and rebranding is very much incidental or symbolic from that perspective. According to General Hillier, “Every time we run operations now we’re strained and were stretched and were scraping from other places.” (Ottawa Citizen, NP4, April 14, 2016.)
For all that, the new batch of Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries have argued in the House of Commons about “THE LAST 10 YEARS,” failure to equip and purchase such things as CYCLONE MARITIME HELICOPTERS and SUPPLY SHIPS for our military. This is all part of a critical tone about the former government that as it happened saw to the conclusion of the WAR in AFGHANISTAN.
On the record, the procurement system under the former government was blamed for inaction. Rather trite misinformation or uncalled for it seemed, when fellow senior sitting cabinet ministers of Treasury and Security had previously held the procurement portfolio, Gagliano and Gomery aside.
The referenced EH101, a maritime helicopter, was cancelled when the Liberal Government took over in 1993. The compensatory contractual costs were close to $200 million, excluding the development costs to reach the point of contract. The same aircraft was re-branded the Cormorant in the role of “SEARCH and RESCUE.” THIS IS ALL PART OF THE LIBERAL LEGACY and the Jean Chretien legacy (1993-2003) in particular.
THE SEA KING Maritime Helicopter REPLACEMENT was deferred until THE CYCLONE-MARITIME CONTRACT, was WON BY UNITED TECHNOLOGIES in 2004, one of the original bidders in the EH101 contest. FIRST DELIVERY TOOK PLACE IN 2015, not unusual in such capital programs.
Frankly put, the answers to the opposition question on matters of support for the military in the House of Commons were unworthy of a supposedly informed sitting government and on the transparency front. Arguing or inferring previous government mismanagement, BLAMING THE PROCUREMENT SYSTEM and ten years of bungling rather pointed to poor briefing notes or mean politics.
THE DEFENCE MINISTER MEANWHILE HAS TAKEN ISSUE WITH CRITICISM THAT CANADA IS NOT SPENDING ENOUGH ON DEFENCE… IT’S HOW YOU SPEND, NOT HOW MUCH. Sajjan readies start of Policy Consultations by David Pugliese (Ottawa Citizen, April 6, 2016)
The fact is the Liberals are maintaining the status quo of the previous government on matters climate change. It is a matter of public record that the current government was left a surplus by the previous government.
THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT ARE 100% ON THE HOOK FOR THEIR ACTIONS, ALLOCATIONS, AND APPROPRIATIONS, CF 18s INCLUDED, WITHDRAWAL FROM THE ISIL FIGHT ASIDE.
All this to say, the seemingly “CONTENTIOUS” QUESTIONS IN THE HOUSE concerned the matter of SUPPORT FOR OUR TROOPS on the maritime front, the FRONT LINES IN IRAQ IN THE FIGHT AGAINST ISIL who all just HAPPEN TO BE CONSTITUENTS and REPRESENTED IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
THE REAL CHALLENGE THE NEW GOVERNMENT FACES IS TO ACT ON THE WORLD STAGE WITH “RESPONSIBLE CONVICTION” AND IN SUPPORT OF OUR ALLIES, U.N. PEACEKEEPING ASIDE. A GOOD PLACE TO START IS AT HOME, IT SEEMS IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
By comparison, the Department of National Defence is deferring some $3 billion of capital acquisitions according to Budget 2016 while $2.65 billion is being committed to rent a seat at the UN Security Council table in the name of Climate Change.
THE PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT IS MERELY A LETTER OF INTENT, HAS NO TEETH, NO BROAD GLOBAL EMISSION TARGETS, NOR IS IT BINDING. IT ENTERS INTO FORCE ONCE 55 COUNTRIES REPRESENTING 55% OF EMISSIONS FORMALLY AGREE OR RATIFY IT.
Implementation of this agreement is going to cost us. It has been argued there will be a huge cost for inaction, academically speaking. The battle lines rest between POLLUTION and INNOVATION as described in some circles.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS AGREEMENT IS GOING TO COST US. IT HAS ALSO BEEN ARGUED THERE WILL BE A HUGE COST FOR INACTION – THE CHALLENGE RESTS BETWEEN POLLUTION AND INNOVATION, ACADEMICALLY SPEAKING.
ACCORDING TO THE MINISTER OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE, CANADA HAS REACHED A STAGE OF “REALISTIC OPTIMISM,” ROUGHLY SPEAKING.
THAT TRANSLATES AS: AFTER SIGNING, COUNTRIES MUST FORMALLY APPROVE THE PARIS AGREEMENT THROUGH THEIR DOMESTIC PROCEDURES – THAT WORK IS A “BEGINNING.”
The cost, according to respected peer group economic modelling is estimated to exceed $2 trillion from 2030 onwards due to higher energy costs from slower economic growth. There is no guarantee achievement of EMISSION REDUCTIONS will work, but the CF 18s could still be flying especially when duty calls.
THE U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL PROCLAIMED TO THE GATHERING AT THE CLIMATE SIGNING CEREMONY, “THE ERA OF CONSUMPTION WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES IS OVER.”
It is also a matter of overcoming the RISKS and Challenges of CLIMATE CHANGE WRECKONOMICS. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has confirmed that The Paris Climate Agreement CONSEQUENCES will reduce the incomes of Canadians between 1-3% further damaging an already fragile economy.
A SEAT ON THE U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL IN THAT CONTEXT OR THE MATTER OF U.N. PEACEKEEPING PALE INTO INSIGNIFICANCE ALONGSIDE THE ELECTION PROMISES TO CANCEL THE F35 and REPLACE THE CF18s.
Ottawa Sun 27th August-Canadian Press-Canada Back in Peacekeeping Biz
On August 26th 2016 at the end of a two day caucus meeting in Saguenay, Quebec, Cabinet revealed plans to spend $450 million over the next three years on peace and stability projects without any indication which countries or U.N. missions the government has in mind other than Cabinet will have important decisions to take where and how these resources will be deployed.
Read James Bezan’s comments on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jamesbezan/posts/10154533043949073
Kevin Murray was involved in the joint inter-departmental and inter-government development of the EH101 requirements. He was also involved in its dismantling and the start-up of the subsequent Search and Rescue and Maritime Replacement Programs, for a while. He was privileged to have served the people of Canada alongside some of the finest procurement specialists in Canada and other Countries.
A Comment on Canada and the U.N. Arms Treaty
Don’t Forget Canada’s Trojan Horse
PARIS – Truth or Triumph on Climate Change and Global Security
Cleaning up the Planet, while saving face at a fee
Withdrawal of CF-18s from NATO-Led Middle East Bombing Mission
Climate Change Wreckonomics