Communication Conundrum

This Conservative Government’s biggest single problem continues to be lack of effective communication – leaving a huge void for the Opposition and leftwing media to fill with half-truths and acrimony.

Our Gabby pointed out some facts in the previous post about the F-35s that seem to have been lost in the explanation process. Definitely worth checking out.

Thankfully we also have John Ivison cutting through some of the bafflegab and obfuscation:

…The Opposition parties are apoplectic that the KPMG estimate is five times the government’s figure. But they’re just having fun with numbers. The Harperites have consistently tried to low-ball the acquisition and running costs but both National Defence and KPMG agree the acquisition cost of 65 jets is $8.9-billion (even though the cost per plane has now risen to $88-million from the $70-75-million defence officials told a parliamentary committee).

The hugely inflated KPMG number is almost entirely attributable to the operating and sustainment costs being calculated over 42 years, not 25 years.

The cost of maintaining a new fighter jet fleet is likely to be around $1-billion a year, whichever replacement aircraft the government eventually opts for.

But those facts will all be lost in the high-pitched whine and hiss of the Opposition parties revving up their afterburners…

Try juxtaposing that against Liberal-supporting Andrew Coyne’s venomous diatribe:

…What started with a catastrophic failure of oversight, progressed through many months of dishonesty, secrecy, and stonewalling, culminating in what can only be called electoral fraud — followed by still more dishonesty about everything that had gone before…

Where was Andrew Coyne when Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal Government bought two seats with tax-payer dollars (towards the end of the election!!); and then shut down the Legislature to avoid further opposition committee scrutiny? – And then proceeded to step down and attempt to safeguard the survival of his faltering government, his legacy and his successors’ leadership race by ramming through  labour agreements without the input of ‘we the people’???

It speaks well to choosing your media input carefully. Sandy has a list of suggestions on the right sidebar of her blog.

And please CPC – work on the messaging!!

*   *   *   *

Updates

Andrew Coyne responds in comments.

In today’s (Dec. 13) National Post John Ivison warns the Tories that they’d better not pick the F-35s or it will come back to bite them in the next election.

And Andrew Coyne apparently doesn’t like ‘spin’.

Yeah, the McGuinty Government certainly never does that.

 

Ivison today (Dec. 14):

The point is, there are no cheap options out there. If we accept we need the capability to police our own half of the continent, and contribute to overseas operations as part of a multi-national military alliance, then we should just suck it up and stop whining about the cost.

And that leads in quite nicely to Brian Lilley’s column – Feds told truth on F-35: Opposition really about clipping air force wings. (H/T Ruth)

This entry was posted in Accountability, Canadian Government, Canadian Parliament, Canadian Politics, Dalton McGuinty, democracy, Just trust Dalton, Liberal Party of Toronto, McGuinty Secrecy, Media Issues, Media Party, Ontario economy, Ontario election, Ontario government, PM Stephen Harper, Your tax-dollars. Bookmark the permalink.

147 Responses to Communication Conundrum

  1. Greg says:

    And if they did nothing and just kept flying the old planes the operating and maintenance costs might even be higher. It’s dishonest to even include those costs other than as incremental to current ones.

  2. mdh says:

    I just don’t understand why governments refuse to commit to openness and transparency. Failing to do so is what always get them into trouble.

    • Gabby in QC says:

      I agree … to a certain extent. I don’t think that the general public or the media needs to know absolutely everything about government decisions. Often, media reports characterize meetings held behind closed doors, i.e. closed to the media, as “secret” — thus giving rise to the “secretive” characterization of the Conservative government.

      I suppose that “secretive” label is part of the left’s effort to delegitimize the Conservatives by any means possible. Creating the illusion that the general public should have a say in every single decision taken by governments is just part of that.

      But I have to admit to the irony of my own argument … here I am, spending time critiquing and making suggestions for improving the government’s communications strategy, as if my critique will have an effect other than some commenters either agreeing or disagreeing with me.

      • NB Tory Gal says:

        9 countries in on this. Expenditures and financial reports coming out in dribbles from the company all these countries took a memorandum of understanding out with. How can you expect our country to give out the daily/weekly/monthly negotiations leading up to what might be a finished product and signed contract. This was a very unusual agreement these countries took on. I am not taking any lessons from opposition members who are using this as a political wedge. Most of them have no idea about business dealings. It does not help that DND thought they were the bees knees and were in top secret mode – “lets make decisions and tell the others later”. They cast a cloud over this deal. Anyhow. Nothing could be solidly nailed down. It changed so often. The public does not need to know everything in every corner till there is something solid to show. Blown way out of proportion. Darn Liberals, they got us into this.

  3. hollinm says:

    To tell you the truth I am sick to death of the F35 discussion. Of course everybody is spinning the issue depending on their perspective. However, the one thing I do agree with is the communication strategy of the Harper government. Since 2006 I have been complaining to my local MP and others that there communication strategy sucks big time. Harper came out and explained the Nexen deal. The blow back was pretty tame. Some one and I mean some one has to talk about the F35 boondoggle. I am surprised at MacKay. He is generally a pretty good communicator and for him to dodge questions and to explain the realities is mystifying.

  4. Liz J says:

    IMO the Parliamentary Budget Officer is a big part of the problem. He seems to be adding fuel to the opposition’s agenda on this issue at every opportunity. The fact the media love him is another clue.
    It seems no matter how the government explains what’s taking place the media choose to give the most time to what the opposition put out.

    I notice Don Martin et al give Chris Alexander a tough time when he tries to explain anything. It’s difficult to be open and transparent when they simply refuse to listen or accept what they tell them.

  5. Mary T says:

    Gee, Iwonder how many couples would get married if they had to calculate the costs of taking care of the spouse for the next 58 yrs. Costs of housing repairs, children, food, travel, maintenance and so much more. The total is scary. Same with the future costs of said plane. Where are they getting the figures for said maintenance, for 42 yrs. Or the cost of fuel, etc. Few, if any, of those opposition will be here in 42 years to say, see, PMSH lied.

  6. Springer says:

    Coyne has lost any credibility with me.

    The following article is just a load of nonsense…

    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/12/10/andrew-coyne-stephen-harper-compromises-on-nexen-and-everyone-gets-half-a-baby/

    He’s got this notion stuck in his head that “principle” equates with “ideology”. No, it does not! Principle is a statement of personal moral/ethical/logical judgement. Ideology is a “belief” system, in large part predicated upon if/then assumptions, which almost always fail to take into account the reality of human nature.

    Coyne is pissed with Harper because the PM has the audacity to be, not thoroughly dedicated to a “conservative” ideology and ready to fall on his sword in defense of it at any given moment, but instead pragmatic, meaning flexible, adaptable and willing to explore all possible solutions to a given situation at hand in the best interests of the general population.

    Which is, IMHO, exactly how the PM handled the Nexen deal. Principled enough, too, that he thought it unfair to change the rules “retroactively”.

    I guess it would be reasonable to assume Coyne would have no problem with the Chinese government, via SOEs, buying up Suncorp and all the rest involved in the oil sands development, for no more justification than devoted adherence to “Conservative” ideology…come hell or high water! And to justify his argument he stretches reason to the breaking point, particularly in suggesting that shareholders in such companies have somehow had their ownership subverted and absconded away by the federal government.

    Good grief! Talk about “blinded by the light”!

  7. Martin says:

    I have to agree that Kevin Page is mesmerized by the media attention; he sees his office as part of the official opposition. He is more interested in being a media star then in providing objective budget analysis.

  8. David Stewart says:

    One fact that isn’t lost to either side…
    our children will be paying for them.

    • Fay says:

      It is okay to have our children pay for new ships, but not new jets! I just don’t get it? Ships good, jets bad!!!

  9. Gabby in QC says:

    Hey, Joanne, I just noticed this: “Thanks to iPolitics for including this post in ‘BEST OF THE BLOGS!’

    Congratulations!
    ———
    Liz J and Martin, I agree the PBO has too much media availability and Conservative MPs are not given enough time to make their case.

    BUT … yesterday, for instance, when the government was being accused time after time of mismanaging the F-35 file, Minister Ambrose stood time and again repeating the same monotone answer about the government’s seven point plan, established after the Auditor General’s report. IMO — and I admit it, perhaps I’m unduly opinionated — Minister Ambrose should have stressed this part of her answer: “When including more years in operations and maintenance cost estimates, it goes without saying that the dollar figure will be proportionately higher.” (from Dec. 10 Hansard)

    Also, it has been pointed out by some media that last Friday’s presser about the Nexen decision lasted 45 minutes, with the PM taking many questions. Rob Russo, during the Power Panel on Solomon’s show, remarked that the PM is really good at those pressers and expressed/implied ? some surprise about why the PM doesn’t do them more often. I heartily agree. I don’t mean a daily presser but a monthly lengthy presser on specific topics may be helpful.

    • Joanne says:

      Thanks Gabby. That link from iPolitics is with reference to the previous post for any interested readers.

      However it does underscore the possibility that this blog and your comments are noticed by more people than just the BLY regulars.

  10. fh says:

    MSM love it when we give their figures top billing but that can be a good thing
    The Conservative Canadian Government plods along doing a GOOD job looking after the interests of all Canadians
    “BEST OF THE BLOGS” you betcha

  11. Bubba Brown says:

    Good comment as to the costs, maintenance, housing feeding of a spouse over 42 years MaryT.
    Indeed why guesstimate just 42 years why not 52 or 62?
    I think the suggestion that the whole communication between the Conservatives and the Canadian public is very badly handled.
    The knives have been out as long as I can remember.
    In fact as soon as the Conservatives began to be successful the efforts of the left loving media accelerated.
    I refuse to watch CBC or CTV for the same reason I don’t walk around a dog park in my bare feet.
    I am only aware of specific slanders if they are mentioned here on on one of the other blogs I frequent.
    If all your news came from the CBC you would be sure Canada was in terrible shape.
    Quite the opposite is true.
    Any other country in the world would think they had landed in heaven if they had our resources and economy.
    Kevin Page is always trying to grow his portfolio, stature he is quite often wrong but always gets lots of attention.
    I think that the PMO should be more forthcoming there is nothing like the facts to stop the endless freaking and shrieking of the media and oppos.
    Follow the stories, present the facts if the PMO don’t explain their programs the Media Party will with their own set of facts.
    I stopped watching shows like Solomans because our MP’s don’t get to speak they get talked over and bullied.
    There has to be a better way.

    • Fay says:

      Yesterday Evan Solomon cut off Jason Kenney in mid sentence. Then Evan returned to banging the drum on the robo call stealing election for conservative agenda!

      • Martin says:

        Yes I was taken aback with the swarmy interview with witness Frank Graves. I thought it was usual not to interview witnesses in court cases until after judgment. Solomon did invite CPC spokesman on but he declined. There was not the slightest doubt as to which side Solomon and Graves adhere to in the robocall case.

  12. fh says:

    this analysis by Russ Campbell is important
    http://www.russ-campbell.net/2012/12/un-set-stage-for-war-in-palestine.html
    I post it here in case anyone missed it

  13. fh says:

    evidence proof positive of the EXCELLENT job by our Conservative Canadian Government
    http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/12-162-eng.asp

  14. fh says:

    anyone read about this was it discussed no NO……
    http://www.fin.gc.ca/dtman/2011-2012/dmr-rgd12-eng.asp

  15. fh says:

    Jo I may be in filter Thanks

  16. billg says:

    I very rarely get to say I told you so, but, if you go back and look at comments on this blog you’ll see that I’ve been saying this for a long time now. Stephen Harper is very good in press conferences, not average, not ok, and not good, but, very good. He’s smart, he has an understanding of every government file, and, he wins people over with his blunt educated answers, yet, he avoids press conferences. It confounds me.
    The media beast needs to be fed or it will find something to feast on. And the worst part is, I cant whine and moan anymore because all he’s done is win 3 elections and played a major role in the LPC becoming a 3rd party, so, what the hell do I know right?

  17. Springer says:

    Calculating the cost of a fighter replacement program over 42 years is just utter garbage, contrived specifically for the purpose of being able to present an astronomical figure, and thus controversy. How much of that estimate is attributable to directly to inflation??? Half of it???

    The CF-18 initial purchase was roughly $4 billion, which in 2012 dollars equates to over $9 billion! Upgrades and servicing over the lifespan to date averaged another $250 million/year in 2011 dollars. Keep in mind that, of the initial 138 jets ordered, less than 80 are still in service, due to crashes, funding cut backs and scavenging parts.

    And the older they get, the more they will cost annually. These puppies aren’t like Cessnas, eh? Their air frames have only so many flight hours built into them, and then they’re done.

    I don’t care which fighter jet gets the nod, if the same math is applied to them…and you can bet it will be…42 year lifespan costs will still look outrageous to a public that, for the most part, doesn’t know unowhat from shinola about any of it anyway. And thus you can bet the usual suspects, no matter what, will be milkin’ if for everything they’re worth!

  18. Bubba Brown says:

    I hope to see my MP James Lunney over the holidays.
    I will be highlighting the communications gap.
    May I suggest we all do the same.
    I recall the late Larry Zolf complaining of (PM ) Harpers treatment of the media.
    He felt that the media made ( PM ) Harper and he was an ingrate for the way he treated media.
    This was in 2006 I believe.
    This is however still the mind set we are dealing with.
    While I would like to believe that the Media Party hasn’t quite that kind of power anymore.
    I look at the election just passed in America and shudder.
    I am appalled at the free pass given to the cronyism and corruption.
    The complete lack of vetting of Obama by an adoring media is beyond belief.
    If we fail to plan, if we fail to communicate our plan, we plan to fail.
    We are getting the not the death of a thousand cuts, but the death of a thousand “buts”.
    Evan Soloman (thanks Fay) should have been pulled up short and told we would love to talk about the only people caught doing the “robo-call” misleading voters it’s a LIBERAL Evan! Now let’s just talk about that!
    Yo! Evan isn’t there a NDP-Q guy being SUED for robo-call statments.
    How about that?
    A little preparation, I call it “verbal Judo” Judo being the “gentle way” you take your opponents move and use his weight ,take away his balance use his momentum to drive him into the mat.
    Very effective , requires practice, discipline and a level of mental fitness.
    I used to be a Judoka, both my kids competed in the BC Open, good times.
    Made me very proud.

    • Joanne says:

      “death of a thousand “buts”.

      And death by a thousand, ‘to be fairs.’

      I propose a new drinking game while watching PnP. A good swig anytime Solomon says either. Of course we’d be under the table by the first hour…

  19. paulsstuff says:

    Coyne lost any credibility by regurgitating Lizzy May’s talking points on the Muskrat Falls loan guarantee. By guarenteeing the loan, the federal goverment saves NFLD & Labrador roughly $1 billion a year on interest payments.

    Coyne agrees with May, money should be spent on green farces like solar panels, windpower, shiny ponies and unicorns. Pathetic.

    • Andrew Coyne says:

      “Coyne agrees with May, money should be spent on green farces like solar panels, windpower, etc.”

      I have never said or implied any such thing, ever.

      • Joanne says:

        Over to you on that one, Paul.

        • paulsstuff says:

          From Andrew’s editorial:
          “So I come back to my original question: Why is the government of Canada subsidizing hydroelectric projects in Atlantic Canada? To be specific: Why is it involving itself in this one?

          Presumably the project’s backers would agree that it would not go ahead without the federal guarantee (they can hardly admit to asking the feds to put $6.3 billion at risk for no reason at all). That is, absent this disguised subsidy, the benefits would not exceed the costs, including a return on capital sufficient to justify the investment. So how is it in the national interest to underwrite a project whose costs, we have just agreed, exceed its benefits?

          Provinces do this all the time, of course, and it’s always a bad idea. It biases investment toward megaprojects, away from smaller scale ventures; towards hydro-electricity, and away from other power sources; towards energy-intensive industries, away from others – in each case, towards projects that would not have been the best choice on their merits, but only because of the subsidy.”

          So which power sources Andew? Coal is out of the question. Nuke power is out of the question, both due to cost and the amount of time to have up and running. So please avail me of what you refer to as “other power sources”? Here in Ontario wind and solar produces electricity at a maximum of 30% of the time.

          You also have one critical error in your writing. presuming that the project would not go ahead without the federal loan guarantee. Here’s one of a number of quotes easily found using google: ” But even without the loan guarantee, Newfoundland and Labrador was moving ahead with Muskrat Falls, to the consternation of opponents who see the project as financially ruinous or environmentally risky”.
          http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2012/11/30/nl-muskrat-falls-loan-guarantee-1130.html

  20. Bec says:

    As I heard yesterday on Rutherford, Chris Alexander explain the entire process, the plan, the baffle-gab exposed etc so I suppose that I would be in the camp who seeks out the facts such as explained by Alexander rather than the opposite.

    Although I agree to some extent, communication could improve, I also think it depends on the filter the communication is being provided to the public.
    Rutherford asked Chris intelligent, researched questions and then allowed him time to answer. I understood fully and it was precisely what has been provided as proof above.
    On the other hand, a host/editorial writer/conservative hater who has no interest in allowing an entire answer from someone like Alexander, deprives the public of facts. Which from my experience IS THEIR INTENT, anyway. It’s not about the public’s knowledge , i.e. Conservative govt’s communication in that case, it’s about THEM and THEIR agenda.

  21. Springer says:

    An excellent explanation (…in the Toronto Star???) of exactly why, regarding Nexen, PM Harper got it right.

    http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1300372–stephen-harper-s-decision-on-cnooc-finally-gets-the-china-connection-right

    And why Andrew Coyne doesn’t get it at all.

    • wilson says:

      Coyne endorsed Ignatieff…… he also endorses a ‘one time’ co-operation of nonCon candidates for the 2015 election.

      And this is the guy who drove the democracy hearse in the ‘contempt of Parliament’ parade.
      So how can he square a direct attack on democracy, by reducing voter choice (one nonCon candidate) while from the other side of his face ranting that the Harper Govt is killing our democratic society????

  22. Richco says:

    O/T slightly but on the theme of “greening” things. Last week I tuned in to Brian Lilley on SNN and I can’t recall who he was talking to but I’m thinking it was Adrienne Batra. She said that one of the last things Kathleen Wynne did before she stepped down from her Municipal Affairs Minister’s portfolio to run for the Ont. Lib. leadership was to amend the Municipal Act so to include so many green and environmental claptrap designed to force compliance of municipalities whether they want to or not.

    It’s been bugging me ever since I heard it…..and it’s interesting that Wynne slid it under the rug the way she did. I’m betting not too many local council members are even aware of the changes made.

  23. Richco says:

    http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1285353–kathleen-wynee-fills-gap-in-ontario-energy-policy

    here’s something from the Star on Wynne’s amendments which the Star seems to e supportive of.

    One more reason for the Liberals NOT to vote for Wynne I guess.

  24. wilson says:

    The F35 and Robocall issues may be entertainment for the Opps and their media,
    but very boring for average Canadians, who are very busy looking for the perfect gift for Granny.

    The not very engaged public grasps that costs over 42 years will be higher than costs over 20 years. Canadians are not stupid.
    imo, the Opps and their media look just a wee bit silly ignoring the 42 vs. 20 year thing.

    And we all get annoying, sometimes wrong message robocalls yet still manage to find the right poll to vote at.
    If it’s the wrong poll, you get redirected by EC to the right poll.
    And I bet an EC error in ‘wrong poll’ (it happened to me, sent to 3, yes, 3 polls before the EC gang decided to let me vote at the first one, true story) happens more often than a silly robocall.
    Maybe EC should be in court defending against voter suppression , misdirection to polls!!
    If these six Robocall claimants thought it was just too much hassle to go to the right poll, they are “personally responsible” for not casting a vote.
    The lefties are so good at making someone else responsible for their actions, eh.
    Those same six would likely go to 3 different stores to find Granny’s gift.

  25. wilson says:

    Oh gawd, lawyers go to court to prove Cons tried to suppress votes, yet the people you are representing ALL voted.

    ”…A lawyer arguing six Conservative MPs should lose their seats because of a targeted campaign of voter suppression says there’s “no loaded gun” pointing to electoral fraud, but the evidence fits.

    Steven Shrybman says he doesn’t have anyone among the eight voters he represents who didn’t cast a ballot in the last election….”

    but the evidence fits? WHAT evidence? They all voted!

    • Martin says:

      Remember, one of these claimants about being confused by a robocall, was found to be unaware of the riding in which she lived. Her case was dropped by the C of C before the court case began. This whole case is about not accepting the winning side in the election.

  26. fh says:

    Talk about communication……….
    Is PBO Kevin Page misleading Canadians?
    It would seem he is. Why is he misleading Canadians?
    see correct information at Daniel Dickin
    http://www.danieldickin.ca/2012/12/kevin-pages-misleading-statistics.html

    • Martin says:

      When periods of unusual warm weather occur, it is anthropogenic global warming, when the reverse happens with cold spells it is called climate change.
      Either way the greens have it covered, it is a man made problem.

      • Joanne says:

        Everything wrong in the world is either due to climate change or Stephen Harper according to the lefties.

  27. Tripper523 says:

    Hey, I didn’t know you were a Judoka, Bubba! I vividly recall a Canadian documentary on 1964 Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Doug Rogers presented during my high school’s gym class. He trained in Japan and submersed himself completely in their culture, coming within a whisker of the gold, and achieving very well in this discipline. At that time, he even had a Japanese girlfriend, and I just figured he stayed over there, but his bio tells a lot more, now that so many more years have passed. This former hockey playing kid even had a lengthy career in the airline industry. A true Canadian success story. Thanks for reminding me about Judoka, and to explore and update an old memory. Cheers to all, and thanks for the great posts. We are reminded (if we don’t stroll the MSM doggy parks barefooted… love that too, BB…) that PM Harper is the Master and still champion Mental Judoka guy, using his unbalanced opponents’ misguided strengths against them. Hooray for Blue leverage, and top kudos merited by Blue Like You!!
    http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/summer/1964/JUD/mens-heavyweight.html
    http://www.canadianblackbelthalloffame.com/rogers.html

  28. Mary T says:

    If the opposition is so concerned about costs of this that and the other thing, why are they secretly hoping to get 6 MPs booted out and having 6 by-elections. What would that cost.

  29. Andrew Coyne says:

    “Where was Andrew Coyne when Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal Government … shut down the Legislature to avoid further opposition committee scrutiny?”

    Andrew Coyne: McGuinty prorogation shows Canada’s parliamentary democracy becoming increasingly ceremonial http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/10/19/andrew-coyne-mcguinty-prorogation-shows-canadas-parliamentary-democracy-becoming-increasingly-ceremonial/

    • Joanne says:

      Thank you for weighing in here Mr. Coyne and for jogging my memory on that column. I do remember reading it now and even recall being so excited initially that you might actually hold Dalton McGuinty to account. However you quickly shifted focus and used the rest of the column as another venue to excoriate Stephen Harper and the Conservatives; and bemoan the state of democracy in general in our Parliamentary system.

      So all I really see there is you giving Dalton a pass because they all do it.

      You state, “That is perhaps what is most disturbing about the past week: how routine it has all become, how little outrage it arouses.” Funny but it only seems to become an issue of outrage when Conservatives do such things as prorogation and omnibus bills.

      I don’t recall you ever using the words “dishonesty, secrecy, and stonewalling” and “electoral fraud” when describing the Ontario Liberal Government, although I’m sure you will remind me if you did so.

      In conclusion thank you again for your comments here. I do appreciate the input and I request anyone else wishing to add comments to this discussion to remain respectful as always.

      • Gabby in QC says:

        Not that you need my say-so … but good rebuttal!

        I hadn’t bothered to read Coyne’s column but I now notice that he did exactly what I complained about in the previous blog entry:
        “So while it is undoubtedly good news that, faced with a pending report showing the cost of the jets at, not the $9-billion first advertised, not the $16-billion the government maintained throughout the last election, not the $25-billion that, as the auditor general later discovered, it had privately been carrying on its own books, but (depending on which leak you believe) in excess of $40-billion, the government has reportedly at last decided to do what it should have done in the first place — put the contract out to an open, competitive bidding process — that does not mean we can simply turn the page.”

        I don’t see any mention of the number of years accompanying those billion dollar figures. You’d think that would be relevant, no?

        • Joanne says:

          Thanks Gabby. Your say-so is important to me.

        • Liz J says:

          But Gabby, mentioning the number of years accompanying those billion dollar figures wouldn’t serve stoke their anti everything Conservative agenda.

          It’s too bad for the opposition and much of the media we have a capable and decent man at the helm steering us through tough waters.
          PM Harper is doing the best for Canada while the scribes and pundits are reduced to mediocrity in their desperation to put him down.

    • Susaan says:

      Your insecurity skirt is showing Andrew. But really it’s great to see you coming here.

      Your opinion whether deemed this way or that, is a reliable barometer of just where the pendulum is, in case we all tend to forget. Most of us appreciate your punditry more than most. But I really must congratulate Joanne on her comment following this. Respectfully, she is bang on!

  30. Tripper523 says:

    Just wondered if I also have been trapped in the filter of undesirables… My comments aren’t as great as most, but wanted to get my tidbits through. Thanks! (I see my 10:06 pm entry as 3rd to last, but not listed in the side column of most recent…)

    • Joanne says:

      Yeah I’m not sure how that sidebar widget works Tripper. There’s nothing in the filter right now.

      As for your comments not being as ‘great as most’ – come on!! ;) There are no contests here and no filtering according to perceived wittiness. This filter makes a lot of mistakes but it’s better than you guys having to sift through ads for items which I didn’t even know existed and wish I could delete from my mind forever…

  31. Tripper523 says:

    Thanks Joanne! I enjoy all of your diverse contributors who combine for so much on here. I appreciate the privilege and the openness of your forum. Here’s / Cheers to ALL and have a superb day. ♥

  32. Liz J says:

    It would be nice if being fair and factual in political debate were the norm. Rather than being the ideal it’s ignored, replaced instead with agenda often driven juvenile tactics.

    The best example of juvenile tactics we all know well goes to WK and his toy Dinosaur used against Stockwell Day right on down to “wafergate”. Wafergate was a bit more sinister, using the funeral of a former GG to score political points doesn’t get much lower.

  33. fh says:

    information on permanent resident of Canada
    http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/newcomers/about-pr.asp

  34. Bubba Brown says:

    “Electoral Fraud”
    Would that be accusing the Conservative Party of “robo-calls” without proof.
    Or without ever presenting any valid proof.
    Repeating a false accusation over and over does not make it true.
    Would that be having a witness outright lie.?
    Would that be never mentioning that a Liberal and only a Liberal has been caught and fined for having an anonymous call to be made ?
    Would that be having a complaint made by a person that did not live in the Electoral district where the complaint was made thereby disqualifying herself?
    Would that be the NDP-Q being levied the biggest fine for Electoral funding in Canadian history, over 400,000 dollars?
    That would be for improper funding from Union coffers.
    Would that be having 4 or is it 5 complainants, hard to keep up, that all did get to vote saying they were misdirected to the wrong polling station by an anonymous phone call ?
    All I am hearing on all these is crickets, the Media Party dose not talk about this, let alone “to be fair” indeed But , but but.
    I hope I am getting all the details right here, this has gone on since the last election.
    Still no smoking gun, just innuendo and damn lies.
    Yes I was a Judoka, tripper. back in the day we helped ran a club, sold lottery tickets till our fingers bled, drove the bus….. it was good for us and very good for my two kids.
    Discipline, respect, strength.
    Never go out of style.
    Interesting Jo, we are being “read” how about that. :<)

  35. wilson says:

    Liberal grassroots must be in stunned disbelief of the combined policies so far, of Trudeau/Garneau/Martha, they amount to a thumbs up of Reform/Harper policy.
    -NEP bad, -long gun registry failed, -marketing boards unfair, -unfair treatment of regions must stop, -oilsands is our best friend, -need more tax cuts and less regulation for small business…..

    And the LPC front runner is an airhead, sorry to say. I hope those 10’s of thousands of followers he has get him elected, one member one vote!

    In today’s Trudeau news cycle, he says His policy on foriegn takeovers would have been much clearer (you just have to believe him cuz that was the end of the statement) and He’s more than ok with state owned companies buying up Canadian companies, Harper is too strict in his opinion.
    (and in tomorrow’s news, clairification of what he really meant… this is so like Iffy eh)

    ‘…The Liberal leadership candidate applauded the government for approving the takeover of Nexen Inc. by China-owned CNOOC Ltd. Friday, but said Ottawa’s hard new stand against future acquisitions by state-owned enterprises is wrong for the economy….’

    • cantuc says:

      @coyne is trying to position the liberals to the right of the conservatives .He keeps trying to prove that PM Harpers conservatives aren’t really conservatives .It’s too bad @acoyne wouldn’t run for liberal leader .Then everything would become perfect . I think his ego is afraid of losing to both Trudeau and Harper or he might actually put his money where his 6 dollar word mouth is .

    • Susaan says:

      Did you see Coren’s interview with Martha Findlay? She is pretty impressive in a thin field. She also can call a spade….or a shiny pony when she sees it. When asked about Trudeau she said he indeed had better hair but if she spent as much time on hers there might be a challenge.

      Or when the challenges of the job are brought up she recognizes limitations like the dual task of taking care of children. Her three are mostly adults which she took full repsonsibility for as they grew up, while fully chastising Justin’s care of his two kids who are being cared for 24/7 by a small army of fulltime childcare employees.

      She stopped short of the entitlement tag but she did the damage she wanted.

  36. Bubba Brown says:

    Meanwhile in a land far, far away Mr (culture war) Graves poll are being used as “evidence”?
    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/
    Evidence of “what” this old guy wants to know.
    Can throwing the bones, goat guts or the oracle of Delphi be far behind.
    Only in Canada could Mr Grave’s polls be considered evidence.
    Extispicy , the art of looking at anomalies in goat guts to predict the future.
    Predicting the past seems to be the only thing pollsters in Canada are good at.
    Seems to me they were way wrong on the last election.
    But hey now random opinions by anonymous people reached by robo call?
    I got a call the other day from Ranjit in New Delhi, he wanted to sell Missa’ Brown an extended warranty for my pressure washer.
    I told him it was a bad day to speak to Missa’ Brown as he had aah….. expired the day previous…………………dead silence then profound expressions of condolence.
    I am pretty sure Ranjit won’t be callin’ back.

    • Sandy says:

      Many thanks Richco for adding my latest link.

      Now the problem is that I renewed the domain crux-of-the-matter.com for another year and bingo, my blog started to propagate to that URL rather than cruxofthematterblog.wordpress.com which is actually the main one. Meaning, no one will be able to see anything likely until tomorrow.

      Frustrating. Maybe once its done, my posts will be back on the BT aggregator.

      Sorry for the inconvenience guys. Surprises are simply the nature of the technology.

      However, when everything is okay, the post Richco is referring to is about how Ontario teachers were angry with the Bill Davis government — in 1975 there was a one-day walkout over Bill 100 which, unbelievably, was the Right to Strike legislation. Then, they were angry with the Bob Rae NDP and the Social Contract and Rae Days. Then they were angry with the Mike Harris PCs about everything. Now they are angry with the McGuinty Liberals.

      Jo — Here is a link you may be interested in (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/teacher/archive/learning121903.html).It is an open letter from McGuinty’s first Education Minister none other than Gerard Kennedy — a current leadership contender.

      He was repealing the PLP which the unions had demanded. Remember, the Harris gov’t had required teachers to do mandatory professional upgrading. So, within two months of winning the October 2003 election, they got what they wanted.

      Which is probably an indication what Kennedy would do if he becomes premier in the near future.

  37. cantuc says:

    Just watched @thejohnrobson calling MacKay and the PM liars for not telling every possible cost , right down to pilots shoelaces for the next 40 odd years . So according to his calculations , instead of the cable package i’m paying 25.00 a month to get @sunnews for the next 40 years , its going to actually cost me $12,000.00 Hmmmm. i don’t think i’m going to pay that to watch @sunnews host’s interview @sunnews host for the next 40 years . buh bye @thejohnrobson.

  38. Richco says:

    post in filter Joanne.

  39. Jo –I hope you don’t mind my putting an O/T message. I just put up a new post and then subsequently renewed my domain, crux-of-the-matter.com — because my posts are no longer going up on the BT aggregator and I though that would help.

    Anyway, I won’t know until I publish my next post because it has totally screwed things up till at least tomorrow because now it has to go through the propagation process.

    Here I thought I would simply click on that box in the wordpress.com platform tomorrow. No such luck.

    My apologies to any one who has an RSS feed to my site.

    By the way, nice to see Mr. Coyne respond here. It proves he reads BLY. The rebuttles were detailed and excellent because they were directly related to what he actually said. Now he knows we read all of his words, not just some. It is also why he is not on my list of mainstream journalists conservatives can trust. Was intially, then removed. Well done!!

    • Joanne says:

      It proves he reads BLY. The rebuttles were detailed and excellent because they were directly related to what he actually said.

      More than likely he just googled his name. I’ve had a few run-ins with journalists on that basis. They love to lurk and read all the accolades but can’t stand being criticized. Not saying that Andrew Coyne is one of those but this is my experience.

      But yes readers have been excellent in addressing the issues and not attacking the person.

      • Sandy says:

        I have no idea what happened to my blog earlier. My latest post ended up with a 404 page. Anyway, I deleted the earlier one and copies and pasted the article into a new post. It now seems to be okay. I still don’t go up on the BT aggregator. Bizarre!

        Anyone can get automatic google updates. I get them daily on “Ontario education” and “Ontario politics.” So, I suspect all the MSM folks program in their names. However, I am not sure putting someone’s name in a comment shows up as a Google alert. In a case like that, you’re probably right that they go looking. Human nature I think. I have been known to do it. LOL

        • Joanne says:

          Aha.. Google alert. Must get with the program. ;)

          Sorry about all your blogging woes Sandy. I can certainly empathize.

  40. paulsstuff says:

    priginal =original

  41. wilson says:

    The Harper Govt should tell the whole truth (Bob Rae insists on the whole truth) about the cost of funding the CBC, over 42 years.

    Time to push the re-set button on the CBC too!
    How about a referendum:
    junk the CBC to pay for new fighter jets?

  42. Pingback: Who’s Wrong? Andrew Coyne or Myself? | The Wellington Street Post

  43. paulsstuff says:

    Joanne, to be fair to Coyne, and because our exchange is buried mid-page, I did a blog post allowing Coyne and others to decide if my initial comment was fair.

    http://paulsrants-paulsstuff.blogspot.ca/2012/12/whos-wrong-andrew-coyne-or-myself.html

    • Joanne says:

      I think you’ve been very transparent in your explanation of how you came to this conclusion. Let’s see if he responds.

      BTW did you notice the subtext under his Twitter profile? “Cet animal est très méchant: Quand on l’attaque, il se défend.”

      Intéressant, n’est-ce pas?

  44. Bubba Brown says:

    Well we are still more popular than those other guys.
    Tories limp to top spot in year-end poll

    Sun News – Updated- 10:35 am, December 12th, 2012 – 6:25 pm, December 11th, 2012

    Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa December 11, 2012.
    Credits: REUTERS/CHRIS WATTIE

    DAVID AKIN | PARLIAMENTARY BUREAU CHIEF

    OTTAWA – The governing Conservatives remain Canada’s most-preferred federal party, though their popularity has dropped to a two-year low, according to a new poll done exclusively for Sun News Network.

    The poll by Abacus Data also finds that both the federal NDP and the federal Liberals are finishing the year with slightly more support than the beginning of the year.

    Abacus CEO David Coletto said the combination of a soon-to-be-chosen new federal Liberal leader with what Coletto called “underwhelming impressions” Canadians have of NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and continued negative ratings for Prime Minister Stephen Harper point to a new year of political uncertainty.

    “The candidacy of someone like Justin Trudeau for Liberal leader could fundamentally alter the political landscape as a volatile and uneasy electorate looks for a candidate and a party that offers it something different,” said Coletto. “Justin may not save the Liberal Party but the political conditions are so that the enthusiasm and dynamism he would bring to Canadian politics could have a profound impact on voting intention and political attitudes in 2013.”

    The poll also shows sharp regional differences. The Conservatives are strong in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario; the New Democrats dominate in BC and Quebec; and the Liberals lead in Atlantic Canada.

    Overall though, Abacus found 34% of those surveyed support the Conservatives. That’s down two percentage points since Abacus’ last survey in November and is down from 40% a year ago.

    The Conservatives have not been that low in the polls since November 2010, when 33% of voters were on their side.
    Mulcair’s New Democrats finish the year at 32% while the Liberals are at 22%, a year-over-year improvement of one point for the NDP and 4 points for the Liberals.

    Abacus surveyed 1,505 Canadians between Dec. 7 and 8 using an online survey. The poll participants were chosen at random from a database of 150,000 volunteers. The pollster weighted the survey sample by age, gender, region and education level according to the most recent census data. The pollster’s method is widely used and, according to the industry association of which the pollster is a member, is believed to be capable of producing accurate results.

    Abacus also found Canadians some sharp divides among political preferences by age. The NDP, for example, has a 24-point lead over the Liberals and Conservatives among Canadians under 30. But the Conservatives have 21-point lead over the NDP and Liberals among voters aged 60 or older.

    The Conservatives and New Democrats are competitive when it comes to voters between 30 and 59.

    In Quebec, the NDP has jumped back into first place as the preferred choice of 39% of voters there. The Bloc Quebecois saw its support drop six points in the last month down to 25%. The Conservatives and Liberals are essentially tied in Quebec at 17% and 16% support.

    The NDP is also number one in B.C. with 43% support followed by the Conservatives with 31% and the Liberals with 14%. BC also has the highest Green Party support at 11%.

    The Conservatives, meanwhile, are doing best in Alberta where they are the pick of 63% of those surveyed.

    Conservatives also lead in Ontario with 38% support followed by the NDP at 29% and the Liberals at 27%.

    The Liberals are the leading party in Atlantic Canada where they have the support of 45% of voters compared to 30% for the Conservatives and 24% for the NDP.

    ———————

    • wilson says:

      It’s all how it’s spun.
      NDP numbers due largely to Quebec, where CPC has little traction but won a majority none the less.
      Seems little Trudeau is not really setting the world on fire, they are still #3, NDP have a 24 pt advantage with the 20 something crowd.

  45. Bubba Brown says:

    This is a comprehensive report on the jets from an independant board;
    Will it get the nay-sayers and those like Mr Page who seem to feel that he should be privy to any and all information concerning our Governments buisness.
    I am not aware of any other Government procurment where the costs were put ahead this far.
    Liberals sure never told us what those useless subs cost, or what we would have to spend to make them operational, did they?
    Where is Mr Pages outrage?

    Progress Report on Replacing the CF-18
    Today, the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat along with Ministers Ambrose and MacKay updated Canadians on the progress in completing the seven-point plan to replace the CF-18 fighter aircraft. Our Government has put in place a seven point plan that has reset the process to replace Canada’s fighter aircraft.
    Today, in a demonstration of the Government’s commitment to look at alternatives to the F-35, the Terms of Reference for the options analysis was released by the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat.
    The Secretariat also released DND’s Annual Update on the cost of the F-35 option. This report has been validated by KPMG – one of the world’s premier accounting and auditing firms.
    KPMG has validated DND’s original cost estimate of $9B for the acquisition of 65 F-35 aircraft.
    If the F-35 is selected to replace the CF-18, the annual average cost is estimated to be $1B per year over its entire 42 year lifecycle.
    While the Secretariat has made significant progress, the Government’s position has not changed:
    The funding for the acquisition of fighter aircraft remains frozen
    A replacement for the CF-18 will not be selected until the seven point plan is complete.
    The National Fighter Procurement Secretariat released the Annual Report from National Defence on the cost of the F-35A option. This report has been independently validated by KPMG, one of the world’s premier accounting and auditing firms. The report validates DND’s cost estimate for the acquisition of 65 F-35 aircraft.
    Based on the recommendation of the Auditor General, DND moved from the long-held practice of costing over 20 years to costing over 42 years – the entire program life of the F-35.
    Using the new costing framework, which was developed by KPMG, the cost estimate to fly the aircraft over 20 years is almost identical to the original prepared by DND.
    It goes without saying that the dollar figure for 42 years will be proportionately higher than the previous 20 year figure.
    If the F-35 is selected to replace the CF-18, the annual average cost is estimated to be $1B per year; this includes costs that will be incurred regardless of the plane chosen to replace the CF-18.
    Quotes from Independent Members of the Secretariat
    “I am satisfied with the work and progress to date on the different elements of the Seven-Point Plan. This has been a serious and sincere effort to critically review the process that had been followed to this point, do a thorough analysis and chart the proper path forward.”
    L. Denis Desautels, former Auditor General of Canada
    “The discussions and activities to date reflect considerable effort on the part of all affected departments and officials to deliver on the Seven-Point Plan, and the documents released fairly represent this work. Further, at this point, I am satisfied that the work underway on the evaluation of available options will be a genuine investigation of alternatives to present to decision makers.”
    Dr. Ken Norrie, professor of economics at McMaster University
    DND’s Annual Update – Next Generation Fighter Capability
    The Government’s Seven-Point Plan called on National Defence, through the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat, to provide Annual Updates. The first Annual Update has been independently reviewed by KPMG and implements leading practices for estimating life cycle costs (LCC), developed by KPMG.

    National Defence’s full life cycle cost estimate includes development, acquisition, sustainment, operating and disposal costs for 65 F-35A over a 42-year period. The longer period of 42 years accounts for the majority of the cost increase over the 2010 estimate contained in the Spring 2012 report of the Auditor General, which used a time frame of 20 years. When the life cycle costing framework is applied to a 20-year time frame, the total cost estimate of $25.8B is very close to the 2010 estimate of $25.1B.
    Comparative Estimate ($ Million in Budget Years)
    2010 Estimate
    (as presented in the Spring 2012 Auditor General Report, page 27)
    2012 LCC estimate in DND Annual Update (same time period as the 2010 estimate) 2012 LCC estimate in DND Annual Update
    (42-year Program Life Cycle estimate)
    Time Period
    Acquisition plus 20 years of sustainment and operating costs, from delivery of first aircraft
    Development, acquisition plus 20 years of sustainment and operations from delivery of first aircraft
    Development, acquisition plus 30 years of sustainment and operating for each aircraft and including disposal
    Development
    National Defence’s 42-year life cycle begins with the start of the Next Generation Fighter Capability Program in 2010 and ends in 2052, the expected disposal date of the last F-35 (if acquired). The 42 -year calculation is based on the following: 6 years for development (2010 to 2016); 7 years for acquiring the aircraft (2017 to 2023); and 30 years of operations for each aircraft (2017 to 2052), recognizing there are overlap years when Canada would be both acquiring and operating the aircraft. Planned disposal would occur between 2047 and 2052.
    As part of the Seven-Point Plan, National Defence’s Annual Update has been independently reviewed by KPMG. Both KPMG’s report and the Annual Update can be found on the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat Web site at http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/app-acq/stamgp-lamsmp/snac-nfps-eng.html.

    Options Analysis Independent Review Panel

    Consistent with the aims to improve due diligence, oversight and transparency, this work will be overseen by a panel of independent reviewers external to government. Their involvement is meant to ensure that the work performed is both rigorous and impartial, and that the results made public are comprehensive and understandable. The members of this panel are Mr. Keith Coulter, Dr. Philippe Lagassé, Mr. James Mitchell and Mr. Rod Monette. Biographical notes follow.

    Mr. Keith Coulter’s professional career includes experience in the Canadian Forces, the private sector and the Public Service of Canada. While in the Canadian Forces, he was a fighter pilot, jet trainer instructor and member of the Snowbirds. He also served on an exchange posting with the U.S. Air Force and was the commander of a CF-18 squadron. He moved to the private sector in 1997 with Hill & Knowlton Canada and in 1999 joined the Public Service, initially with the Treasury Board Secretariat. In 2001 he was appointed as Chief of the Communications Security Establishment, and in 2005, he was appointed as Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada. He retired from the Public Service in 2008. Since then he has remained active through consulting, leading independent reviews and serving on advisory committees.

    He has a BEng in Mechanical Engineering, an MA in International Relations and a PhD in Political Science.

    Dr. Philippe Lagassé is an assistant professor of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. His research focuses on Canadian defence policy and politics, civil-military relations in Westminster democracies, machinery of government related to foreign policy and national security affairs, and the nature and scope of executive power in the Westminster tradition. He holds a BA in philosophy from McGill University, an MA in war studies from the Royal Military College of Canada, and a PhD in political science from Carleton University. His current research examines national defence and executive-legislative relations in Canada.

    Mr. James Mitchell is a founding partner of the Ottawa consulting firm Sussex Circle. A native of British Columbia, Mr. Mitchell grew up in Saskatchewan and was educated at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the University of Colorado. He began his government career as a Foreign Service officer before moving to the Privy Council Office in 1983, later serving as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Board and Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Machinery of Government). He co-founded Sussex Circle in 1994 and since then has worked on policy and organizational issues for virtually every department and agency in government. Mr. Mitchell is Chair of the Departmental Audit Committee at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and a member of the Audit and Evaluation Committee at the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. Mr. Mitchell holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Colorado.

    Mr. Rod Monette is the former Comptroller General of Canada and a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA). As Comptroller General he was responsible for government-wide direction and leadership for financial management and audit. During his 28-year public service career, he held various senior management positions, including at Public Works and Government Services Canada where he was Assistant Deputy Minister (2001), and later, at National Defence as Chief Financial Officer (2003). He holds an MBA from University of Ottawa and a BSc from Carleton University. Born and raised in Regina, he spent several years with Western Economic Diversification, including as Associate Deputy Minister Manitoba. Retired from the public service in 2009, he is currently an associate with Rawson Group Initiatives Inc.

  46. wilson says:

    Curious PBO Page not on the news circuit today, or did I miss it?

    so where did the differing $ come from.
    …Jets cost $9 B as stated by govt, (cost of jets up but cost of some components less so cost came out same as stated 2 years ago),
    … with maintenance but no use costs that are already on the books for current aircraft- fuel/pilots etc, cost $16 B over 20 years
    …jets plus maintenance, fuel, pilots cost over 20 years, $25 B as restated by govt…
    Using AG recommendations extending all costs for 42 years instead of 20, including disposal and loss, cost nearly $46 B.

    Easy to understand, even with the Opps and media trying desperately to blur the 20 vs 42 year thing.

    • wilson says:

      Shamefully misleading reporting on CBC tonite.
      never once mentioned 20 vs 42 years, implied original cost of $9 B rocketed to $46 B for the jets.
      Maybe the story is just too complicated for CBC journalists to grasp and report factually.

  47. Gabby in QC says:

    Not only are some media jackasses — I’m sorry Joanne, I can’t find another more appropriate word — still not differentiating between the bare $9B acquisition price tag and the $45B lifetime of the aircraft, which involves training, maintenance, and other operational costs … they also wanted to extort a mea culpa from Minister Mackay. I think the CBC’s James Cudmore was one of those who asked the minister whether he regretted the way the latter had presented the F-35. To quote another Media Party minion (from Maclean’s): “as if that were germane”.

  48. Gabby in QC says:

    Before Power & Politics came on yesterday, right after the Mackay/Ambrose presser, the CBC trotted out its ultimate expert on military procurement, the now retired DND Deputy Minister (Materiel).
He said that the government has been dishonest and has misled Canadians on the cost of the aircraft. (paraphrasing)

    Barf!

    At no time has the CBC pointed out this is the same Alan Williams who thought the British submarines Canada bought in 1998 (under the Liberals) and which have yet to go into full service (?) was a great acquisition. 

    As I posted both here and at Stephen Taylor’s last March …
    In criticizing the F-35 program, Williams and the opposition keep emphasizing the fact there was no competitive process to choose the aircraft. Well, it appears there was no competitive process either to purchase the subs. Mr. Williams was OK with that no-competition process at the time. Here’s the evidence given before the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs on October 25, 2004.
    http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=1424553&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=38&Ses=1#Int-981499

    “… The second part to any costing program, of course, is not just the upfront capital costs but also the costs of sustaining it. If you go to the next page, you will see that back in 1998, when we first initiated the program, our basic estimate was that the cost of the new fleet would be the same as the cost of the old fleet. That may have been naïve on our part, but that is what we had hoped would happen, partly because one of the benefits of this class, of course, is that it requires fewer staff, or sailors, to sail the boat. …”
    In other words, Williams the expert apparently did not figure the operational costs into the total cost of those subs.

    Then Williams spoke about a competitive process:
    “… Typically, competition is our preferred way of doing business, without any question. … This case was slightly unique in the sense that the requirements were clear and a unique opportunity presented itself. Clearly, there wasn’t anything else used out there, and there wasn’t anything else in our budget that we could afford. This was it.”
    Isn’t that the same argument Minister Mackay used for the F-35s, i.e. that they were the only 5th generation planes available? Why was that kind of argument acceptable for Williams but not for Mackay to make?

    Those subs turned out to be DUDS. Why is Williams’ judgment/opinion of the F-35s procurement considered so valid when the procurement of those subs under his “guidance” turned out to be such an utter failure, and a costly one at that, even costing one life?

    • Rich says:

      Very good post Gabby; to add to this post, is this the same guy that was in the procurement when the Liberals signed the original memorandum of understanding to participate in the Joint Strike Fighter program to enable Canadian aerospace firms to compete for various development contracts; which, by the way has netted between 9 and 12 billion dollars in revenue and increased job opportunities.
      Please correct me if I am wrong.

  49. Ruth Selves says:

    I think most or all of us are sick of the discussion on planes. Just buy them and get it over with. No one knows what the costs will be in 20 years let alone 40 years. I turn off every program as soon as they start arguing over it. No one is listening, they are busy with other things and are sick of the whole discussion.

  50. Liz J says:

    I can’t see why all the fuss over the F-35’s, we didn’t purchase them, we are not going to purchase them, no money or projected money far into the future has be spent or allotted. What we are witnessing is the “Jackasses” in the media and the opposition trying to ride into power on F-35’s. How many people really give a rat’s ass about this latest attempt to GET the Harper government?

    • Fay says:

      It has appears to me that Evan Solomon lead this charge against the F-35 with Mr. Williams. The opposition have happily fallen in line.
      Yesterday someone on Evan’s show even said that the opposition is hoping to delay the replacement of jets to prevent the conservatives from keeping their promise of equipping our brave men and women in the military.
      CBC and the NDP love bashing the military.
      I feel sorry for the military.

      • Rich says:

        I will never forget when the NDP called our troops ‘war criminals’ while at the same time defending the taliban detainees.

  51. wilson says:

    Taxpayer funding to CBC = 65 F35 fighter jets

    We need the jets, can easily do without the CBC.

  52. Martin says:

    I don’t think the public is well served by the endless stream of DMs appearing on CBC to belittle the work of their successors. These people were handsomely paid while working and in retirement they have pensions most Canadians could only dream of. While doing their job, they did not have predecessors second guessing their every move. This is the essential difference between a long line of Liberal governments, and the current CPC.
    What most of these people object to is any change in political philosophy. They are free to speak out of course, but they don’t bring enhance their reputations by acting as shills for CBC and the LPC.

  53. wilson says:

    Watching the robocall ‘voter suppression’ court case.
    -robocalls did not effect the compaining voters, they all voted
    -voter turnout in each of the ridings in case went up
    what a waste of time and money in an obvious antiCon frivilous case

    • Richco says:

      I’ve been watching this too wilson and you are SO right. Another attempt by the left to blame the Conservatives for something…..ANYTHING.

      Sorry to disappoint them and those MSM types trying to spin the fighter jet story about nothing at all., but they’re wasting their time.

      Then again, who pays any attention to the consensus media any more.

      Not me and I’m betting this is flying right bye most Canadians these days as well.

      • wilson says:

        Did u see where Graves showed his true charactor Richco? Judge sent him out of courtroom, then reporters kept tweeting, Graves followed the tweets and even gave a tee hee response that he was watching from outside courtroom.
        Judge called his move foolish.

        • Richco says:

          Yes that was priceless.
          Foolish doesn’t even come close IMO.
          What really bothers me is that taxpayers are paying for this gong show.

      • Joanne says:

        It’s a gong show.

  54. Bubba Brown says:

    Here we are again, the Jets are just the latest Barf-athon being orchestrated by the Media Party, the dis-loyal opposition, and that really angry, red faced guy at Timmies who thinks PM Harper is a fascist.
    Meanwhile the unicorn riding, good Prince Justin of Trudeau is going to lend his linguistic talents to a group that supports terrorism.
    Lucky Them.
    http://www.stephentaylor.ca/2012/12/does-justin-trudeaus-language-problem-reflect-his-maturity/
    The clown Prince will I am sure wow the Terrorist supporters, his awesome predecessor Jean Chretain even imported terriosts
    Apparently we weren’t meeting the “terrorist quota” set by the UN or something.
    Does not really matter what Justin says today, tomorrow he will explain/apologize/ he was misquoted…………………………… you are not from Quebec you just-in don’t understand.
    This is crisis/scandal-gate #43 or is it #44?
    There is no rationalizing, no attempt at showing that there is no actual crisis other than of course the “wrong sort” from Alberta are actually doing their job we elected them to do.
    The Liberal way would have been to buy used Jets from Russia and when 40% crash while being flown over, point out the savings, over the projected 35 year rebuilding of the Russian planes.
    The Submarines are a case in point, I have walked around them, a good friend works on them.
    They are not any use whatsoever they were junk when the Liberals bought them and will still be junk billions of dollars later.
    In a word obselete.
    Deisel electric submarines, which must recarge batteries every few days, in a nuclear age , with 24/7 drones, are like sending up a cessna with a bb gun to have it out with a F-18.
    The cancelling of the helicopters costing 500 million dollars by Jean Chretain for exactly nothing.
    No outrage fron CBC there.
    I am thinking that the opposition sees Peter Mckay as a possible repacement for PM Harper, so attack, attack, attack.
    They, the Liberals are in third place, must be trying for forth.

  55. wilson says:

    Great Prime Minister play offs, then best Conservative pick play off against best Liberal pick.
    vote here
    http://www.lfpress.com/2012/12/11/great-prime-minister-playoffs-semi-finals

    • Joanne says:

      Hey that’s fun! Support our PM!

      • Richco says:

        Interesting and skewered pairings if you ask me. I mean pairing Harper with our first PM is odd I guess, but coming in 2nd to the first ever PM which I would predict would be the outcome, isn’t half bad for Harper actually.

        The London Free Press tends to lean more to the left most times. So not too surprised at the results so far.

    • fh says:

      everyone vote it is not too late
      PM Harper against John A Macdonald a good match

  56. Martin says:

    Wilson 1:51:
    I have difficulty understanding Grave’s actions in the robocall court case. Surely it is in EKOS interest as an independent polling firm to appear as objective as possible, yet he pursues an opposite course. I think I heard him tell Evan Solomon that he was not a witness for the Council of Canadians. This strains credibility, the eight complainants
    cannot be footing the bill for this. Who paid EKOS for the original report cited as evidence and who is paying Graves to appear as an expert witness? Anyone have any ideas on this? I am very confused.

    • wilson says:

      CBC live blog , Payton mentioned Graves getting paid yesterday (or Monday?)if I remember correctly, but can only seem to access todays blog/tweets

  57. wilson says:

    more foriegn investment into Alberta:

    Encana, PetroChina form partnership to develop natural gas in Alberta
    December 13, 2012, EST.
    Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

    CALGARY – Less than a week after Ottawa waved through CNOOC Ltd.’s $15.1-billion takeover of Nexen Inc., a different Chinese state-owned company is plowing another $2.2 billion into the Canadian oilpatch.

    Natural gas giant Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA) and a subsidiary of PetroChina announced Thursday they have reached a deal to work together in the Duvernay, a promising shale natural gas formation in west-central Alberta.

    PetroChina will end up owning just shy of half of the 180,000 hectares Encana has in the Duvernay, which means the deal won’t be subject to the same federal review as the Nexen deal…..

  58. Joanne says:

    I must say that MP Russ Hiebert communicates very well!

  59. Ontario Girl says:

    One on one with David Akin and Thomas MulCair is a joke….it’s MulCair doing a rambling speech….no questions to attack any of his comments by LIBERAL Akin on Sun News tonight. Just a lot of gutless a$$ kissing by Akin….. he set’s up the question for MulCair to do his on & on Conservative bashing.

    • Joanne says:

      Glad I didn’t bother watching.

    • wilson says:

      Solomon’s interview with Bob Rae had to be worse…
      I flipped to Don Martin, but he had little Trudeau on,
      so I decided it was a good time to replace the furnace filter.

      • Joanne says:

        …so I decided it was a good time to replace the furnace filter.

        BWa-ha-ha! Thanks for the giggle, Wilson!!

        • Liz J says:

          If we had a filter on the TV to filter the crap from those political shows we’d be changing them daily.

  60. Ontario Girl says:

    Then don’t watch tonight’s Harper bashing on” At Issue”…not one good thing said about the Conservatives or the Prime Minister for 2012. All bad….sickening.

    • wilson says:

      And boring!
      Except that Coyne pointed out in most underreported issue is that poverty in Canada is at its lowest level since being recorded. That 10 years ago poverty was at 15% and is now 9% lowest EVER (I think I rememeber those numbers right)
      Of course it is an unreported story, because it’s a good news story that happened under the watch of PMSH.

  61. fh says:

    O/T Christmas flash mob Westjet employees at Calgary airport dec 4, 2012
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9EJaDneTkQ&feature=player_embedded

  62. Bubba Brown says:

    What is really wrong here?
    The progressive types lost the last election, the one before that and the one before that.
    So what have they got left?
    The Media Party.
    They could care less really about the jets, helicopters or ships, or what they cost, over however many years.
    Here is a statement from a person some in their progressive ranks think will slay the anti Christ bring back the “good old days”
    Justin Trudeau says:
    “It’s an opportunity to speak to 20,000 Muslim Canadians about this extraordinary society based on values of openness, of respect that we’ve managed to build here in Canada. This level of engagement, this level of optimism and hope for the future is a message that absolutely needs to come out. And people trying to quash that kind of dialogue and that kind of discourse through intolerant attacks like we’ve seen is not what has made this country great”
    Justin Trudeau’s words..
    That is a major mind fart even from the Great Justini of Trudeau.
    Replace (20,000 Muslim Canadians ) with nearly 10,000,000 Canadians in the four Western Provinces.
    They are not part of this “extraordinary society of openness, respect that “We” ? have managed to build.
    That Mr Trudeau is consorting with people that support groups that are outlawed in Canada is bad enough.
    here is the quote again
    It’s an opportunity to speak to 10,000,000 Canadians about this extraordinary society based on values of openness, of respect that we’ve managed to build here in Canada. This level of engagement, this level of optimism and hope for the future is a message that absolutely needs to come out. And people trying to quash that kind of dialogue and that kind of discourse through intolerant attacks like we’ve seen is not what has made this country great
    Mr Trudeau is the one he is complaining about, he is the one saying he is offended by people from the West being elected and coming to Ottawa.
    Mr Trudeau is trying not only to quash our voices but to intolerantly attack our duly elected representatives as being unfit to go to Ottawa as we are Westerners.
    He really is a special little man.

  63. wilson says:

    I think Mr Hudak has the right stuff.

    Nice thing about a majority govt is the CPC backbenchers can vote any way they want, without endangering their government (except on money bills/election promises)

    The Alberta school board that fired a teacher for giving zeros has reversed their policy, zeros are ok again.

  64. ed says:

    Nice to end the evening reading all the informative posts here. Well, well, Mr. Coyne doesn’t like the critics of his work. Touchy, touchy. LOL Yeah, these guys are not able to take it. I had first-hand experience with one of them. :-) Maybe these journalists should consider the possibility that their work is not up to par. As for the “AT Issue” panel, IMHO, it’s a joke. The bias (mainly Liberal) is blatantly obvious. After watching the panel for years, it’s easy to predict what will come out of their mouths. To think that we are not aware is incredible. Come on guys, at least attempt to be objective journalists. You’ll sleep better at night.

    As for the F35 fighter jets, I agree with those that say it’s a lot of noise about nothing. The Conservatives let the opposition shoot their mouths off while they contemplate where they’ll go on this issue. As others have stated, the PM is pragmatic. He and his Conservatives will weigh the issue on an ongoing basis and gradually come to a decision when the time is right. I believe the Conservatives are not afraid to change or modify their position based on the latest developments because that’s what maturity is all about. We have a competent, honest, caring government that looks out for the best interests of our country. Maybe that’s a lesson the opposition can take from that.

    MY dream: Canada has decided to build their own jets. The Avro Arrow was an outstanding plane!! What a sad day when it was shut down. Let’s bring her back!! Canadians have the intelligence to “get ‘er done!!”

    PS: I can’t believe it, I just googled “Avro Arrow” to add a website to this post and look what I found: (God must be listening. LOL):

    “Avro Arrow redesign pitched as alternative to F-35 stealth fighter jets.”
    Canadian Press | Sep 9, 2012 10:04 PM ET | Last Updated: Sep 10, 2012 1:40 PM ET

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/09/09/avro-arrow-redesign-pitched-as-alternative-to-f-35-stealth-fighter-jets/

    • Susaan says:

      Nationalism can be unwise and often dangerous. Emotional decisions to build Canuck jets probably is too.

  65. ed says:

    “Harper government officially grounds Avro Arrow relaunch proposal”
    Josh Visser | Sep 11, 2012 1:31 PM ET | Last Updated: Sep 11, 2012 2:05 PM ET

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/09/11/avro-arrow-relaunch-officially-grounded-by-harper-government/

    SAY IT AIN’T SO!! From a high to a low in seconds. :-(

    Bringing back the Avro Arrow would capture the imagination of all Canadians!! Pride of ownership!! PM Harper, please bring back the Avro Arrow. You have to. What a grand statement for the Conservative government to make on behalf of all Canadians!! What a legacy for PM Harper and the Conservatives: A Canadian project. And Maj.Gen. Lewis MacKenzie is all for it!!

  66. Ruth says:

    Brian Lilley has the truth out today about the F-35’s….thought I sent the link but it got lost somewhere.

    • Joanne says:

      Thanks Ruth. I found the link here.

      • Joanne says:

        Also just found your comment with the link in the filter. ;)

        • Richco says:

          Lilley’s column rocks IMO.

          Chalk this non-scandal up to another one of those things that the opposition and some MSM types try because they have NOTHING else.

          We go around this hamster wheel every time. We still give MSM WAY too much credit. Revisit Sandy’s blog and her comments about changing the channel (quite literally) on federal issues discussion. She makes HUGE sense.

          Oh and by the way, I’m having mega problems linking to COTM from here and from anywhere else over the past two days. Today is worse than ever. Not sure what to do.

  67. Pingback: Robocall Redux | Blue Like You

  68. ed says:

    “Documents obtained by the Global News program “The West Block” indicate an update to the storied CF-105 Avro Arrow was put forward as an alternative to the purchase of F-35 stealth fighter jets.

    And among the project’s champions is one of Canada’s top soldiers, retired Maj.Gen. Lewis MacKenzie.”

    “The Arrow was an advanced, all-weather supersonic interceptor jet that was developed in the 1950s.”

    “But MacKenzie told the “The West Block” that the Arrow’s basic design and platform still exceed any current fighter jet and it is perfect for Canada’s needs.

    “It’s an attack aircraft. It’s designed for attacking ground targets and its stealth is most effective against short range radar, protecting ground targets,” MacKenzie said.”

    “The proposal, which was updated in 2012, suggested the plane could fly 20,000 feet higher than the F-35, soar twice as fast and would cost less.”

    “The Arrow project would also create a made-in-Canada plane and an industry that would add thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to the Canadian economy, the proposal’s author wrote.”

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/09/09/avro-arrow-redesign-pitched-as-alternative-to-f-35-stealth-fighter-jets/

  69. paulsstuff says:

    Hmmm. I guess Coyne’s non-answer to my first post, and follow up posts shows I was indeed correct and his denials were false.

    As for the Avro Arrow, try finding any info on the company behind the supposed news stories, Bourdeau Industries. Can’t finding anything on a Canadian or U.K. company with that name. Even the Facebook pages, the two of them, contain no company information. Phone numbers, addresses, or contact info. Maybe I’m wrong, but looks like a scam to me.

  70. paulsstuff says:

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Avro-Arrow-Bourdeau-Industries-Official/402158416505160

    Asked where offices were located in Canada and the U.K. “Official” responded it’s a U.K. rehistered house company. Searching that shows a company with that name involved in sports activities? Asked for addresses and contact info, no reply.

  71. ed says:

    paulsstuff, does this info seem too good to be true? Canada is a large country. 100 Arrows covering our territory is a nice thought. Hate to think it’s a scam but with the political opposition we have anything is possible.

    “The Avro Arrow vs. the F-35

    Speed: The Arrow would fly twice as fast as the F-35 — 3,887 km/h, or Mach 3.5, compared to the F-35’s 1,854 km/h, or Mach 1.67.

    Distance: The Arrow can fly as far as 3,000 kilometres before refueling. The F-35 flies 2,200 kilometres before doing the same.

    Costs: The 20-year lifecycle cost for 100 Arrows would come in at $12 billion. That’s less than half the price Canada is expected to pay for 65 F-35s.

    Conditions: The Arrow is tailor-made to Canada’s unique geography, with an eject pod that would help pilots survive in arctic conditions. The F-35 has a one-size-fits-all model for missions in countries across the globe.”

    Source: Bourdeau Industries

    Read it on Global News: CHBC Okanagan | Feds reject bid to revive Avro Arrow

    http://www.chbcnews.ca/feds+reject+bid+to+revive+avro+arrow/6442711404/story.html

  72. ed says:

    paulsstuff, I’ve come up with a name that might be helpful: Allen Green.

    “At its time, the Avro Arrow was far ahead of its competitors. It is robust enough to allow us to bring it forward to today’s requirement,” said Allen Green, a member of the consortium who recently retired from his job as a vice-president at General Motors Canada, where he was in charge of operations and personnel.

    Because some data survived the ordered destruction the original Arrow’s plans, Canadians would save a good portion of money traditionally spent in the development stages of a project, Green argued.

    “You avoid all the costs that would normally be assigned to a brand new program,” he said. “And our approach, rather than put in place a company that would, from ground zero, design and build this, we want to use existing suppliers in Canada who we think are fully capable of delivering all the components necessary to the final assembly.”

    “So while the plans for the F-35s remain on hold, the official Opposition is asking that the government stop rejecting plans; without establishing the policy and national defence needs these jets would meet, it’s difficult to begin ruling out options, said NDP defence procurement critic Matthew Kellway.”

    “The issue is, we should have an open competition. That’s what we’ve been calling for for a long time,” he said in an interview. “If the proponents of the Avro Arrow think they’ve got a plane that can compete in an open competition, then let’s have the competition and see what comes of it.”

    http://www.globalnews.ca/avro+arrow+wont+resurrect+aerospace+industry+expert/6442712322/story.html

  73. paulsstuff says:

    Ed, I keep asking for contact info on their facebook page. Check out the comment section. First it was a U.K. registered house company. A google search proved that false. Now I’m told it’s based in Ottawa. No company I can find with that name based there. Still won’t give me an actual street address or phone number

    Something smells a little fishy.

  74. paulsstuff says:

    Like I said Ed, it smelled fishy, and I was correct. Guys getting a little testy as I press him for information.

    “Avro Arrow – Bourdeau Industries (Official) If you are looking for a factory or an office with large staff in Ottawa, sorry to disappoint. One of the reasons we can offer the pricing to GoC guaranteed is we have only what we need for the moment. While some may see this as a weakness in fact it demonstrates that the money will go into the actual program elements, not things we don’t need that don’t directly support moving forward.The Ottawa presence is a virtual one to eliminate any significant overheads; resources are provided by members of our team from their locations around Canada and northern US. Once a funding source is finalized to move forward, our “concurrency” ramp-up plan will see the factory up and running in two years at the location where the GoC wants the” hub jobs” while the deign updates/upgrades and engine development programs will deliver the infrastructure we need to begin parts manufacture in the same initial two year time frame. And yes, we will follow the Cook-Craggie methods used in the original CF105 program (which, by the way, are in much wider application today.) At that point everything will come under one roof.

  75. ed says:

    paulsstuff, thank you very much for checking it out. I appreciate it. Very strange indeed. I was getting excited about the idea of Canada developing their own aircraft. I recall being so depressed when Canada pulled the plug on the Avro Arrow.

  76. paulsstuff says:

    “The Ottawa presence is a virtual one “= no offices, no warehouse, no assembly plant, no employees, no phone number, NO COMPANY.

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