Harper Government At Right Angles To The Rest Of The World?

Posted on Friday, January 02 at 08:52 by RickW

Victoria-based Viking Air believes it can save the Canadian government $1.5 billion and put as many as 350 people to work if it can convince Ottawa it has the right plan to upgrade and modernize the country's aging fleet of Buffalo search-and-rescue aircraft.

But Viking, which manufactures the popular Twin Otter aircraft at plants in Victoria and Calgary, says the federal government doesn't appear to want to hear about it.

"A week or two ago we were told, full stop, 'we'll get back to you' and the next thing we hear is a report that [Defence Minister Peter] MacKay has a $3-billion program," he said.

According to a Canwest News Service report, that $3-billion program looks to be a sole-source contract for the purchase of new search-and-rescue aircraft -- specifically an Italian C-27J aircraft built in the U.S. The deal would see $1.5 billion for aircraft and another $1.5 billion for long-term maintenance.

The United States has traditionally used defense-spending as a mean to boost their internal economy.  But, since the days of the Mulroney government, Canada has consistently eroded it's manufacturing base, becoming more and more dependant on the "hewers of wood, drawers of water" model of unsustainable development.

The result has been the acquisition of inferior products (as witnessed by the BC Liberal government's purchase of German-built ferries - http://thetyee.ca/News/2008/11/18/Ferries/ )

And the Harper government appears to be determined to continue with this folly.


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