Monday, July 28th21.2°C
22568
21739

Time for 'mature' debate on defence needs and purchases in Canada, experts say

OTTAWA - A panel of defence experts says it's time for a "mature" public debate about how best Canada's economy can benefit from the billions of dollars being spent on the country's military.

Canada 2020, a non-partisan think tank, held a discussion today on defence procurement, a seemingly endless source of political frustration for the Harper government.

Sahir Khan, a former high-ranking staffer in the parliamentary budget office, says the number of failed and delayed procurements, such the recent cancellation of a $2-billion armoured vehicle program, shows the country is stuck in a rut.

A high-profile report on defence spending last year gave suggestions on how to leverage the anticipated $240 billion in planned equipment purchases to the benefit of Canadian defence contractors and companies.

Khan says there is a premium to be paid for building certain military equipment in Canada, such as ships, and there needs to be a public conversation about whether that something the country is prepared to accept.

He says other countries do it, pointing to Japan, a country that was prepared to accept the higher cost of building its F-16 jet fighters at home.

Dave Perry, an associate professor at Carleton University, says the Chretien government slashed National Defence and Public Works procurement offices in the 1990s and the system has never fully recovered.

Ray Castelli, an executive and former official in Brian Mulroney's government, says defence purchases are always a political football, and in the Canadian system of procurement, they are always controversial.

He says the system needs to improve, but other countries look to Canada for guidance and it's good thing the government takes its time to carefully consider purchases.

The Harper government has faced political heat for a series of delays, including replacements for the country's Sea King helicopters and trucks for the army.

The plan to replace the air force's CF-18s with the F-35 stealth fighter struck a real nerve when the auditor general accused National Defence and Public Works of understating the multi-billion dollar cost and failing to do their homework.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News




Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15445.22-9.82
S&P CDNX1019.852.41
DJIA16982.5922.02
Nasdaq4444.909-4.655
S&P 5001978.91+0.57
CDN Dollar0.9251-0.001
Gold1305.20+2.10
Oil101.39-0.28
Lumber321.20-1.80
Natural Gas3.733-0.014

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.195+0.01
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.150.00
Cantex0.065-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.265-0.01
Metalex Ventures0.08+0.01
Russel Metals35.15-0.21
Copper Mountain Mining2.97+0.15
Colorado Resources0.225+0.015
ReliaBrand Inc0.10+0.019
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.02-0.03
Mission Ready Services0.19+0.01

 



22315

FEATURED Property
1917896Gardeners Delight!!
$364,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Take charge of your debt

Photo: Thinkstock.comWays to reduce your Debt:Make a budget and get budget counselingA basic first step for debt reduction is to prepare a budget and plan your spending. Once you have a budget, you mu...


Geopolitical tensions rattle markets

The Big Picture Geopolitical tensions rattle markets The spectre of rising geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and Gaza cast a shadow over an otherwise positive week in the markets. News that a passenger...


Learn to delegate effectively

Photo: ContributedI have the pleasure of witnessing people delegate tasks quite often. Sometimes with tremendous success and sometimes with disastrous consequences. I have chaired a lot of committees...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22461