2 min

Delay, degradation and blind eyes

Julian Fantino is now musing that the government
could put off the F-35 purchase for a few more years to save some money, given
the production costs, and so on. Err, except of course, that the CF-18s may not
be usable past 2020, let alone 2023, given that engines and fuel tanks haven’t
been refurbished as part of previous upgrades, and well, that kind of aircraft
fatigue can’t be just shrugged off. Meanwhile, Harper continues to change his
talking points about the existence of a contract (which people familiar with
the procurement process always knew never existed). It also appears that DND
turned a blind eye to reports of delays and cost overruns when pushing for the
plane, which just makes the whole affair that much more sordid.

On the Robocon front, it looks like those
robo-calls placed by “Pierre Poutine” weren’t only in Guelph, but were made to
ridings all across Ontario, directing people to locations within their local
ridings
 and not just in Guelph. Dean Del Mastro is now saying that these calls
might just be Conservative “mistakes” – err, except that some of them were
directing people to polls that didn’t exist. How is that an honest mistake?

Foreign Affairs is warning queer Canadians travelling
to St Petersburg, Russia, after the passing of a new law banning “homosexual propaganda,”
which can mean arrests and criminal sanctions for even discussing the subject in public.

Stephen Harper announced funding for an
awareness program for “honour” crimes.

Kady O’Malley further explores what happens
if the Liberals start breaking the secrecy of in camera committees en masse.

On the NDP leadership front, here’s an interview with Thomas Mulcair. So far, about 25,000 party members have cast
their ballots in advance of the convention, while Ed Broadbent’s comments on
Thursday continue to echo in the party.

And probably the best moment from Friday’s
QP was Liberal Sean Casey asking about two letters the minister of veterans' affairs wrote – one to the Guardian
in Charlottetown, praising the public servants at Veterans' Affairs, and another
to the Halifax Chronicle-Heralddenouncing the “bloated, inefficient bureaucracy” in the department. Casey
wondered which version was the right one and whether the minister simply
believed that Islanders don’t have the internet so they wouldn’t find out what
he was saying elsewhere. Casey didn’t get an answer.

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