Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight

What’s Canada Buying? December 11, 2012

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  • F-35 Tug o’ War (1)  New concept:  more than ONE plane in the competition“Faced with a KPMG audit showing the proposed 65-aircraft F-35 purchase would have cost taxpayers upwards of $30 billion (according to some reports as much as $40 billion) over a 36-year span, the government had no option but to reboot, sources familiar with the decision say. “Can you imagine now taking an additional $23 billion out of the defence budget over the next 30 years?” asked one. “You would simply have an air force. That would be the Canadian military. You would have nothing else.”  On tap now is a competition among at least five aircraft, including Dassault’s Rafale, Boeing’s Super Hornet, Saab’s Gripen, the Eurofighter Typhoon, and Lockheed Martin’s F-35, to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s. Industry players have quietly been led to expect this will flow from the current “options analysis” underway in Ottawa ….” – more here and here.  
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (2a)  Big money …. F-35s officially costed at $45,802,000,000 in new report
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (2b) …. but not THAT expensive (according to Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro) ….  “…. If we were to assume that health care costs were contained to a 3% annual increase for the next 42 years, Canadians will spend roughly 10.88 trillion to provide care over that period of time. If we assume that John Ivison from the National Post is correct on his costing estimate on the F35 then the cost over the same time period would be .o46 trillion. That means that for every dollar spent on aerial defence and security that Canadians will spend $237 on health care, which demonstrates how perspective on these things matter ….”
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (2c)  …. and what one blogger keeping track of the fracas has to say about the numbers ….
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (2d)  …. and what he’s found re:  cost comparison figures against other planes (in Brazil, mind you, but still….)
  • F-35 Tug o’ War (3)  What’s this mean for Canadian industry“Amid the avalanche of figures, statistics, estimates and soothing political assurances coming this week on the Conservative government’s troubled stealth fighter program, one report will warn about the lagging benefit for Canada’s aerospace sector.  And it could prove more damaging in the long run than the bruising debate about the eye-popping cost of the multi-role fighter, say some experts.  “What we’re talking about here is pork,” said Winslow Wheeler, a U.S. aviation expert and long-standing critic of the F-35.  “The government has been promising the world, but that’s going to be very different than what’s in hand.” ….”
  • Big Honkin’ Ships (1)  Remember the “let’s get a ‘before’ snapshot of the shipbuilding industry” call for bids?  Well, now Canada’s looking for outside help to get the BHS’s built – the latest from MERX“…. The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to request that interested companies provide feedback and recommendations by way of written response to the questions posed in the RFI document ….  The questions posed are regarding a potential solicitation for the provision of Independent Third Party expertise and support to Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) project offices ….”  More on this request for information about possible outside help from the RFI document here, and Mark Collins’ assessment of how this is really going to speed things up (NOT) here.   
  • Big Honkin’ Ships (2)  “The federal government has refused to give Parliament’s budgetary watchdog copies of the bids that ultimately won nearly $33 billion worth of work for shipyards in Halifax and Vancouver under the government’s national shipbuilding strategyParliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page had requested the bids submitted by Vancouver’s Seaspan Marine and Halifax’s Irving Shipbuilding as part of a study into one of the massive National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy’s key projects.  The PBO is currently examining the financial implications of the federal government’s plan to have Seaspan build two to three new resupply ships for $2.6 billion.  It is planning to do a similar examination of the six and eight armed Arctic vessels to be built by Irving for $3.1 billion.  Both projects have encountered problems that have threatened both their production schedules and the capabilities that can be built in with the money set aside by the government.  Public Works has provided PBO with some information related to the national shipbuilding strategy, including a number of agreements and reports related to Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards for the resupply ship study.  But when Page wrote to Public Works deputy minister Michelle d’Auray on Nov. 19 asking for both winning bids, the request was rejected ….”
  • Big Honkin’ Ships (3)  “The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is unhappy about getting a redacted copy of a $304-million deal between the provincial government and Irving Shipbuilding that was signed in MarchThe federation made a request under the Freedom of Information Act within a day of the announcement asking for details of the deal, which includes a $260-million forgivable loan for upgrades to Irving’s Halifax Shipyard to help the company handle the building of $25 billion worth of combat vessels over the next 30 years.  The other $44 million is a repayable loan offered to strengthen human resources, technology and industrial development in the marine industry.  The federation’s Atlantic Canadian director, Kevin Lacey, calls the deal “secret” and says he wants Economic and Rural Development Minister Percy Paris to disclose all the details.  Paris, however, says he has divulged all he can, according to the rules of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, or FOIPOP.  “We want to know what the government got in concessions for its $260-million giveaway, and we want to know what the interest rates are on the $44 million in loans,” Lacey said.  “Taxpayers deserve to know what their money is going for and how their money is being spent, and so far the government is stonewalling taxpayers having that knowledge.” ….”
  • Wanted:  someone to develop and teach a “Director – DEFENCE Ethics Programme “Applied Ethics and Decision Making Tools” “
  • Wanted:  someone to provide logistical support the Canadian Forces School of Survival and Aeromedical Training (CFSSAT) reintroducing “the Arctic Aircrew Survival (AOS – AA) course in Resolute Bay …. 4 and 26 January 2013 ….”
  • “…. The Department of National Defence, Canadian Forces Health Services training Centre (CFHSTC) located in Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden, Borden, Ontario …. has a requirement to contract the services of a qualified educator to teach on the subjects of Occupational Health Legislation, occupational health equipment, occupational health inspections and occupational health surveys to the students attending the (Preventative Medicine Technician) Qualification Level (QL) 6A ….”
  • “Public Works and Government Services Canada on behalf of the Department of National Defence, Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), has a requirement for the supply of a Handheld Controller for Unmanned Vehicles ….”
  • “…. The Department of National Defence has a requirement for the provision of Dispersed Meals, which consist of hot and cold meals, and box meals, on an “as and when requested basis”, for military exercises, to various locations within and around the Greater Toronto Area (28 locations).  The number of participants per exercise can vary between 10 to 400 personnel, and can run up to five days consecutively. The hours will range from 0530 to 2100 hours ….”
  • Wanted:  Cheese for Valcartier
  • New defence industry booster in place  “The Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) today announced the appointment of Gerry Champagne as Vice President of Operations.  “Our association is taking a substantial step forward with the addition of Gerry Champagne to our team,” said Tim Page, President of CADSI …. Mr. Champagne has had a distinguished career with over 35 years of service in the Canadian military, leading organizations in Canada and overseas, including 15 years at the senior executive level. In his role with CADSI, he will continue to support Canadian Forces members and first responders, supporting CADSI’s efforts to promote a favourable environment for member firms to grow profitable enterprises, create jobs, and contribute to Canada’s defense and security goals …. Mr. Champagne’s appointment is effective as of December 10. In his role as Vice President of Operations, he will be responsible for directing all aspects of CADSI’s administration, financial management, membership services, communications, information technology, human resources, and event programming. The Vice President will provide a broad range of support to the President, including strategic and operational planning and will work to maximize and enhance CADSI’s efficiency, effectiveness and value to its members ….”

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11 December 12 at 12:15

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