Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight

What’s Canada Buying? January 7, 2013

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  • 18 Dec 12:  DFAIT MERX posting seeking someone to train foreign affairs staffers to protect themselves in hot spots.
  • 4 Jan 13, Globe & Mail:  “Diplomacy, it’s been said, is the velvet glove that cloaks the fist of power. If so, Canadian diplomats are poised to drop their gloves.  The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is moving to hire martial-arts instructors, to educate its envoys on how to handle themselves should words fail ….”
  • Big Honkin’ Ships  Obtained documents soon to be online, but here’s one reporter’s summary  “The navy’s long-delayed, much-studied joint support ship program is expected to come under the political microscope within weeks in what is likely another defence equipment embarrassment for the Harper government.  The parliamentary budget officer has been examining the program and is poised to release his findings once MPs return from their Christmas break.  Kevin Page’s incendiary analysis of the F-35 fighter jet program sparked a raging political fire which continues to burn.  Now, documents obtained by The Canadian Press under access to information laws offer a glimpse of a troubled ship program set to deliver less capable vessels than originally envisioned.  The joint ship briefings, given throughout 2011 to both Defence Minister Peter MacKay and former associate defence minister Julian Fantino, represent the first unambiguous look at what capabilities the navy was forced to give up.  The program to replace the navy’s nearly 45-year-old supply ships with three new vessels was originally announced by Paul Martin’s Liberals in 2004, but embraced by Stephen Harper’s Conservatives when they assumed power two years later.  At the time, the government estimated it would cost $2.9 billion.  But the Conservatives abruptly cancelled the plan in 2008, claiming that the bids were not compliant and, perhaps most importantly, that they exceeded the budget envelope.  What followed, according to the series of internal briefings, was a drastic scaling back of the navy’s design concept, overseen by senior civilian defence and political officials.  The $2.6 billion program relaunched in 2010 is expected to deliver two — maybe three — ships ….” – more on Page’s coming probe here.
  • The Department of National Defence (DND) has a requirement for beef jerky (x 390K) for the production of an operational meal pack for  Canadian Forces Personel serving overseas as well as in Canada, for delivery in Quebec ….– more on the specs and how they’ll be assessed here.
  • Wanted:  Groceries for Kingston, and groceries/cheese for CFS Alert – more on how much of what’s needed way up north here.

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7 January 13 at 12:15

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