Further to the Toronto Star editorial noted at 1) here (”Ottawa needs to spell out priorities for Canada’s shrinking military”), Dan Leger makes some good points in the Halifax Chronicle Herald on the government’s shipbuilding plans:
…Billions of dollars will be spent, maybe not in the way we all think now, but it will be spent and ships will be built. And did we all think there wouldn’t be questions about something this big? There should be questions, with billions of dollars and an entire naval fleet on the line.
Yes, it’s possible a future government might not want to build all the ships foreseen in the current program or that Canada’s defence needs might change, or that the project’s pace will evolve with changing political and economic conditions.
We shouldn’t be surprised if any of those things happen. But we should remember that Canada still needs a navy. The world isn’t getting any safer and the old ships are wearing out. The alternative, keeping them afloat and combat-ready, isn’t cheap either. And there’s a legitimate national interest in having the new ships built in Canada [but at what cost? see second link below].
Come to think of it, now would be a good time for a rigorous parliamentary and public debate about what Canadians can expect from these ships and from the navy. That hasn’t happened, which means we are spending big without a clear statement defining the navy’s strategic role…
Mark Collins is a prolific Ottawa blogger
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