Playing us for fools

Posted on September 23, 2010
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Recently, there were several news stories about Russian aircraft closely skirting Canadian air space. The stories coincided with the announcement by the Conservative federal government that Canada will buy 65 new F-35 all purpose interceptors.

The Liberals cried foul that the contract was being awarded to Lockeed Martin without going to tender.

It was a fine example of both of Canada’s dominant parties deliberately playing the electorate for fools.

First of all, Russian air traffic, military and commercial, has been skirting or even crossing into Canadian air space across the north regularly for about 50 years now. When CFB Chatham was a NORAD base, home to 416 Lynx Squadron CF 104 Voodoo interceptors, there was a bulletin board of pictures of Russian crews waving to our cameras from the big Russian TU 95 Bear transport aircraft. The Russians have been using essentially the same aircraft, with updated avionics, all that time.

The Bears, incidentally, are propellor driven aircraft.

The Conservatives are playing us for fools trying to stir up fright that there is some new Russian threat.

The F-35 is a plane designed to meet the specifications of the US and Canadian military for the roles they have now and expect to have in the near and medium term future. The contest to be the designer and builder was held at the beginning of the project, back in the 1990s, during a Liberal government.

I simple terms, Canada got in on the ground floor to be able to acquire equipment for which the bulk of the design cost was paid by the US and to get the volume discount earned by the US purchase.

The Liberals are playing us for fools complaining because the Conservatives are continuing a program the Liberals began.

In Quebec, there is an influence peddling inquiry taking place alleging the provincial government appointed its friends to be judges. Unless the party bagmen conducted an auction or put a sticker price on judgeships, I cannot understand what all the fuss is about.

I would be shocked to learn that there was ever a provincial government that did not pick its judges from among its friends and supporters. Let’s see. Let’s consider a few of our local judges and see if anyone can discern any hint of political history or leanings prior to their appointments.

Denis T. Lordon, John Creaghan Friel, Bob Martin, Jack Walsh, Drew Stymiest, Geri Mahoney.

Sometimes the public is poorly served by a political appointment. The appointments are supposed to be made with suggestions and guidance from law societies but from time to not so rare time, a government slips us a dud with little or no court room experience or expertise.

If the Liberals in Quebec are to be stoned for this, I wonder where the executioners will find the innocent party member to throw the first one.

We know that governments and political parties all have a form of dementia that erases all memory of what they did, or promised to do or not to do, when they were in power. We understand that. They could not speak to us with straight faces if they did not.

The part that puzzles me is that they seem to expect us to go along with the joke and erase our memories too.

On we go!                                          DAC


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