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Thursday, September 02, 2010 

Ignatieff Making Billion Dollar Election Patronage Promises

Without a business plan, economic or environmental impact research, Michael Ignatieff is already walking around announcing billion dollar electoral patronage mega projects .....

NORTH VANCOUVER -- "Canadian naval ships will be built on the North Shore for the first time in decades if the Liberals form the next federal government, according to party leader Michael Ignatieff. Ignatieff made the commitment on his way to a speaking engagement in West Vancouver Sunday. The promise could translate into hundreds of jobs and billions of dollars for a North Vancouver shipyard.
August 24, 2010
Vancouver Sun

... while at the same time he criticises Harper for similar Tory grandiose promises ...

BADDECK, N.S. – "Stephen Harper’s reputation as a competent fiscal manager has been sullied by his billion-dollar spending spree on prisons and military jets, Michael Ignatieff charged Wednesday. The Liberal Leader says the Prime Minister has his economic priorities all mixed up, doling out $16-billion for 65 stealth fighter jets and $9-billion to build new jails. “Is this what Canadians want from their government right now in the middle of a $54-billion deficit?”

Mr. Ignatieff said his Liberals would take another look at the fighter-jet purchase. “We are not convinced the fighter planes are needed,” he told reporters at the wrap-up news conference to his two-day caucus meeting in Cape Breton. "

Globe & Mail

Progressive Bloggers

... Liberal/Tory .. same old story ....

You know I'd be the last person ever to defend a Liberal, but in fairness, we do know that virtually all of the Navy's present fleet will need to be replaced over the course of the next 25 years. The HALIFAX Class frigates are at the half-way point of their operational lives, with the KINGSTON Class coastal defence vessels not far behind. The VICTORIA Class (ex-UPHOLDER RN) submarines have their own issues. The supply ships are overdue for replacement, and most of the Navy's present kit is not well designed for defending Arctic sovreignty should it ever come to that.

Now, we may well decide not to replace vessels on a one to one basis, but a nation with the longest coastline in the world needs to have some capacity to defend its interests, both in coastal and littoral waters and in blue water.

Add to that the requirements of the Coast Guard, and you have a reasonable number of ships to build for national purposes.

So, there is little reasonable doubt that we will be building warships (and other government vessels) over the next quarter century, and there is probably significant merit in consolidating the building (at least of each class) into one shipyard.

(Of course, ships tend not to be quite as specialized as aircraft, with the vast majority being multi-purpose platforms.)

The thing is, in addition to North Vancouver, there is also historic shipbuilding capacity in Victoria. That's in addition to the Irving shipyard in New Brunswick and MIL Davey in Levis, QC. Historically, there was also shipbuilding capacity at Lakehead, but I don't know if the infrastructure still exists.

This may seem a remote issue for prairie dwellers, but about 40% of Saskatchewan trade travels by sea and therefore depends on maritime security.

But decisions about whether, where and how to consolidate shipbuilding capacity for national purposes should be based on something more profound than where a politician happens to be standing when he decides to make a grandiose commitment.

I don't trust the Liberals either, its very important that we address the imbalance in the power structure in Ottawa as soon as we get rid of Harper.

I do agree with him that the fighter jets are not in the public interest, also that the naval fleet needs updating, given the opening of the arctic passage we will need double hulled ships capable of search and rescue.

As a west coaster whose Provincial Government recently scrapped an entire class of ferries in favour of buying German Ferries to replace them, I support awarding Canadian Shipyards (on both coasts) the contracts.

Hey Malcolm+ .. you said "But decisions about whether, where and how to consolidate shipbuilding capacity for national purposes should be based on something more profound than where a politician happens to be standing when he decides to make a grandiose commitment."

That's my point exactly ... Iggy is acting like $tephen Harper when it comes to throwing Billion$s around.

If I might quibble, while we certainly need vessels capable of search and rescue in Arctic waters, that is distinct from the fact that we need defensive capability in these (and all other) waters. While the Navy quite properly is part of search and rescue, the purpose of the Navy is about defending sovreignty.

As to the fighters, I have no particular expertise in that area to judge whether they are needed or not. The case seems to me to be weaker than the Navy's case for a range of multi-purpose platforms, but that could just be my bias showing.

My point is this .. Iggy is pledging BILLIONS in spending as 'election promises'. No business case - no contact with officials .. let's just spend BILLIONS so the Libs can try and win/hold a few BC seats.

Not unlike Harper .. wouldn't you say??

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