Who says Canadian politics is boring? Despite being in the first majority government since 2004, politics was easy as government shenanigan continued and controversy ruled The Canadian Political Scene. This post will round up 2012 into one bite-sized image with the big scandals and the party progress reports.
Stephen Harper and his Conservatives have fought hard for their coveted F-35 contract, even in spite of inflating costs and warnings from the US congress. Now, without surprise, the Conservatives have been forced to retreat on the purchase of planes that wouldn’t even have been equipped to fly! It must be a very painful day to be the Conservative strategist because the party has invested a lot of political capital and a lot of taxpayers’ time into this deal. We all know that time is money and Canada’s air-force doesn’t have forever to wait for new planes and we all know that we can get state of the art planes for a better price than the Conservative offer for the F-35 defects.
The Conservatives are usually the ones prided with policies pertaining to national security and protecting countries from foreign threats. Not only did the Conservatives fail to live up to their mantra, they endangered our allies.
The war that Stephen Harper pushed forward throughout his term is coming to an end and based on his body language, he became bored with it. Let us be reminded of how much effort and time Harper put into this war.
Defense Minister Peter Mackay’s cost estimate of Canada’s mission in Libya was 700% less than what it actually was. Canada paid close to $350 million for the war, quite a bit for a country that is dealing with economic constraint. None the less, above all, this reflects his honesty more than his management of taxpayer funds.
Defense Minister Peter MacKay admitted today that the government knew for two years that the F-35 contract would cost $10 billion more than was said to Parliament and the Canadian people.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty introduced yesterday the first budget since the Conservatives won their coveted majority. The budget aims to cut $5.2 billion over 3 years by cutting an average of 7% per program and will phase out over 19,000 civil service jobs. It is worth noting that in the first 2 years of their first mandate back in 2006, the Conservatives increased program spending by over 40% and this budget is a far cry from restoring Canada to a prudent economic state.
The Department of National Defense is one of the departments slated for cuts as Harper searches for $4 billion in savings. However, as 2,100 employees are packing their stuff and moving out of their offices, renovations have been slotted as new spending. These renovations, at a cost of $379,000 tax payer dollars, can be found in the deputy defense minister’s office.