Need to know: Budget cuts mean no new trucks

DND’s $2.1-billion plan for new armoured vehicles falls by the wayside

by Nick Taylor-Vaisey

John Cotter/CP

The story
Canada can’t afford new trucks. The feds expressed doubts months ago that the military could spare the cash for a new fleet of armoured vehicles that would both transport troops and provide an offensive capability. Yesterday, word leaked that the army could scrap the $2.1-billion procurement. The cancellation exposes the military to more howling about its basic ability to buy things effectively, an exercise with which the military has had regular difficulty. The cancelled plan also demonstrates just how tight belts are at the Department of National Defence, where previously lauded purchases are now pipe dreams.

Don’t fret, though. Defence officials remain defiantly proud of their department during these times of recalculated priorities. Julie Di Mambro, a spokesperson for Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, told the Ottawa Citizen that no one beats a Canadian in uniform. “Soldier for soldier, sailor for sailor, airman for airman, the Canadian Armed Forces are once again the best in the world,” she said, adding that Conservatives are giving the troops “the tools they need to get the job done.” The tools seem to be changing, and the next job’s not totally clear, but such is the price of outfitting a military when “a sea of troubles is lapping at our shores.”

What happens next could involved the courts. Three firms that submitted bids for the two-billion-dollar truck procurement are now left holding their own schematics, and they might humbly request the government compensate them for their work. John Ivison reports in the National Post that the procurement process has already cost taxpayers $70 million, and any court settlements could bump that number ever higher. Oh, the complications for a government that so badly wanted to wipe away an evil decade of darkness by spending billions on a bunch of new equipment.

The stat
$80 million: The estimated amount of money spent by three firms on their bids for the $2.1-billion Close Combat Vehicle contract

The quote
“Soldier for soldier, sailor for sailor, airman for airman, the Canadian Armed Forces are once again the best in the world.” —Julie Di Mambro, a spokesperson for Defence Minister Rob Nicholson

What’s above the fold

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National Post
The NEB’s report gave a “ringing endorsement” to the Enbridge pipeline.
Toronto Star A jury declared Ashley Smith‘s death a homicide, not a suicide.
Ottawa Citizen Stephen Harper felt betrayed by ex-chief of staff Nigel Wright.
CBC News BlackBerry reported a $4.4-billion loss in the third quarter.
CTV News The latest report was below expectations for BlackBerry.
National Newswatch The feds are delaying emissions standards for oil and gas producers.

 

What you might have missed

THE NATIONAL Senate audit. Auditors are requesting senators’ personal financial records, if those records are related to government business—one plank in the comprehensive audit being undertaken. Postmedia reports that one senator’s office claimed the request didn’t match the ongoing audit’s terms of reference.
THE GLOBAL Iraq. Shiite pilgrims on the way to the holy city of Karbala were targeted by attackers. At least 36 people died in three separate attacks, including a former Reuters reporter, and dozens of others were injured. The Iraq Body Count website claimed 65 people were killed in 12 towns across Iraq.




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Need to know: Budget cuts mean no new trucks

  1. I’ve lost track of what we’ve bought, reneged on, changed our minds about, put on the shelf, reordered, misplaced, fantasized about, cancelled …..

    Are we even as much as one uniform ahead of where we were when Dear Leader got in?

    Or has it all been just another load of soaring rhetoric and brave bull$hit?

  2. . “John Ivison reports in the National Post that the procurement process has already cost taxpayers $70 million,…”

    Maybe they can tap Nigel again?

  3. Great news. Cancelling this purchase will save us as much money as was spent on the G20 meeting, Ontario e-health, and the cancelled gas plants. Canada – the world’s most advanced banana republic.

  4. The flawed F35s the Tories manufactured a false budget for are still on, I take it.

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