Various ministers maintained last week that the Harper government accepted the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the Auditor General, but Bob Rae pointed out that this didn’t quite match the formal response offered by two of the government’s departments. Peter Van Loan clarified that “the position of the government is not the position taken by the officials in those departments” and that cabinet “agrees with the Auditor General.”
Now emerge the views of Laurie Hawn, Conservative MP and former parliamentary secretary to the minister of national defence (and a retired air force colonel).
That’s not how Mr. Hawn sees things — and in his letter to a concerned citizen he made clear he believes there is nothing to apologize for. “There has never been any wrongdoing or bad faith on the part of National Defence or other people involved with the program,” he said.
He accused Michael Ferguson, the Auditor-General, of getting some figures are “just factually wrong.” “He says that, in 2008, National Defence estimated acquisition at $9-billion and sustainment [operating costs] at $16-billion. That is not correct — it was $9-billion plus $7-billion for a total of $16-billion, again over 20 years. If he can’t get some basic facts right, it makes you wonder about other things.”