I propose for your consideration the following: we should be happy. Mildly so. The Liberals, by actually making a decision to buy Super Hornets, have done something we should welcome. The issue was to fill a gap between what we have now, F-18s nearing the end of their life cycle, and what we may eventually have when we get the F-35 fighter. The Cabinet has made a decision on defence procurement. Mark the day!
The fact that the purchase of Boeing Super Hornets will be sole-sourced is not a sign the government has lost its moorings, as John Ivison proclaims. It never had any. The issue is not sole-sourcing. How much competition is there in the fighter aircraft market? How many alternative sources of fighters are available? French, Swedish, Russian? So let’s get real. The Americans have the only source of fighters that we can buy. And we have decided to buy some.
The decision – or the announcement of a decision – that we would not buy the F-35 in the election was superfluous political posturing, I grant you. By buying F-18 upgrades we simultaneously allow time to pass, and thereby let the public forget about the F-35s non-cancellation, and let the F-35 program have enough time to work out the kinks in this super-advanced fighter aircraft.
I would say the decision on Super-Hornets solves both a real problem of aircraft obsolescence, and an unreal self-created political problem, so it should be praised, mildly.
Most of all, it was a decision. Given Canada’s deplorable record of not making decisions on defence procurement, it should be welcomed.
To talk of Liberals losing their ethical moorings is to talk of things that cannot be, because to be a Liberal in Canada is to have abandoned ethical moorings in the first place. No, the Liberals are to be praised – mildly – for having made a decision at all. That it may actually be the right decision, or a reasonable one, is a bonus.