What’s more interesting in the Auditor-General’s latest report on government fiscal atrocity isn’t what it says, which you can already read about at your leisure in any credible mainstream news source, but what it leaves out. Being an Auditor-General is a tough job, especially when you’re continually investigating a government that overtly does not want . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Who is the Auditor-General Protecting in New Report on $3 Billion Boondoggle?
As other political bloggers know, there’s no feeling quite like vindication without attribution. Which I felt this week after parsing the latest data from Public Works and from the Parliamentary Budget Officer on the cost of the Joint Support Ship. A couple months ago, I predicted that the true cost of the ships project — . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: New Data Confirms Sixth Estate Estimate: Navy Shipbuilding Plan to Cost $100+ Billion
Like many of my readers, I am old enough to remember the beginning of January 2013, when the press was all abuzz over reports that Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page had completed what promised to be an incendiary sequel to his takedown of the F-35 project, this one involving the Joint Support Ships which the . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: What is the Government Doing to the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s Report on Military Procurement?
I’m going to be honest: I know virtually nothing about Mali. I could find it on a map and I could find it on Wikipedia, and that’s pretty much it. I don’t think I’m the only person in this situation. Unlike most of the media, though, I’m going to be honest about my own ignorance . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Let’s Have a War
A week ago, I predicted that this year’s military procurement scandal would be the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy: the plan to build 29 new ships for the navy and the Coast Guard, most of them advanced warships, at an official cost of $35 billion but a true total cost that will probably exceed $100 billion. . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: What to Expect from the Joint Support Ship Review: Another Military Procurement Travesty?
I’ve been putting a great deal of thought recently into the likely true cost of the Harper government’s multi-billion-dollar National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, aka the plan to shower practically unlimited military construction dollars into Halifax and Vancouver in the hopes that they magically morph into votes for the Conservative Party. The official cost estimates are . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: True Cost of Harper Government’s Warship Construction Plan: $35 Billion, or $103 Billion?
Once one has been a blogger for even a little while, one learns to develop a pretty thick skin when it comes to blasé incompetence from our paid professional betters. You see, the difference is that blogs are peer-reviewed. Commenters and other bloggers jump on us when we make an egregious mistake, and call us . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Postmedia Goes Fact-Free on F-35 Fighter
In my last post, I estimated that under Defence Minister Peter MacKay’s controversial new plan, the total cost of the F-35 Lightning fighter comes out to around $127,000 per hour. We’re kind of back in medieval territory here, where several lowly peons must labour for an entire year just to get the plane into the . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: DND Quietly Increases Sustainment and Operating Costs by $330 Million/Year in New F-35 Report
I have to say, it’s pretty depressing that not one of the many, many professional journalists in Canada is literate enough to read a government report. To their credit, some are trying. But they also had a whole press briefing slash lock-up slash sleazy play-time with the people they’re supposed to be holding accountable. It . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Media Still Missing Real Story: Thanks to Peter MacKay’s Fudged Numbers, “Official” Cost of F-35s Now Exceeds $127,000 Per Flight-Hour
I was almost tempted to let the matter rest, but then DND said this:
In 2010, the Department calculated that… the estimated cost for acquiring, sustaining and operating the [F-35] fleet… was $25.1 billion.
Ha! Here’s what their website says DND’s original public estimate was:
the total estimated cost and sustainment of Canada’s 65 F-35 . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: New F-35 Numbers Based on 40% Cut in F-35 Flight Hours, Still Hiding Billions of Dollars
You read it here first, on Sixth Estate: the F-35 jet fighter will cost $48.7 billion. Well, almost, anyways. The government spent a great deal more than Sixth Estate earns from this blog (presently zilch) getting a world-class accounting firm to estimate the cost for them. It turns out that the cost will be $45.8 . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Expensive Government Study Confirms Sixth Estate’s F-35 Cost Estimate
I know I shouldn’t let her bait me like this, but I can’t help myself. The two-facedness of it is among the worst I’ve yet seen in the Canadian press. Last weekend, Canada’s favourite plagiarist, Globe & Mail columnist Margaret Wente, published an extraordinary broadside against young women, complaining that they weren’t charging enough for […] . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Wente: Promiscuous College Women Bad. Promiscuous Bureaucrats Good.
If only there was a way for the news media to search through this country’s voluminous laws before writing a story. Oh wait, there is.
This week Conservative MP David Tilson’s private members’ bill gets to third reading. You can read about it in a local paper and, better yet, over at CBC, which says . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: New Conservative Bill Seeks New Criminal Penalties for “Mischief,” Not Just Vandalism, Near War Memorials
Even by the steadily declining standards of the Globe & Mail, Canada’s “paper of record” hit an unusual low in its angry and Orwellian response to the announcement that the European Union was being given this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. It’s definitely a bit of a head-scratcher, although notably less so than, say, the fact . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Globe & Mail Pans EU Peace Prize: “War is Peace”
Several days ago I posted an analysis of the latest procurement travesty at the Department of National Defence: the replacement of the army’s medium-weight transport trucks under the Medium Support Vehicle Systems project. I pointed out that there appeared to be a minor financial boondoggle in the making: although the publicly estimated cost of the . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Defence Minister Again Attempting to Defraud Taxpayers?
In my head, I’m writing the press releases already.
As I pointed out in a recent post on the botched purchase of new medium-weight trucks for the military, the supposedly militarist Harper government is long on praise for the Canadian Forces, but very decidedly short on getting the military the equipment they need to do . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Military Procurement Stars May Align for Conservatives in 2015
Today’s MLVW, ©Tyler Benoit Creative Commons
The Harper regime is developing a wonderful ability for horrendous timing. A few days ago, corrupt President of the Treasury Board Tony Clement went on a Twitter-fuelled rampage against Canadian aid workers in Cuba because they were “choosing to live in a communist country.” Then, this week, . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Airshow MacKay Has Another Military Procurement Travesty
The recent kerfuffle over the Canadian government’s decision to wire for sound the Ottawa Airport, and begin recording travellers’ private conversations, has touched a nerve — the same nerve which was tweaked earlier this year by the government’s proposal to commence en masse surveillance of people’s Internet browsers, email, and cell phones. Canadians, it seems, . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Technology, Progress, and the Inevitability of the Surveillance State, Part 1
There’s been no official announcement, but I can only assume it’s happened, and a while ago too, given that former diplomat turned Conservative MP Chris Alexander apparently has trouble spelling basic four-letter words in his press releases:
Parliamentary Secretary Chris Alexander Starts 8 Wing’s New Fire Hal
I wish I hadn’t shut down my Flack . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Canada Lowering Standards for Diplomatic Corps
It has to be asked.
The opposition and the prattling classes are unhappy that Defence Minister Peter MacKay attempted to conceal a $105 million conversion of 13 new Leopard 2 armoured engineering vehicles (AEVs) by German arms dealer FFG under the heading “Vehicular Power Transmission Components, Quantity: 1.” And so they should be. MacKay’s accounting . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: In What World is a Military Bulldozer Contract a National Scandal?
Last summer I reported that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) had removed most of its previous annual reports from its public website. Aside from the increasing penchant for secrecy on the part of the Minister of Public Safety, chronic adulterer and convicted election finance crook Vic Toews, there does not appear to be any . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: CSIS Disappears More Public Reports
This is how the government officially responds to the Parliamentary Budgetary Officer’s accusation that they kept “two sets of books” on the true cost the F-35 jet fighter:
Fonberg told MPs on the public accounts committee that “there was one book,” but he acknowledged there were two estimates.
Ah, that makes complete sense now. Since . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Timeline of Government Dishonesty on the F-35 Jet Fighter
So, as you may have heard by now, the new line from the Harper regime is that we can’t trust the NDP because they voted against World War II. Even though they didn’t exist in 1939. And even though the left-wing party that did exist at the time voted for the war. Facts? Facts? Eww! . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again
Something needs to be said about this business of the government “hiding” $10 billion in costs on the F-35, suggesting the cost was only $15 billion when it was “really” $25 billion. Well, it’s true that they lied about the cost being $15 billion. It’s true that they’re lying now about this just being a . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: The True Cost of the F-35: $48.7 Billion
By which I mean, in reference to my yesterday’s post, that Auditor-General Michael Ferguson pulled every punch he could in coming out with a report basically accusing the military of conspiring against the government and deceiving them into thinking that the price of the F-35 jet fighter was artificially low. Which the ministers then loyally . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Auditor-General Picks Door No. 2