Robert Roy, the producer of the two-part ichannel investigative special Bang For The Buck and Disorder In the House has posted an article about the defence spending crisis over at iPolitics.ca. Here’s an excerpt:
The F-35 fighter jet, the potential replacement for the current CF-18, has joined the often lamented Avro Arrow, the Bonaventure refit and the Ross Rifle (WW1), as a lighting rod for controversy. It is the kind of problem that governments of all stripes seem to get into when dealing with defence.
Prime Minister MacKenzie King once wished that the “military would stay out of the Cabinet, out of the Treasury and out of trouble.” But large dollar figures, potential jobs and industrial benefits and not least, national security, are all at stake. These are big issues that can’t be ducked by wishful thinking that the military only needs some minor political attention. But not too much.
Conservatives have often tried to capitalize on military “rust-out” and cut-backs when in opposition by promising big spending on the Canadian Forces in both manpower and investment in fighting ships, planes and tanks. When they arrive in power they are confronted by the “national facts of life” that drove MacKenzie King’s thinking.
Prime Minister Harper inherited Afghanistan, which contributed to the Conservatives’ agenda of a more muscular Canada but clearly he did not enjoy the fallout and sought to remove the issue as quickly as possible from political debate. The early announcement that Canada would be out of Afghanistan by 2011 brilliantly smothered the rising public anxiety over the mission, but it was the opposite of taking the lead on the issue and suddenly we are back to MacKenzie King.
Read the whole thing HERE.
ichannel presents Bang For The Buck and Disorder In The House tomorrow night, Friday June 1, at 8 pm and 9 pm ET/PT.
Robert Roy is the producer of Bang for the Buck and Disorder in the House, documentaries on defence spending and parliamentary accountability. He is a documentary film maker who has covered international conflict, organized crime, intelligence, defence and security subjects over the course of a thirty year career. He is currently producing the documentary Bridging The Gap on civil-military relations in the United States. As part of the team that started Stornoway Productions he works with its foundation partner the Breakout Educational Network.