Ooooh. I would think the auditor-general might have wanted to know about that. In the AG Fall 2010 report there is diddly about an MI-17 acquisition.
I wouldn't be too sure about that. Since the AG missed it in a detailed report entitled Acquisition of Military Helicopters, one has to question the veracity of MacKay's statement. Sounds like some details weren't available to the AG.
Really?! Not so moot. And the timing is so ... coincidental.
In the CBC article we hear from University of Calgary political science professor Rob Huebert.
Whoa, there! First part good. Second part bad.
Yes, there are a lot of questions as to why the Harperites kept this deal secret. The MacKay line of security is a load of crap. Huebert has it right that this has a lot of potential to embarrass the Conservatives. And they could be left wanting for any coherent answer.
No. Huebert is over-simplifying and playing at "cold war" mentalism with regard to suppliers. While the MI-17 (MI-172) "Kittiwake" is a Russian-built airframe, it incorporates avionics from BAE in the UK and (brace yourself) Kelowna Flightcraft in Canada. As they are only too happy to point out.
No, the problem for the Conservatives is that having leased Russian helicopters, and with Canadian companies involved, it makes the northern dance with the "Bears" look a lot less ominous and the theatrics of MacKay and Soudas even more pathetic.
Worse though, is that Harper and MacKay have yet to learn that it isn't their money. Any suggestion that this was "open" is misleading at best.
Another question: "It was competed," says MacKay.
Against what? Who were the other contenders? Where did it appear so all of us could be assured of a proper bidding process? Where?
Mind you, given the Harper/Soudas/MacKay definition of a competition it was probably a tossing of credit cards into the middle of the table to see who was going to pay for the drinks.