Something is more than a little fishy in Ottawa. In fact, there's a pig-fight going on at Fort Fumble on the Rideau.
There is more to this story than what we're all reading.
Canada's defence minister said Ottawa is giving the navy more money so it can go ahead with a patrol off the East Coast after concerns about funding had postponed the voyage.That lack of money would have been reported by the Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic to the Chief of Maritime Staff in Ottawa. The CMS would have reported it directly to the Chief of Defence Staff. And there would have or should have been a fight.
Earlier, the navy had cancelled a scheduled patrol by HMCS Halifax because it said it didn't have the money to send the ship to sea.
But Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor said Wednesday that his department will give the navy the money it needs.
Word of the Atlantic commander's orders to cut costs is an embarrassment to Harper and his Conservatives. They are, after all, the pro-military party - right?
Senator Colin Kenny criticized the apparent lack of funding, and asked why Canada has a navy if there's no money for the ships to patrol the coast.
"It's not a good thing to run out of money," said Kenny, chair of the Senate's security and defence committee. "I think it's because of the extra costs with oil and the demands of Afghanistan." Well, he got it partly correct. He understated Afghanistan.
But O'Connor said the navy's budget shortfall was not caused by Canada's mission in Afghanistan.Horseshit! It's the cause of budget shortfalls all over the Canadian Forces. Harper and his gang of military aficionados are all for going around playing war but they forgot that it's costing money - tons of money. The navy and the air force both took budget cuts this year, at a time when the cost of fuel was rising. That means that operations and maintenance takes a hit.
The Defence Department will spend almost $1.5 billion on the mission in Afghanistan this fiscal year. At the same time, the money the navy has to send ships to sea has been cut by about 10 per cent.Stand up for Canada.