Friday, February 02, 2007

Full Frontal Smarm

So not five minutes ago I navigated to the Department of National Defence hompage and found myself staring agap at the following headline and article (emphasis mine):

Canada's New Government Delivers for Canadian Forces: Awards Contract for Strategic Airlift

Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada - February 2, 2007

OTTAWA — The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Defence, together with the Honourable Michael M. Fortier, Minister of Public Works, and the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry today announced The Boeing Company has been awarded the contract to supply strategic airlift aircraft to the Canadian Forces.

The agreement fulfills a commitment by Canada's New Government to pursue defence procurement initiatives that equip and strengthen our military and provide economic benefits across the country.

“Canada's New Government is dedicated to meeting the urgent needs of our Canadian Forces,” said Minister O'Connor. “Today's announcement is the first step to ensure that our dedicated men and women in uniform have the equipment they need.”

“Our government has delivered on our commitment to fair and open procurement and to our Canadian Forces,” added Minister Fortier. “While ensuring a win for the Canadian Forces, we have done that in a way that ensures Canadian taxpayers get the best value for their money.”

“These new aircraft will have an immediate impact on how we can support operations,” said General Rick Hillier, Chief of the Defence Staff. “They will increase our capacity to cover vast distances with bigger loads, fewer crews and less stopovers. In addition, they will alleviate some of the workload carried out by our aging Herc fleet and that which we paid to lease.”

The acquisition of these aircraft has been conducted through a competitive process known as an Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN), which identifies the Government's intention to contract with a specific supplier and also gives all potential suppliers the opportunity to demonstrate that they also can meet the Canadian Forces' mandatory capabilities for strategic airlift.

Under Canada's procurement policy, contractors must undertake quality economic activities in advanced technology sectors of the Canadian economy. These activities must be an amount equal to 100% of the contract value. Boeing has already identified more than $570 Million in contracts and in late-stage negotiations with Canadian companies from coast to coast, and the company will announce details of these contracts in the coming weeks.


Canada's New Government is working to ensure that these procurements deliver maximum, high-quality economic benefits to Canada, and that Canadian firms are well positioned to play significant roles as these projects progress. The estimated total cost for this strategic lift aircraft project acquisition is $1.8 billion, plus an estimated contract value of $1.6 billion for 20 years of in-service support...

The Conservative Party of Canada's pet name for itself as ruling party is creeping into GoC news releases across the board. A brief search of other departments reveals such. Still, I nearly vomitted when I saw this particular one. Why? Because the blatant use of an institution whose members risk and often lose their lives in the name of Canada (all of it!), as a partisan political advertising platform for a specific political party is beneath contempt. They may as well have written "The Conservative Party of Canada delivers for...". This feeling of utter disgust is made even worse when the headline is a bald-faced lie.

One of these days I'll remember to stop being surprised at their complete lack of shame. The sooner they're gone the better. Any bets on when?

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