Another betrayal of the promise of “openness and transparency.”
The Trudeau government has already made a total mess of the process to get new fighter jets for our country.
They let a dispute between Bombardier and Boeing push them to purchase terrible used fighter jets from Australia (Australia is upgrading to the F-35), even though the used planes are almost as old as the ones we currently have.
It’s a ‘stop gap’ measure until the long-term purchase takes place, but that seems a very long way off.
The Trudeau government has refused to do the common sense thing and get F-35’s like most of our allies are – even though we are involved deeply in the program.
Now, it seems Canadians aren’t even getting any info on a procurement program costing $19 billion.
As noted by the Ottawa Citizen, “The federal government says it needs to tightly control the type of information being circulated about its $19-billion fighter jet replacement program because it knows best what the public should be told.”
The process has been put under a total media blackout.
Here’s the government’s justification:
“As fighter aircraft and their component systems are sensitive, heavily controlled goods, it is also critical that (government) procurement officials remain the definitive source of publicly shared information, to ensure the integrity of the overall process.”
However, it seems the real reason the government doesn’t want it being talked about is so they can’t be embarrassed by incompetence:
“But sources who leaked details of the industry day meeting and the department’s plan to limit information to the news media, scoffed at government claims about the need to protect sensitive information. Industry executives often talk to journalists about government bungling of military procurements, not about the secret details of their respective products, sources pointed out.”
So much for openness and transparency. Instead, we get silence and secrecy.
And, it turns out that isn’t even the worst of it. As the Ottawa Citizen article points out, the Trudeau government imposed a gag order in 2016 on 235 individuals swearing them to secrecy on the fighter jet procurement program.
Disturbingly, “The non-disclosure agreement for the equipment project puts the fighter jet replacement on the same level as top secret counter-terrorism missions undertaken by the Joint Task Force 2 commando unit, as well as clandestine operations by the country’s spies, military sources say.”
Ironically, the Harper government – widely attacked for being too secretive – never imposed such harsh secrecy requirements on procurement programs as the Trudeau government has.
Keep in mind, the former information commissioner has also said the Trudeau government was releasing less info to the public than the Harper government did.
Yet again, it shows the disgusting hypocrisy of the Trudeau government, and their massive arrogance.
Even though they get paid with our tax dollars, and even though they are supposed to work for us, they are denying us details on what they’re doing with $19 billion of our own money, all to protect their own image.