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Corruption the real reason behind Canada's military procurement problems




Canada is not seen by the wider world as a corrupt place to do business. It is in fact probably one of the most corrupt of the western industrialized democracies, and all the more so because no one doing business with Canadian companies or government expect it.
Sweetheart deals for local companies at the local government level is perhaps par for the course wherever you are in the world, at any rate it is certainly the norm, from what I've seen, in Canada.
I have also witnessed the illegal collusion of business and government at the provincial level (state level for U.S readers) and therefore see no reason to believe this magically stops at the federal level.
In fact it is all too clear such corruption is rampant in Ottawa.
The National Shipbuilding Strategy is a prime example. Shipbuilding companies the world over scratch their heads at Canada's approach to procuring new naval vessels, the head of French shipbuilding giant DCNS going so far to say publicly that Canada appears to want to waste money.
He was referring to the feds sweetheart deal with the Irving family. Already billionaires, the contract to build the fleet of single surface combatant ships will enrich the family owned industrial conglomerate by an estimated $3 billion. That's to say whatever the cost overruns on the project, their percentage of the profits does not decline, what does decline is the number of ships built. It was to be 15, now they're admitting it will be 11, which means by the time the project is completed 20-25 years from now will be lucky to get 8.
The Irvings however, no matter what the result, will make out like bandits.
Most military procurement contracts require contractors to meet certain budgetary targets and timelines. Even in the U.S. with it's huge expenditures have far more rigid guidelines on cost overruns.
So why does the federal government put up with this? Probably because someone's getting a piece of the pie. When Davie Shipbuilding offered to build a stop gap supply ship for the long delayed Queenston Class replenishment ship project, that proposal was initially blocked by Irving Shipbuilding. The Queenston project isn't even theirs, it's being built by Seaspan on the west coast, but like any criminal organization might do, Irving wanted to know why they weren't getting a piece of that action.
You see any of this in the MSM of course, they might hint at incompetence form time to time, but largely they are complicit with the corruption. So mush so Canadian media still report that the Single Surface Combatant will start in 2020 -2021 when Irving has admitted they're at least a decade away from commencing the project. Likewise the Queenstown project, which Seaspan estimates won't be complete till 2026 at the absolute earliest, yet media reports continue to put the completion date at 2020. No wonder corruption is rampant, who will ever report on it and keep them honest, even when they try to tell the truth the media cover it up.

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