Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Links

An assortment of content to close out your weekend...

- In case the example of climate change left any doubt that the Cons will never admit that they're choosing not to act on an issue even when it's glaringly obvious, their latest stalling tactics on gun labelling should serve as conclusive proof.

- Angelo Persichilli is thoroughly frustrated with the federal money and effort that's gone into not procuring helicopters over the last 25 years. But the most important cautionary tale looks to involve the cost of a rash decision as to requirements combined with the usual realities of cost escalation and delivery delays:
The procurement process for 28 Cyclone CH-148 helicopters started in 2004 and the helicopters were supposed to be delivered in 2005 for the initial price of $1.8 billion. Delivery was delayed to 2008 and now, again, to 2012. The price has gone from $1.8 billion to $5.7 billion!

The defence department also started the process to buy 15 Chinooks for $1.2 billion plus another $2.2 for maintenance, for a total of $3.4 billion. We are now already up to $4.9 billion and “the first fully capable helicopter is scheduled for delivery in 2013, five years later than planned,” writes Fraser.
Writes Fraser: “After lengthy delays and significant cost increases, National Defence still has not completely estimated what it will cost to operate these helicopters” and “National Defence underestimated and understated the complexity and developmental nature of the helicopters that it intended to buy.”

In each case, writes Fraser, “significant modifications were made to the basic models. For the maritime helicopter, this will result in an aircraft that never existed before.” Basically, they bought something that didn’t exist!

Is it possible that after 25 years, the defence department still doesn’t know what kind of helicopter it needs?
- Now, you can generate your own U.S. political action committee - or at least name it. And all without the millions of dollars that go into propping up the real thing!

- I won't say that Bernie Sanders' message on the priorities of the U.S. Senate is exactly on point, since it seems to get bogged down in numbers somewhat before getting to the more important realities as to whose interests are being served. But it's still well worth a view:

- And closer to home, LRT's first-ever podcast interview featuring Palliser NDP candidate Noah Evanchuk is well worth a watch as well.

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