Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) has in its possession a report which details delays in Canada’s shipbuilding program. We know the information contained in that report can’t be good, if it was good news the government would be proclaiming it in the streets, there would be news conferences, media availabilities and much self-congratulatory back slapping.
Instead, the report in question is off-limits, not available to the Canadian public. Think about that, the report is so damning that the government won’t release it and talk about changes or damage control… they have just swept it under the rug to be quietly forgotten. The excuse is “commercial confidence”. And excuse it is, there can be no commercial confidence when the customer is not getting what it has contracted for. Our government is substituting subterfuge for honesty. We aren’t to know what is wrong, what measures are being taken to correct issues, or even how BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars may be affected.
This is no small issue. The two federal fleets, Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy, need those ships desperately. To put things in perspective, even in the unlikely situation where the plan was actually ahead of schedule, fleet renewal would be falling behind obsolescence. Delays mean that much-needed ships are not going to be available when Canada needs them.
Our government owes us a full, public accounting. We need to know what is happening and how any problems will be addressed. This isn’t even a matter of transparency, it is one of “Good Government”. Good Government is one of the basis of our Constitution.
I call on our government to practice what they preached during the last election. Be honest and transparent with the Canadian people. It isn’t that you owe us that much.
In the final analysis, our government owes us that transparency as a bare minimum. Without it the National Shipbuilding program is lost, scuttled by politics, the very worst type of friendly fire.