Monday, January 16, 2006

The History of Liberal Scandal - The Sea Kings

WINNIPEG (BML) - It was 1963 when Canada began flying the Sea King Helicopter. This helicopter served the military well for many years, but by the late 1980s, the military needed to replace them. The Prime Minister of that time was Brian Mulroney. His government had done its research and made contracts to replace the Sea King helicopters with the EH-101.

However, in the 1993 election, liberal leader Jean Chrétien promised to scrap the contract and order no new helicopters for the military. There are not too many people in Canada still driving the car they bought in 1963. Yet, the liberals wanted our men and women in uniform to risk their lives flying helicopters that were unsafe and required an absurd number of hours in maintain for each hour flown. Jean Chrétien wouldn’t lose any sleep over them.

Of all the broken promises made by the liberals since coming to power in 1993, this is one promise they actually kept. The results were a disaster.

Reversing the decision to buy EH-101 put the federal government in breach of its contract. The cost to Canadian taxpayers is still not known, but the best estimates are that the cost was $600 million to $700 million. That’s nearly a billion dollars that taxpayers paid to companies and received absolutely nothing in return!

Maintenance problems and crashes plagued this helicopter all through the 1990s and still plague them today. Crashes have cost the Canadians who serve our country their lives. In February 2003, a Sea King crashed into the deck of the HMCS Iroquois when its engine simply gave out.

True to liberal form the liberals tell Canadians that replacing the Sea Kings is now a priority. They promise this election to address the problem of aging equipment in the military. The liberals tell us how proud they are of the military and how much they support them. Liberals say this on days when they aren’t trying to scare us about the menace of having Canadian troops in Canadian cities. And liberals say this despite being the ones that caused the problem in the first place.

Reporting on liberal scandal number 1 of 201, this is The Blue Maple Leaf.

To find out more about The History of liberal Scandal – 200 bloggers, 200 scandals, please visit Conservative Life.


At 10:49 a.m., Blogger BLUE705 said...

Thanks for the reminder. The last thing I expected when I began to read this was that I would end up with tears in my eyes. You re-capped a very important scandal, one that probably cost the lives of the crew on the Sea King.

At 7:06 p.m., Anonymous Dave said...

Just a few random points.

Many people forget that the original EH 101 order was to replace BOTH the Sea King and the Labrador.

The Labrador fleet was run on for several years, adding to the costs you quoted, but more importantly, adding to the human cost. Six CF personnel were killed when their Labrador crashed in Quebec in Oct 1998. The age of the aircraft contributed directly to the accident. Ironically, in that same year the Libs had placed an order for a replacement helicopter. Yep, you guessed it. The EH 101 that they had cancelled 5 years beforehand. The criticism of this about face led to a concerted campaign by Liberal insiders to ensure that the Sea King replacement would not be EH 101 also. DND was forced to split the contract into separate helicopter and weapon platform contracts in an attempt to undermine the EH 101's advantage of being an existing integrated system . Industry surprised the Libs by responding with price INCREASES (not knowing which system would go into which aircraft meant that all the bidders added cost to cover risk). DND was then forced by the Libs to reduce performance requirements to allow aircraft other than EH 101 to compete. In the final competition, EH 101 was "eliminated" on a bidding technicality. AgustaWestland is now suing the Canadian Government. The end result will be inferior aircraft, delivered years late, at a higher cost. Canadian Value?


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