The AOR – JSS ‘Gap’

This February, David Pugliese reported that a leaked copy of the Canada First Defence Strategy would retire our current AOR in 2010, two years before the JSS was delivered in 2012. Many critiqued this plan as it cut a critical capability without providing any savings. I called the plan "harebrained" in the Chronicle Herald. Later, suggestions were made that we needed to get rid of these ships early to free up their crews for training in the JSS. This made little sense as we could keep the AORs alongside as a reserve until the JSS were actually operational again without any significant cost. Whether later editions of the CFDS corrected this obvious foolishness is now of little import. Below, the MND has made it clear the current far more sensible plan is to not gap this capability. (from Hansard)

Hon. Geoff Regan: Mr. Chair, from the point of view of the navy it seems more like cruel accounting than accrual accounting. In fact, we have a situation whereby the government is cutting one destroyer and retiring the navy's two refuelling and resupply ships, which will be gone two years before the three new ones that the Liberal government ordered will arrive. There will be a two year gap and yet he is saying there is no loss to the navy whatsoever, that the navy obviously has enough funding. How can the navy have enough funding if there is going to be a two year gap before the new resupply vessels arrive?

Hon. Gordon O'Connor: Mr. Chair, again the member opposite has incorrect information. There is not going to be any gap. The current support ships will continue in service until they are replaced.