Frigate Life Extension

The announcement by Prime Minister Harper that naval ship upgrades will provide new opportunities for contractors is interesting but it lacks a sense of strategic context. Announcing FELEX, which by the way was in the Conservative Platform, is essentially announcing what is already known. This is similar to the Liberal often announced Fixed Wing SAR Project that has yet to deliver anything since first made a number one priority! Politically the opportunity seemed to be to snub the Provincial Government rather than an articulation of any strategic concept for Maritime Affairs. The potential announcement about Arctic Patrol Vessels will be similar. Essentially the Government is doing or has been convinced to do the absolute obvious minimum to gain some political leverage. Pity.

It would have been preferable, and it would have taken only a couple of sentences, if the Prime Minister had recognized that Canada is a maritime nation, that it needed a national maritime strategy, that the Navy was part of the strategy and in the interim we needed to fix the Frigates, which are but a small portion of what is needed, but, that we, as a nation, need to address all of our maritime needs implementing appropriate plans etc to achieve strategic objectives. Perhaps a lost opportunity, perhaps the Government and its advisors do not see the maritime aspects of the nation as important. The fact that the PM dwelled on C2 is perhaps a significant indicator that they do not have a strategic vision and that there is some intent to pay off the destroyers without replacement and for the foreseeable future all the Navy will have is the Frigates. This would marginalize the navy and indeed along with the CF's intent to kill off the CP140, marginalize Canada.